If sophomore Anthony (Deuce) Roberson keeps playing like he did Saturday afternoon, Palmer Ridge's football team will be hard to stop this postseason.
The multi-purpose player accounted for four touchdowns — two on defense, two on offense — in another dominant win for the No. 2 Bears, this time 49-7 over host No. 10 Rifle in the Class 3A quarterfinals.
For Roberson, he has two more seasons left to play. Not to mention at least one more game this year.
Saturday’s victory advanced Palmer Ridge (12-0) to the semifinals against No. 6 Palisade (10-2). So far, the Bears have outscored teams 97-20 in the playoffs — and it doesn’t look like they plan on slowing down anytime soon.
“We feel like we like our chances against anybody,” Bears coach Tom Pulford said, adding that their next opponent is a good, solid team. “We need to get in good practices next week.”
That focus helped the Bears to the program's first undefeated regular season.
Palmer Ridge was unstoppable despite traveling more than 230 miles to play Rifle, which finished 10-3. After the Bears jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the second quarter, Pulford said he felt like his team had the momentum.
“We felt the surge,” he said. “We felt like it was our game to lose at that point.”
Quarterback Ty Evans, an Arkansas commit, started off the game with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Roberson. That was followed by a 2-yard run from Raef Ruel before Evans struck again, this time with a short TD run.
Then, Roberson had perhaps the Bears' most exciting moment with about two minutes left in the second quarter. He sacked the Rifle quarterback, stripped the ball and scooped it up for a 50-yard fumble return for a TD.
Evans wrapped up the rally with an 18-yard pass to Roberson to put the Bears well ahead 35-0 at halftime.
Palmer Ridge scored twice more in the third, thanks to a 30-yard TD run by Anderson Carpenter and a 42-yard interception return TD by Roberson.
Rifle scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
But by then, the Bears had secured their state semifinals spot.