3A football semifinals: No. 4 Rifle and No. 2 TCA to meet for state crown

More photos. (Alan Versaw)

A showdown is set for the Season C Class 3A football title as Rifle and The Classical Academy will meet at the CSU-Pueblo Thunderbowl on Saturday.

Each team battled through tough semifinal matchups but emerged victorious and will advance to next weekend. The 3A football title game is set to kickoff on Saturday at 2 p.m.

(4) Rifle 20, (1) Glenwood Springs 17 (OT)

If the Western Slope teams are in the habit of playing in exciting football games, next week will be a treat for the fans as the CSU-Pueblo Thunderbowl. Top-seeded Glenwood Springs had every bit of hope of reaching the 3A title game, but had to get through a talented and well-coached Rifle team.

It turned out to be too tough a task.

The Demons fell behind 7-0 in the first quarter, but quickly tied the game. The two teams traded touchdowns in the second quarter and then the defenses clamped down in the second half as neither team was able to break the tie. Regulation ended with the two teams still locked in a 14-14 stalemate.

The Rifle defense held Glenwood to just a field goal attempt and then the offense rewarded the effort by scoring a quick touchdown to send the Bears to Pueblo next Saturday.

It was a satisfying win for the Bears after they had lost to Glenwood 22-15 back on April 16. The Bears were ranked No. 1 in the state at the time and the Demons propelled themselves into that position after that win. But with the Bears getting even, they maintain a chance to end the season as a champion, the definitive accomplishment of a No. 1 team.

(2) The Classical Academy 39, (6) Sand Creek 13

Sand Creek took an early lead on a fumble recovery from Greg Garnett, but TCA's explosive offense eventually showed up and allowed the Titans to take control.

Cade Palmer rushed for three touchdowns and helped TCA build a 32-13 lead early in the fourth quarter. TCA eventually added another score to complete the win.

It was an odd feeling for the Titans as they hadn't trailed at any point this season and found themselves playing from behind after the first quarter.

They went 4-0 in the regular season and and gave up just 19 total points in that span. Sand Creek officially gave the Titans their toughest challenge of the season. The Scorpions were ahead after the first and they scored more points than any other opponent that TCA has faced this season.