State Championship This Saturday

Wednesday is already here and the nerves are hard to calm. Rifle will play the Silver Creek Raptors for the Colorado 3A State Football Championship at 1:00 on Saturday at Legacy Stadium in Aurora.


Breaking Down Silver Creek

Cocky? Here is Silver Creek’s Andre Apodaca on the game via Twitter: “Their time is done; it’s over. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what a great football team Rifle has. Screw em. THIS is our time.” Granted he is simply quoting USA Hockey’s Herb Brooks as depicted by Kurt Russell in the movie Miracle. What disturbs us the most is that the use of Kurt Russell playing Herb Brooks for motivation is clearly ours first. Rifle’s bulletin board just got a little more cluttered.

This is a very good defensive team, maybe the best that the Bears have seen all year. The Raptors give up a downright stingy 11.85 points per game. In 3A football they are second only to Rifle, who has only allowed 5.77 points per game. Inside Linebacker Andre Apodaca (#5) gets a lot of the state-wide publicity but the heart of the defense might just be big defensive tackle Levi Cecil (#51). Along with defensive tackle #53 Jared Jacobson, Cecil has made it nearly impossible to run on the Raptors. DEs Jeremy Metivier (#23) and Anthony Emberly (#24) do an excellent job of running down any play from the outside.

On offense, Silver Creek has a huge threat in the arm of #7 Ben Sjobakken. His passing numbers compare well to Pueblo East’s Kurt Rode, who the Bears defense managed to control over the course of the game. Rode is more mobile, while Sjobakken is taller, giving him a better view of the field while in the pocket. Silver Creek runs the vast majority of their plays from different shotgun spread formations and Sjobakken rarely takes off and runs. He has passed for 2452 yards and 24 touchdowns on the season.

Sjobakken’s favorite target is #21 Trey Fleming. Fleming has 57 receptions for 795 yards and 6 touchdowns. Junior Zane Lindsey is right on his heels with 49 receptions for 696 yards and 7 touchdowns.

The Raptors running attack is led by Junior Josh Quiroz (#22). Quiroz has 1231 yards on the ground and 11 touchdowns. Quiroz is always a threat, especially when Sjobakken has established a passing game.

Overall Silver, Creek ranks 17th in 3A in scoring offense with 18.07 points per game. Rifle is #1 with 38.85 points per game.


Silver Creek vs. Rifle By The Numbers

Rifle is the #1 seed in the 3A playoffs. Silver Creek is the number #10 seed. The Raptors have defeated the #7 seed, the #15 seed and the #6 seed. The Bears have defeated the #16 seed, the #8 seed and the #5 seed.

Silver Creek does not turn the ball over very often on offense. With just 10 fumbles lost and 2 interceptions, the Raptors do not give up easy scoring opportunities to the opposition. With just 9 fumbles lost and three interceptions, Rifle does a nice job of holding on to the ball as well.

There are 15 different 3A teams between Rifle (#1) and Silver Creek (#17) on the 3A Scoring Offense List (when calculated as points per game). Rifle has played and defeated 7 of those teams. Silver Creek has played 4 of those teams, winning three and losing to Roosevelt.

Rifle (#1) and Silver Creek (#2) are at the top of the 3A Scoring Defense List (when calculated as points allowed per game). Of the ten teams that follow the Bears and the Raptors on the list, Rifle has played and defeated three. Silver Creek has also played and defeated three.

Rifle has played 13 teams. Those teams have a combined winning percentage of .520. Silver Creek has played 13 teams. Those teams have a combined winning percentage of .513.

There are two common opponents for Rifle and Silver Creek. Rifle defeated Conifer 38-7. Silver Creek defeated Conifer 24-7. Rifle defeated Roosevelt 48-34. Roosevelt defeated Silver Creek 21-14.

Rifle is ranked first in 3A in per game point differential (the difference between points scored and points allowed). Silver Creek is 5th behind Palisade, and, interestingly, two teams that did not make the playoffs in Fort Morgan and D’Evelyn. Rifle’s per-game point differential is 38.85. Silver Creek’s is 18.07.

Rifle played 7 3A playoff teams this year. The Bears won all 7 games by an average margin of 32 points. Silver Creek also played 7 3A playoff teams this year. The Raptors were 6-1 with an average margin of victory of 16 points.

According to, Silver Creek played and defeated 4 opponents who were ranked in the top 10 at the time of the contest. Silver Creek won those games by an average of 17 points. Rifle played 5 teams who were ranked at the time of the contest. Rifle won those games by an average of 33.8 points.


News Round-Up

High school football roundup: Rifle on target for first state title since 2004
Rifle runs over Pueblo East in 3A semifinals – GJ Daily Sentinel
Rifle running back Ryan Moeller more than one-trick pony –
BoCoPreps TV: Silver Creek set to take on Rifle in 3A football final – BoCoPreps TV
Rifle Preppin for Silver Creek – KJCT TV
Semifinals are a breeze for the Rifle Bears – KKCO TV
Rifle football’s ‘highlight team’ – KKCO TV
No. 1 Rifle Advances to Class 3A State Championship – KREX TV
Prep Football – Rifle Ready To Travel Again – KJCT TV
Rifle star RB Ryan Moeller hopes to attract some Division I offers – Denver Post Prep Rally | (SUNDAY 11/25/12) – 9News Denver
Pueblow-out: Rifle routs Pueblo, 56-6 – Rifle Citizen Telegram
Plucked from the pitch – GSPI
Bears Football Notebook
Bears capitalize on momentum – GSPI
Bears Football Notebook – GSPI