Rifle Bears Tranquilize Demons


Jaymin Kanzer , Reporter

Despite a backbreaking loss on homecoming night to the long-time rivals, the Rifle Bears, Glenwood Springs sophomore, Evan Heyl, showed the Demons that he has a bright future at the spot of quarterback.

High expectations on their shoulders, the Demons went into the game confidently with a pumped-up student section and a goal to win. The Demons had to start strong and start strong they did. On the first drive for the Bears, the defensive line pushed through and ended up forcing a fumble on the Bears 30-yard line. After a couple of strong passes from Heyl and an important roughing the passer call on the Bears’ defense, the Demons found themselves in the endzone, thanks to a 2nd and goal touchdown from senior running back, and middle linebacker, Tucker Porter.

“Having the Conifer game under my belt helped me handle the pressure of starting as a sophomore, but the hype was real,” Heyl said.

Although Heyl led the team down the field drive after drive, that touchdown was all the Demons had to offer, as the Bear’s defense was finally able to stop the driving Demons offense at around 15 yards deep into Bear territory. Luckily, due to Heyl’s experience of being a passer, he was able to open the playbook more and get the ball into different player’s hands, such as junior tight-end, Wheatley Nieslanik. Nieslanik was Heyl’s favorite target Friday, tossing the ball his way over five times, totaling around 45 receiving yards.

“It feels great being relied on, as Evan grows as a passer and as we grow as a team,” Wheatley Nieslanik said.

However, the Demons’ fire was extinguished, leaving Rifle with the win over Glenwood, 7-34.

The Demons have started the season in a bit of a pinch, losing their first four straight games to very tough teams. Offensive and defensive tackle, Nolan McPherson, isn’t too worried about it, however.

“We started last year at 1-3. Evan is playing very well and I believe we will get out of this ‘pinch’, which I view as more of a learning period.”

McPherson is referring to the number of seniors lost this last season. The Demons have definitely felt the effects of losing so many star players.

“Last year’s team was very senior laden.” Head coach, Pat Engle, added.

On Friday, the Demons have a home game against the Roosevelt Roughriders, a big and fast team, with a good quarterback. Braeden Saya himself is averaging 120 passing yards and 60 rushing yards per game, not ignoring his fellow, powerful linemen on both sides of the ball.

The Roughriders are 1-3 on the season and ranked 61st in the state.

“From watching film I know they have some dogs upfront, so I truly believe that this game will be set in the trenches,” Heyl said. “The changes we made to our offenses and to our skill players go hand and hand so we will see how it goes.”

Friday’s game will be played at Carbondale High School, because of the dental clinic going on this week at Glenwood Springs High School. As always, it will be broadcasted live by KMTS which you can find on channel 99.1, as well as on their website kmts.com