With every week, league play inches a little bit closer which means that playoff implications are getting higher with each football game getting played.
That is certainly the case as games are set to get underway for Week 5 of the high school football season. There were several notable games last week that produced significant results as teams are set to face their league opponents.
Eaton, Resurrection Christian, TCA, Basalt, Severance and Moffat County all remain undefeated heading into this week’s slate of games which puts them all well inside the CHSAANow.com top 10 rankings. Now the task is to remain there as stakes get higher with every week.
PHOTO BY DWIGHT SIVERSON
As always, there are several key games to watch:
- Moffat County at Kennedy
- Faith Christian at Eaton
- Holy Family at Resurrection Christian
- Prospect Ridge at The Academy
- Manitou Springs at Alamosa
- Centauri at Bayfield
Starting at the top of the list, Moffat County returns after a bye week and plans to continue its hot start to the year. Junior Evan Atkin has established himself as one of the top backs in the classification as he’s rushed for 389 yards and eight touchdowns already this year.
Two weeks ago, against an out-of-state opponent, he broke out for 205 yards and two scores. That followed up a 108-yard, two touchdown performance against 3A’s Steamboat Springs.
If the Bulldogs can maintain the ground attack, they stand a great chance to move to 4-0.
Kennedy has seen some good days and bad days already this season. The Commanders suffered big losses to Adams City and Pueblo Central but also looked strong in wins over Alameda and Summit.
Quarterback Isaac Sisneros isn’t shy when it comes to throwing the ball around the yard as he has thrown for over 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns in just four games this season. Ron Gallegos III has emerged as one of his favorite targets with 349 yards and seven touchdowns. The junior has also accounted for two turnovers, one from an interception and the other from a recovered fumble.
Last week was more of the same story as Eaton rolled to a 32-0 win over Platte Valley to solidify its status as the top team in the state.
Walker Martin completed just four passes all game, but two of them went for touchdowns. Ethan Florez ran for 77 yards while Martin and Ryan Dirksen scored rushing touchdowns to give the Reds a balanced offensive attack. Three sacks and three turnovers from the Eaton defense showed that the top team in the state is equally as strong on both sides of the ball.
Faith Christian ran into a dominant Rifle team that had no interest in letting the Eagles get comfortable. Noah Sederwall had a decent game, throwing for 244 yards and a touchdown, but without a rushing attack, the Eagles had no shot. Rifle contained Faith Christian to 45 total rushing yards, more than half the production they had been seeing to that point. The easiest way for Eaton to move to 4-0 is to follow that same formula and contain the Eagles’ ground game.
Resurrection Christian will get its biggest test of the season by hosting a top-10 3A team in Holy Family. The No. 8 Tigers bounced back from a big loss to Roosevelt to down Green Mountain 28-6. They put together a solid ground effort as Jacob Lawver rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown. The senior also hauled an interception, one of two for the defense. Overall, the Tigers forced four turnovers in the game which will always give a team a chance to win, even if the offense isn’t particularly explosive on a given day.
In just two games, the Cougars have certainly been impressive. The running attack is what will power them to another playoff appearance as Eddie Lemos is averaging over 10 yards per carry. He’s found the end zone seven times in the two wins and also recorded six tackles on defense. Like last year, the Cougars have been tough to score on and haven’t surrendered a point all season.
The only problem facing them this week is the potential impact having a three-week layoff could have. The Cougars haven’t played a game since Sept. 2 and there is no telling if they’re be rested or rusty.
The Academy is coming off its biggest win of the year, beating Kent Denver 42-21. Isaiah Eliot had another outstanding game, throwing for 290 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 99 yards and another score. Even if Kent is having a down year, Scott Yates has always been a tough coach to trip up.
The Wildcats have been an explosive team and they showed it again by totaling nearly 600 yards of offense in the game. Slowing them down will be a daunting task for Prospect Ridge Academy. The Miners have struggled at times this season, but a 64-0 win at Sheridan showed that they have the ability to score a lot of points. Tyler Beveridge threw for three touchdowns that day and was one of four players to grab an interception on defense.
The Miners need to be opportunistic defensively to beat the Wildcats and it wouldn’t hurt to put together some long, sustained drives on offense to hold Eliot at bay.
A thrilling, last-second win over Salida gave Manitou Springs its first win of the year. It could be a turning point for the Mustangs as they switched Tate Christian from wide receiver to quarterback and the Mustangs looked much more dynamic offensively than they had in the first two weeks of the year.
A bye last week gave them more time to get Christian settled into his new role where he and other playmakers on offense in Tyler Maloney and Ethan Boren will try to get the Mustangs back to .500 on the year.
To get there, they’ll have to get by Alamosa. The Mean Moose lost their opener to TCA but looked good in wins over Monte Vista and La Junta.
Although they try to remain balanced, the Mean Moose have been more successful taking to the air. Kasey Jones has thrown for 688 yards and six touchdowns in their three games. Kade Jones has been just as good on the defensive side of the ball, picking off two passes and returning them both for touchdowns.
Bayfield is set to face just its second in-state opponent this season in Centauri. The Wolverines dropped their opener to San Juan in Utah before bouncing back to beat Englewood and Aztec (NM).
Cael Schaefer has rushed for 241 yards on the year, averaging 7.5 yards per carry and has scored five of their six touchdowns. Quarterback Isaac Ross has balanced that attack with a steady passing game as he’s thrown for 537 yards and four touchdowns. They’ll get a good challenge in Centauri who looks intent on contending for the 1A state championship.
Running back Mason Claunch picked up right where he left off in 2020 as he’s already rushed for over 500 yards and 10 touchdowns. That includes a big win over Strasburg where he broke for 200 rushing yards and a pair of scores.
IF the Wolverines can contain Claunch and hang with Centauri, they’ll start getting the respect they routinely got just a few years ago when they won two titles in three years.
CLASS 2A – TOP 10 SCHEDULE
#1 Eaton vs Faith Christian
#2 Resurrection vs #8 Holy Family (3A)
#3 Classical Academy at Mitchell (SAT)
#4 Basalt – BYE
#5 Severance – BYE
#6 Delta – BYE
#7 Moffat County at Kennedy
#8 University – BYE
#9 Rifle – BYE
#10 Platte Valley at Berthoud