Steamboat Springs High School quarterback Christian Ramirez looks to pass against the Rifle Bears during Friday’s game in Rifle. Steamboat lost, 56-0.

Kelley Cox / Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Steamboat Springs High School quarterback Christian Ramirez looks to pass against the Rifle Bears during Friday’s game in Rifle. Steamboat lost, 56-0.

Steamboat football can't compete with No. 1 Rifle

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Game statistics

Rifle 56, Steamboat Springs 0

Steamboat Rifle

5 First downs 20

77 Total yards 402

18-(-7) Rushes-Yards 34-345

84 Passing yards 57

10-18-1 Comp-Att-Int 1-1-0

4-46 Punts-Avg. 0-0

3-3 Fumbles-Lost 0-0

3-20 Penalties-Yards 7-55

Steamboat 00-00-00-00—00

Rifle 21-21-07-07—56

■ Scoring summary

First quarter

R: Kellin Leigh 41 run (Marco Gutierrez kick), 10:03

R: Ryan Moeller 3 run (Gutierrez kick), 9:52

R: Moeller 22 run (Gutierrez kick), 2:30

Second quarter

R: Adam Rice 17 run (Gutierrez kick), 10:27

R: Moeller 49 run (Gutierrez kick), 5:09

R: Moeller 74 punt return (Gutierrez kick), 3:56

Third quarter

R: Moeller 57 pass from Rice (Gutierrez kick), 8:43

Fourth quarter

R: Keimi Payan 6 run (Gutierrez kick), 11:52

■ Individual statistics

Rushing

S: Mitch McCannon 5-10, Nick Harris 4-8, Billy Clark 3-1, Ben Custer 1-(minus 1), Christian Ramirez 5-(minus 25).

R: Ryan Moeller 12-159, Kellin Leigh 7-87, Brock Clark 4-24, Rice 2-21, Isaac Rider 2-16, Payan 4-15, Layton Stutsman 1-11, Javier Nunez 1-8, Austin Knight 1-4.

Passing

(comp-att-int-yards)

S: Ramirez 10-18-1-84.

R: Rice 1-1-0-57.

Receiving

S: Skyler Kauf 3-40, McCannon 4-36, Custer 2-5, Clark 1-3.

R: Moeller 1-57.

— A tireless work ethic and a love of football is what Rifle is known for around the 3A Western Slope League.

Just ask Steamboat Springs head coach Lonn Clementson, whose Sailors witnessed firsthand how good the Bears are in a 56-0 loss Friday in Rifle.

“I can’t say enough about how hard their players play and how much they love the game,” the Sailors’ third-year frontman said. “We’d like to get to that point at some point. I think they’re going to go far.”

From the film room to the weight room to the practice field, the Bears certainly put in the work.

“It feels like a full-time job sometimes,” Rifle junior running back Kellin Leigh said with a grin. “But it’s all worth it.”

Leigh and senior backfield mate Ryan Moeller combined to rush for 246 yards as the Bears scored early and often against the Sailors.

Of those 246 yards, Moeller had 159 yards on 12 carries. The state’s leading rusher ran in three touchdowns, caught a dump-off pass from quarterback Adam Rice and took it 57 yards for a score, then returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown.

Leigh finished with 87 yards and a score on seven carries. His 41-yard score on the Bears’ first offensive play from scrimmage, which followed a fumble recovery by teammate Zach Bare, set the tone for the night.

Rifle’s Bailey Hoffmeister recovered a fumble to end Steamboat’s next drive. That eventually led to a 3-yard touchdown run by Moeller that made it 14-0 with 9 minutes, 52 seconds left on the first-quarter clock.

“You certainly can’t turn the ball over like that to begin with, and you can’t do that against the No. 1 team in the state,” Clementson said. “You can’t give them the ball. We knew they were going to be incredibly hard to stop.”

Aside from Moeller’s five touchdowns and Leigh’s game-opening score, Rice scored on a 17-yard keeper, and Keimi Payan rumbled in from 6 yards out for a touchdown. The running clock kicked into effect when the Bears pushed their lead to 42-0 with nearly four minutes left in the second quarter.

On defense, Cody Beauford delivered an interception that ran out the clock on the first half.

“We’re proud of our kids,” Rifle coach Damon Wells said. “We’re proud of their effort. We’re proud of their execution. Steamboat has some talented kids. Hats off to them for fighting every step of the way.”

The Bears, now 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the league, are ranked No. 1 in Class 3A in the latest Denver Post poll. They’re also 3A’s top team in the Colorado High School Activities Association’s wild card points standings, which use wins and strength of schedule to rank teams for playoff seeding.

“We’re taking it game by game,” Moeller said. “I definitely think we’re getting better as a team.”

Quarterback Christian Ramirez finished with 84 yards on 10-of-18 passing for the Sailors, who dipped to 3-5 overall and 2-5 in league play. Skyler Kauf caught three passes for 40 yards and Mitch McCannon had 36 yards on four receptions.

The Bears held Steamboat to Ramirez’s 84 passing yards and minus 7 yards on the ground.

Next up for the Sailors is a visit from Lutheran at 7 p.m. Friday. Rifle will be in action at Delta.

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