Class 2A football rolls into week two with Resurrection Christian holding down the top spot in the rankings followed by Eaton and Classical Academy. Of those three, Eaton may have the most difficult test as they’re challenged by a Sterling club hoping to turn around a disappointing effort in week one. That matchup is one of several on our list to preview for the weekend ahead.
Sterling at #2 Eaton (Thursday)
The Reds begin their 2A title defense against another strong opponent from Northern Colorado. Although the Tigers lost 42-0 to Resurrection Christian, they should still be a competitive team this fall. The biggest hurdle is their opening two-week stretch as Eaton awaits. The Reds get back a few players from their 2020 state championship team. Ethan Florez shined as he ran for 616 yards and 11 touchdowns last fall and should be a key piece in Eaton’s ground game this year. With the Reds not playing last week, it felt right for this game to be moved up to Thursday to get the state champions back in action as quick as possible.
#4 Delta at Salida (Friday)
Delta came out with a strong start to the 2021 season, beating Summit 27-0. Nathan Scharnhorst looked comfortable at the quarterback position as he completed 5 of 8 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 67 yards and a score. The Panthers also looked strong in pass coverage as they hauled in four interceptions with Gavin Brewer getting two of them. Salida was on the receiving end of a 47-0 loss to Buena Vista and struggled to find some offensive rhythm. The hope for the Spartans comes from some younger players as sophomore Christopher Graf ran for 22 yards and Chase Diesslin caught two passes for 30 yards.
#10 University at Manitou Springs (Saturday)
The Mustangs were dealt a humbling loss as they led Rye 20-7 with 1:46 left on the clock before giving up two quick scores. They still have a lot of positives to build on as sophomore quarterback Nathan Gentzel should get better every week and senior Ethan Boren proved himself to a playmaker on both sides of the ball. He had a rushing touchdown, a receiving touchdown and also grabbed an interception. University started its season with an impressive win over Kent Denver. A balanced offensive attack could keep the Mustangs guessing on Saturday. Greg Garza threw for 166 yards while the team as a whole totaled 149 yards on the ground with Garza finding the end zone three times.
#5 Rifle vs Glenwood Springs: Meeting for the third time in five months, the local rivals have immediate goals in front of them. For Glenwood, they would like to avenge last Spring’s semifinal loss to the Bears and build on momentum created with last week’s win over Harrison. Rifle looks to quickly recover from a tough second half in a 35-3 loss to Palisade. The Bears were down just 6-3 at halftime before giving up 29 unanswered second half points. Nick Saldivar ran for 82 yards and Trey Caldwell passed for 111 in the loss. Glenwood Springs had to replace 19 starters from last year’s semifinal club but still downed Harrison 41-13 to end a three-game losing streak to the Panthers.
Remaining Top 10 schedule
#1 Resurrection Christian at Thompson Valley: Eddie Lemos ran for 121 yards and two scores and also tossed a TD pass in leading the Cougars to a dominant 42-0 win over Sterling. The game also marked the debut of the new on-campus field for Resurrection Christian. Thompson Valley could not get on the scoreboard in an opening loss to defending 4A state champion Loveland last week (34-0).
#3 Classical Academy – BYE WEEK: Cade Palmer had just 13 touches in the season opening win over Alamosa (34-6) but still managed 106 yards and two TDs. Sam Guilez also threw for 121 yards and a score to Jake Jennings. Now the Titans prep for a week three matchup with Harrison.
#6 Basalt vs Battle Mountain: Basalt’s defense bent a little last week against Woodland Park but still allowed just one score in a 35-6 victory. The Longhorns allowed 237 yards rushing but intercepted three passes to keep the Panthers out of the end zone except for one play. On offense, Kade Schneider completed six passes with three going for scores. Sam Sherry caught two of those passes and finished with four receptions overall. Battle Mountain came up short to Evergreen (35-6) in week one; allowing 188 yards and four TDs through the air.
#7 Platte Valley – BYE WEEK: The Broncos gave up an early touchdown to 1A power Strasburg last week but kept the Indians off the scoreboard the rest of the way in an 18-7 victory. They now get two weeks to prep for tough back-to-backs against Severance and Eaton in weeks three and four.
#8 Severance at Niwot: 54 points overall is eye popping but it was the Severance defense that led to many of those scores in the Silver Knights opening blowout of D’Evelyn. The Knights defense picked off four passes including two from Caden Donovan and also recovered a fumble in the shutout. 18 players also earned at least one tackle. Niwot was solid in their 21-14 win over 4A Greeley Central. They ran for 249 yards and three scores including 89 yards from Ben Classen, 79 from Thomas Carnagie and 63 from Easten Leatherwood.
#9 Lamar vs Burlington: With almost a completely new roster from last year’s state runner-up finish, the Savages were easy winners over 3A Sierra (40-8). Deyago Vasquez was 50 percent on passing; hitting 7 of 14 attempts for 99 yards and two scores. Austin Thacker and Daniel Mandrey each caught three passes and both scored. Dominic Groomer picked up 11 tackles to pace the defense. Burlington generated just 39 yards rushing in an opening loss to Elizabeth. Junior Garrett Richardson did throw for 123 yards with a TD pass to Mikel Long.
Outside the Rankings of Note
Woodland Park at Elizabeth: Both the Panthers and the Cardinals started their seasons with long road trips, they just had very different results. Woodland Park ventured west to Basalt and got beat 35-6 in Week 1. That shouldn’t discount the good things the Panthers did though. They put together a solid rushing performance as Andrew Harper totaled 132 yards on 10 carries. Aiden Hernandez added 80 rushing yards and the team’s lone touchdown. He also recovered a fumble on defense. The Cardinals made their way out east to Burlington and battled to a 14-6 win. A big key in the victory was the fact that the Cardinals dominated time of possession, keeping the ball for over 35 and a half minutes. That kind of possession offense could help them move to 2-0 this week.
La Junta at Pagosa Springs (Friday): La Junta’s 0-1 record to start the year is very deceiving considering they took on a solid 3A team in Pueblo County. The Tigers kept the Hornets to just 48 yards through the air, but had more trouble stopping the run game. Still, the 24-7 loss was competitive and should give the Tigers hope that they can battle through a tough Tri-Peaks League. Pagosa Springs had the unfortunate task of opening its season against defending 3A champion Durango and was very much overpowered by the Demons. Sophomore Gavin Lindhal was a bright spot for the Pirates as he rushed for 34 yards on three carries. With both teams having something to prove this week, the showdown between Pagosa and La Junta should be one of the more competitive on the 2A slate this week.