With four games pitting a ranked team against another, the Class 2A pecking order could change quite a bit by weeks end. Two of the four matchups are great rivalries as #1 Kent Denver faces #7 Faith Christian and #8 Platte Valley battles #10 Eaton. The other top ten meetings involve defending state champion #3 La Junta against #9 Alamosa and the top five clash between #4 Classical Academy and #5 Sterling. We’ll take them in order by ranking.
#1 Kent Denver (2-0) vs #7 Faith Christian (1-0)
This series has been lopsided in favor of the Devils of late. Since Faith Christian blanked the Sun Devils 21-0 to win the 2009 state championship, Kent Denver has not lost; winning the last eight. And the last three have resulted in double digit wins including last year’s 27-12 decision. Kent Denver also slammed the Eagles 35-0 in 2015 and 39-7 in 2014.
Neither team has allowed a point this season. Kent has rolled both Prospect Ridge and Eagle Valley winning by a combined 100 points. Faith Christian opened their season with a 9-0 shutout of Resurrection Christian.
27 different players have already recorded a tackle for Kent Denver with just two in double figures. Willy Boatman leads the way with 11 and Will Morland 10. Overall, the Sun Devils have recorded 10 sacks, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Offensively, they’re churning out 255 yards a game on the ground; an attack led by the trio of Charles McKissick (178), Josh McDonald (155) and Seven Lindsey (136). QB Joey Licht has also been sharp connecting on 18 of 29 attempts for 265 yards and four scores.
Faith Christian used three field goals from Garrett Pott in their week one win. The offense gained some yardage in the passing game as Isaiah Kroll threw for 147 yards. He hooked up with Jonah Gardner six times for 81 yards. David Nagy paced the running game with 62 yards but the Eagles averaged less than three yards per carry. Defensively, Ryan Muniz was the top performer with 13 stops including three behind the line of scrimmage.
#3 La Junta (1-0) vs #9 Alamosa (2-0)
La Junta looked in championship form as they blew past Gunnison 42-0 in their opener. That was also the score at halftime as the defending champs made quick of work of the Western Slope visitors. The defense was again stout limiting the Cowboys to minus 13 yards rushing on 17 attempts. The Tigers also forced two turnovers. Kyle Kleck topped the tackle stats with five.
On the other side of the ball, the tandem of Jon Nuschy (109 yards) and Wyatt Buhr (108) was too much for Gunnison as they combined for 217 yards on 17 attempts. Each also scored twice.
Alamosa, which has lost three in a row to La Junta, has also been dominant in early going pounding both Florence (43-0) and Buena Vista (37-7) thus far. Their defense has also been stingy against the run holding Florence to minus 24 yards in zero week.
Conversely, the Moose have been able to move the football ground getting 597 yards through two games. Reis Martinez tops the individual yardage with 286 followed by Ben Wuckert with 115 and Brandon Madril 104. That attack has also opened space downfield and QB John Lujan has thrown for 253 yards and two scores on just 16 completions.
#4 Classical Academy (1-0) vs #5 Sterling (2-0)
A win over Classical Academy gives Sterling a check mark on one of their early goals this season. A year ago, the Tigers opened 0-3 out of the gate but still rallied for a league crown and playoff berth. Playing the same schedule this year, Sterling Coach Rob Busmente told us on the Scoreboard Show last Friday his kids wanted to open this season 3-0. With wins over Resurrection Christian (33-8) and D’Evelyn (42-28), they’re two-thirds of the way there. Now they must avenge last year’s 44-21 loss to Classical Academy to achieve the goal.
It won’t be easy. Classical Academy looked strong in a season opening 43-6 beatdown of 3A Sierra. Cade Bethany completed five of eight passes for 71 yards and a touchdown and added 78 yards and two touchdowns on just two rushing attempts. Brayden Luft also turned in big plays; totaling 115 yards rushing and two scores on eight carries.
Sterling QB Bodie Hume is already closing in on 500 yards passing as he threw for 198 yards vs Resurrection Christian and added 248 yards in last week’s win over D’Evelyn. Isaac Harris caught six passes and Christian Rose five against the Jaguars and both went over 100 yards. Zach Fullmer also took over the main running duties and collected 83 yards on 21 carries.
If there is a concern for Sterling, it’s on the defensive side. They allowed 377 yards passing and two touchdowns to D’Evelyn last week. The Jags also managed 134 yards on the ground.
#8 Platte Valley (1-0) vs #10 Eaton (1-0)
Platte Valley has won five straight over Eaton with the Reds last tasting victory in 2012. That year, the Reds won the regular season battle 49-30 and Platte Valley returned the favor in the playoffs (23-21). That playoff loss was the last high school game for Reds standout Austin Ekeler who made the roster of the San Diego Chargers this week as an NFL free agent.
Both teams scored 40 plus point victories in season openers last week. Platte Valley whipped Lutheran 49-7 and Eaton hammered Lamar 54-6.
The Broncos have not posted stats on MaxPreps but in their game recap, the Greeley Tribune reported that Trevon Wehrman threw for 132 yards and ran for 139. Ernesto Rios added 73 yards rushing and Josh Yancey 72.
Eaton jumped to a 35-0 lead on Lamar at intermission and got a chance to rest most of their starting lineup in the second half. The Reds ran for 321 yards including 178 from Jake Sandau and 80 from Travis Cunningham. Each carried the ball just eight times and helped the offense average ten yards per carry. Trenton Kramer paced the defensive unit with a dozen tackles.
Friday’s game marks the continuance of a strong early schedule for both clubs. Platte Valley has Resurrection Christian and D’Evelyn over the following two weeks. Eaton meets Brush and Sterling in non-league games against former Patriot league rivals.
#2 Bayfield at Aztec NM
#6 Delta vs Moffat County
#2 Bayfield and #6 Delta will meet later in the season in a game that could determine the Intermountain crown again but they’re the only two ranked teams in 2A to face unranked opponents this week. The Wolverines head south to Aztec NM and the Panthers remain home against Moffat County.
Coach Gary Heide’s club has outscored the first two opponents 91-0. QB Hayden Farmer completed eight passes for 178 yards against Bloomfield NM last Saturday and six of them of went for touchdowns. Five different receivers caught scoring passes including two for Dax Snooks. The Wolverines overall totaled over 400 yards on offense.
Delta has had two weeks to work out the kinks following a hard to accept 3-0 overtime loss at Durango in zero week. The Panthers had just 150 yards of offense but should be much better after two more weeks of work. The defense was very good as expected getting five sacks including three from Jacob Wear.
Moffat County recovered from a zero-week loss against Rawlins WY to stuff Ridgeview Academy 25-8 last week. They’re hoping to avenge last year’s 50-13 loss.
More Games of Note
Outside the rankings, Basalt welcomes in #10 Grand Valley from Class 1A. The Longhorns, like Delta, have had two weeks to work on fixes following their zero-week loss to Rifle. Most of the concerns are on the defensive side where the Longhorns gave up 419 yards rushing. And that unit now faces multi-talented Cardinals QB Jeff Holbrook. The senior ran and threw for over 100 yards in last week’s win over Vail Christian. He reached triple figures in both categories only once last season but matched that effort in week one.
Valley and Manitou Springs is a battle of two teams who won season openers. Valley rolled Pinnacle 50-0 and Manitou Springs topped in-city rival St Mary’s 14-7.
Another game of note has Aspen on the road to 1A Cedaredge. The Skiers have already matched their win total of 2016 totaling 124 points in blowouts of Middle Park (80-50) and Arvada (44-0). QB RJ Peshak has 462 yards and six touchdowns through the air to go along with 328 yards and seven scores on the ground. He leads the Skiers in both categories.
Cedaredge is coming off a 31-8 loss to Monte Vista in week one. The Bruins managed only 165 yards of total offense and surrendered 259 yards rushing in the loss.