There’s just one game on the 2A football slate this week featuring Top 10 team facing off. That’s on Saturday when #9 Eaton makes the trip to #10 D’Evelyn. The meeting of #6 Kent Denver and Faith Christian should also be considered a top 10 battle even though the Eagles were dropped from the rankings following an opening loss to Resurrection Christian. Despite that decision, Faith Christian is still (in our thoughts) among the best 10 teams in Class 2A.
Eaton and D’Evelyn both posted wins in their openers. The Reds outscored Sterling 37-25 and the Jags used a last-minute field goal to get by Classical Academy 22-20. Both teams gained wins despite quarterback starting their first ever varsity games.
The Reds displayed excellent offensive balance as they ran for 135 yards and threw for 138. Sophomore QB Scott Grable completed 11 of 15 attempts with two touchdowns. Ben Faust and Javi Hernandez were on the receiving end of the scoring passes. Judson Church also caught five passes for 75 yards.
Grable was also a factor in the ground game; finishing with 33 yards and a touchdown. Gage Butler, another sophomore, led the charge with 77 yards and he also reached the end zone.
Defensively on Saturday, the Reds must slow down the passing attack of D’Evelyn. Behind sophomore Evan Willis, the Jags again displayed a spread attack with big-play ability. Willis attempted 32 passes and completed 19 for 310 yards and two touchdowns.
Luca McIntyre, who has moved outside after leading the Jags in rushing last year, was his top target as the senior caught five passes for 182 yards and two scores including an 80-yard strike. Thomas Lowry also had nine receptions for 101 yards. Defensively, the Jags used a lot of new faces and 17 players recorded at least one tackle.
After falling to Eaton and D’Evelyn last week, Sterling and Classical Academy ironically match up in week three. The two traditional playoff visitors are a combined 0-3 on the young season so this game becomes very important for future RPI standings. Both clubs have been in this position before and each has gone on to make the playoffs and get wins once there.
Despite the 0-2 start, Sterling experienced growth on the offensive end last week. They were held to just three points in an opening loss to Resurrection Christian but generated 25 points vs Eaton.
Classical Academy also moved the football well against D’Evelyn. They totaled 253 yards rushing including 87 from Ethan Boyles and 84 from Zach Gray. Boyles also threw for 128 yards (10-20) and a touchdown in his first varsity start at QB.
There are more concerns defensively for the Titans as they surrendered 310 yards passing and 103 on the ground in the loss to D’Evelyn.
Regardless of ranking and time of season, the matchup between Kent Denver and Faith Christian always draws interest. Kent Denver has dominated the series of late as they will shoot for a tenth straight win against their arch-rivals on Friday. Faith Christian has not beaten Kent Denver since a 21-0 shutout in the 2009 state championship. The Sun Devils have won all nine games since with only two decided by single digits. The Sun Devils won in 2013 28-23 and posted a 31-22 win in the 2011 playoffs.
Friday’s game begins a very important two game stretch for the Sun Devils as they also battle #2 La Junta on the road in week four. Other than these next two games, Coach Scott Yates’ club may not be challenged. They weren’t in week one as they blew past Grand Valley 49-6. They ran for 260 yards on just 25 attempts including 156 yards from Will Morland on just six carries. He also scored three times.
Faith could not muster much offense in the loss to Resurrection Christian. They ran for just 27 yards on 17 attempts and QB Isaiah Kroll hit just six of 19 attempts for 70 yards. The Eagles offense had the ball for just 36 plays compared to 57 for the Cougars and that ratio must reverse against Kent Denver this week.
#2 La Junta survived an upset bid against Pagosa Springs last week so Ty Buderus and the Tiger coaching staff will probably have an easier time keeping the team focused on Alamosa this week instead of looking ahead to Kent Denver. La Junta trailed Pagosa at halftime last week (14-12) but used two second half touchdowns to gain the win. Alamosa was also strong in their 24-0 shutout of Monte Vista and deserves the full attention of the Tigers.
Senior Jon Nuschy sparked the comeback last week as he led the Tigers in rushing (159 yards), passing (45) and tackles (11). He tossed touchdown passes to Kody Direzza and Riley Romero and also scored once on the ground. The running game also earned support from Ryan Malden (36 yards) and Antonio Chavez (29). Kyle Keck and Francisco Naputi provided 10 tackles apiece defensively.
Alamosa surrendered just 97 yards rushing to Monte Vista and 24 through the air. Andres Mondragon led the charge with seven tackles. Alex Stokes had six stops and recovered a fumble.
Offensively, the Moose have some improvements to make. Chad Jackson ran for 104 yards on 10 carries but the rest of the running game was held in reverse (-12 yards). The Moose threw for 96 yards including 47 on three catches from Jackson.
Top ranked Bayfield waits until Saturday to seek a third straight win. They host Aspen this weekend. The Skiers (1-0) have had two weeks to prep after outscoring Meeker 38-26 in their opener back on August 24th.
The key for Aspen is protecting QB Tyler Ward. He threw five touchdown passes to Noah Hollander in the Meeker win but will likely face relentless pressure from the always aggressive Bayfield defense. The Wolverines have given up just 13 combined points in wins over Farmington NM and San Juan UT. They limited San Juan to just 44 yards rushing on 29 attempts.
Bayfield has won 15 straight games and 22 of their last 23. They however must avoid looking ahead to a huge rivalry game with Durango in week four.
#4 Resurrection Christian has a bye this week and will rest with a 2-0 record awaiting a game with Classical Academy on September 15th. Three other ranked clubs are in action with #5 Rifle and #7 Basalt both on the road. The Bears challenge Grand Valley in Parachute and the Longhorns are at 3A Battle Mountain. #3 Platte Valley is also in action at home against Elizabeth.
Rifle rolled Eagle Valley 49-7 last week churning out 317 yards rushing. Tanner Vines ran for over 2,000 yards as a junior and opened his final campaign with 146 yards. Levi Warfel added an even 100. QB Hunter Stutsman was just 3-4 passing but all three completions went for scores covering 66 yards. Warfel caught one scoring pass. The other two went to Dalton Pruett and Kenny Tlaxcala.
Grand Valley is looking to bounce back from the lopsided loss at Kent Denver. But after giving up 260 yards rushing to the Devils, they may not be a good matchup for the run dominated Rifle attack.
Basalt blanked Olathe 28-0 in their opener; scoring 21 second quarter points to take command. Jake Reardon, with 137 yards rushing and a touchdown, led the offense. QB Trevor Reuss reached the end zone twice and rushed for 49 yards. He threw for 90 yards and a third score.
Battle Mountain has beaten Middle Park (14-7) and Alameda (50-8) for their 2-0 start. The running game is averaging 208 yards per game with Garrett Anderson topping the individual charts. He has 109 yards and two scores in the two victories.
Berthoud is the common opponent for Platte Valley and Elizabeth. Comparative scores, which has gotten us in the trouble many times in the past, heavily favor the Broncos. They blanked Berthoud 16-0 in week one while the Cardinals lost to the Spartans (49-14) just last week.
#8 Bennett renews their long-standing rivalry with #1 Strasburg (1A) this week. We will preview that contest as part of our 1A update.
Outside the rankings, Delta heads to Salida in a matchup of early unbeaten clubs. But for both team, the game represents their most difficult challenge to date. Delta rolled Thornton 42-0 in their opener last week while Salida has made quick work of both Summit (34-0) and Manitou Springs (56-7).
Against Manitou Springs, Coach Matt Luttrell’s club opened a 42-0 halftime lead and averaged 10.9 yards per carry on offense. Vince Deleo and Eli Smith each scored twice. Defensively, the Spartans created five turnovers with Hunter Clark and Jordan Reed both intercepting a pass and recovering a fumble.
Delta QB Nolan Bynum threw four touchdown passes against Thornton. He finished 12 of 16 for 204 yards in his first career start. Skyler Kraai caught three of the scoring passes and the fourth TD went to Hunter Hughes. The Delta defense gave up just 122 yards of offense and only 30 through the air.