Preps: Top-ranked Rifle proves too much for Aspen, wins 56-14; AHS dance third

Ray K. Erku
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Rifle’s Trey Caldwell, right, extends his arm to make a reception against an Aspen defender on Friday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

RIFLE — Rain, snow and freezing-cold temperatures didn’t slow No. 1 Rifle’s red-hot ground game Friday night as it steamrolled over the Aspen High School football team, winning 56-14 at home.

Without wasting too much after kickoff, the Bears would punch the Skiers in the mouth via a 12-yard rushing touchdown by junior Toto Fletchall at the 9:47 mark. Less than three minutes later, Bears senior Kaden Wolf would turn his jets upfield for an 11-yard rushing score. Following a good point-after kick, Rifle controlled a 14-0 lead.

Toward the latter stages of the first quarter, Bears senior Embrey Marantino would nab his first touchdown of the game with a nice dash across the goal line.

Up 21-0, this time the Bears’ defense would capture the spotlight with less than 30 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Junior Broc Caldwell would intercept a pass from Aspen starting quarterback Nate Thomas.

The pick eventually set up Bears junior starting quarterback Gavin Peterson for a rushing touchdown in the closing seconds of the first quarter. A successful point-after attempt placed the Bears up 28-0.

The Skiers would see their first score of the game in the opening minutes of the second quarter. After marching downfield, Aspen’s Brady Haisfield would cross the plane with a 20-yard rush. Following a successful 2-point conversion, the Skiers went into halftime down 28-8.

Aspen starting quarterback Nate Thomas releases the ball during Friday night’s game against Rifle.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

Back in third-quarter action, Wolf would put the Bears in good field position after a huge run to Aspen’s 25-yard line from the Bears’ own 45. Two plays later, Wolf put on the jets and ran it in for a long touchdown at the 10:51 mark — his second of the night. After a successful point-after, Rifle went up 35-8.

A couple minutes later, Fletchall notched his second score of the game with a 25-yard sprint up the sidelines. Up 42-8, the Bears would eventually record two more touchdowns on the night.

Aspen, meanwhile, managed to score one more touchdown at the 7:34 mark of the third quarter. The six points, however, would prove not enough to prime the engines for a possible comeback.

With the win, Rifle sits at 2-0 overall as its heads to Basalt to take on the Longhorns (1-0 overall) next weekend in a preseason 1-2 matchup. Basalt plays Saturday at Steamboat Springs.

Aspen (0-2) hosts Montezuma-Cortez next weekend.

Aspen dance team third at state

The Aspen High School dance team finished third at the state championship on Friday inside the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.

The Skiers entered as the defending champ in Class 3A poms, but settled for third this time around, scoring 80.28 on their only performance in a condensed state meet.

University won the 3A poms title, scoring 81.80, while SkyView Academy was second with 81.45 and Grand Valley finished fourth with 77.10.

Basalt volleyball team sweeps Delta

The Basalt High School volleyball team won its second match in a row Friday night, sweeping Delta 3-0 inside the BHS gymnasium.

The first two sets were closely contested, with BHS winning 25-20 and 25-22. Basalt made easier work of the third set, winning 25-14.

After starting the season 0-3 with losses to Glenwood Springs, Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain, the Longhorns are now 2-3 with back-to-back wins over Roaring Fork and Delta.

BHS is off until Thursday when it hosts Aspen in a league game.

Aspen Times sports editor Austin Colbert contributed to this report.