Athlete of the Week: Rifle Football

Bears win State Title after 17 year drought
Bears beat Titans, 35-34
Bears beat Titans, 35-34(KKCO/KJCT)
Updated: May. 23, 2021 at 10:05 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Rifle Football has been through a lot, from coaching changes to injuries. Yet they still managed to overcome those obstacles and win the state championship. The Bears had nothing to lose after being told their season would be cut short and move to the spring because of COVID-19. They got a new coach in March and lost most of their seniors, but none of that phased them.

“We had a lot of excuses but our kids didn’t use any of them. And once we got to the championship, you want to make sure you laid it all on the line and play to the best of your ability,” says Head Coach, Todd Casebier.

The Titans lead the half 20-13 but the Bears came back in the second half. As the old saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. The Bears were in possession of the ball all 12 minutes in the third quarter. The Bears lead, 28-20, and Bears running back Embrey Marantino ran for 70 yards to extend their lead.

“It’s still surreal even a few days after. I totally didn’t expect it to happen this way, but here we are, we’re state champs,” says Embrey Marantino.

Titan’s Cade Palmer then got his third rushing TD to make it a one-point game and the Bears went on to win, 35-34.

Unfortunately, Senior, Kaden Wolf tore his MCL with two games left in the season. But Kaden relied on his leadership to help lead his team to victory.

“I told them to not have any expectations. They can’t control the refs, their teammates, the other team, they can only control what they’re doing. I tried to push on them just give it your all,” says Kaden Wolf.

This is the Bears fourth overall title.

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