Rifle Bears rally past Battle Mountain Huskies football in the second half for 42-21 win
EDWARDS — Battle Mountain football does not want moral victories.
Truth be told, Huskies football leads the state in moral victories.
The Huskies were tied at 21 against 3A Slope powerhouse Rifle during the third quarter before falling to the Bears, 42-21, on Friday, Oct. 6, in Edwards.
Rifle won this matchup, 52-6, last year. Before Battle Mountain’s two-year journey in 2A, the Bears eked out a 55-7 win in 2013 and snuck by the Huskies, 55-0, in 2012.
Don’t call it a moral victory, but it’s definitely better.
“I do have a great deal of respect for Rifle, and we played them tough,” Huskies coach Jim Schuppler said. “(Rifle head coach) Damon (Wells) came over and said how impressed he was with how the boys are playing. I am again taken back by the guys really coming together.”
The Huskies took a 7-0 lead on a slick run by Charlie Morrow. As expected, Rifle rallied for 14-7 lead. Battle Mountain answered with a Traver Goldberg quarterback sneak.
Rifle scored just before the half to make it 21-14. Also before the half, the Huskies’ Kia Gongaware was taken off on a stretcher. Not in any way to diminish the significance of a concussion — he does have one — but Gongaware is doing fine, according to Schuppler.
The Huskies rallied once again during the third quarter with Nick Walter racing 7 yards for the end zone.
Rifle started to lean on the Huskies a bit, taking a 28-21 lead. On the Bears’ next drive, they converted a fourth-and-goal from the Huskies 1, a call to which the Huskies faithful objected loudly. Instant replay, however, is not coming to the 3A Slope anytime soon.
That gave Rifle a 35-21 lead and the visitors tacked on another score.
The unsung heroes of the game for the Huskies include the Hancock brothers, Nick and Jimmy. The duo played on both front lines for most of the game In fact, coach Schuppler was pleased with the play of The Seven, the sobriquet for Battle Mountain’s offensive line.
Hector Michigua also got postgame props from the coach for his defense.
The Huskies have another big test on Friday, Oct. 13 at Glenwood Springs.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.