GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Seventh-ranked Palisade couldn't overcome a 17-point deficit, falling 36-33 to No. 5 Rifle in a 3A Western Slope League game at Stocker Stadium on Friday.
With the win, Rifle (9-0) clinches the league title with one week left to play in the regular season.
The Bears scored on their first play from scrimmage when Ryan Moehler broke free for a 97-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs answered with a 27-yard hook-up from Luke McLean to Lane Orman to tie the game at 7-7.
McLean then forced a fumble on the ensuing drive, which was recovered by Orman. T.J. Townsend gave Palisade a 13-7 lead with a 7-yard touchdown run (extra-point no good).
Rifle scored the next two touchdowns. Brandon Kittle scampered 67 yards to make it 14-13 Rifle and the Bears added to the lead with a 30-yard run by Taylor Webb.
Palisade (7-2, 4-2) plays Delta next Friday. Rifle wraps up the regular season with Glenwood Springs.