Three top 10 matchups can be found in Class 2A this week and two of them could end up determining the best record in two conferences. #2 Delta and #8 Woodland Park square off for the likely top spot in the Western division while #3 Sterling can move very close to the best mark in the Patriot East as they meet #5 Platte Valley. The third battle pits #9 University and #10 Severance as both clubs continue working to a potential post-season bid. PHOTO IS PROVIDED BY DANIELLE BYNUM.
Delta and Woodland Park have the same mascot (Panthers), same record (2-0) and each will be favored in their final three games so the matchup should determine the top two positions in the West. The winner in our mind will basically clinch a post-season berth. Experience in this type of games is heavily tilted to Delta. They’re coming off a state championship appearance last year while Woodland Park has not made the playoffs since 2000.
Nolan Bynum and Colbi Braslin connected five times for 96 yards and a touchdown in Delta’s 31-21 win over #9 University last week. Bynum finished with 203 yards and his second scoring toss went to Hunter Goff. The senior QB also ran for a touchdown as did Timothy Horn. They led the Bulldogs 31-7 before giving up a couple of late scores.
On defense, the Panthers forced three turnovers including two picks from Jason Timbreza. Brandon Cano registered two sacks.
Braden Roskam picked up 155 yards and averaged over seven yards per carry in Woodland Park’s 34-0 shutout of Elizabeth. It was a good follow-up to their opening win over Alamosa (21-13). Colin Kucera (113) and Mason Pyles (106) both saw time at quarterback and combined for 219 yards and three scores. Bryson Cox caught six passes and Andrew Harper three. Harper finished with 108 yards including a 70 yard TD reception.
The annual clash between Sterling and Platte Valley always plays a major role in the Patriot East and this year is no different. The Tigers in fact move very close to wrapping up the top spot with a win since they’ve also already beaten Brush and Eaton. Platte Valley has not faced either the Beetdiggers or Reds so a win this week is a major step to first place but there will still be work for them to do.
Tucker Myers was the deciding factor in Sterling’s 14-10 win over Eaton last week. He caught a touchdown pass on offense and also returned an interception 55 yards for a second score. He finished with seven catches for 73 yards.
Kaeden Sheets was also important. He completed 17 of 31 passes for 109 yards in his first varsity start. Peyton Rose added six catches and Riley Bornhoft ran for 112 yards. Rose led the defense with 16 tackles and Evan Whitman had 10.
Platte Valley has scored exactly 34 points in each of their wins; beating Valley in week one and Weld Central last week. They led the Rebels 14-6 after three quarters and then added 20 points over the final 12 minutes. The Broncos defense limited Weld Central to just 18 yards passing but will face a stronger passing game this week.
On their way to the state championship last year, Sterling dropped Platte Valley 24-6. Platte Valley made the state finals two years ago and edged the Tigers 31-28 that season. Overall, the rivals have split their last four meetings.
Despite the road loss at Delta last Friday, University actually moved up one spot in the rankings this week to number nine. They face another important game this week as they host #10 Severance on Thursday. The Bulldogs will get a boost in RPI by playing Delta last week but with Resurrection Christian still left on the schedule, they may need a win this week to break into the playoff bracket.
In last week’s loss, Caden Measner ran for 138 yards and a touchdown and also tied for team high honors with five catches. He also was on the receiving end of a scoring pass from Greg Garza who threw for 180 yards. Bryce Stang topped the defense with eight tackles.
Severance (2-0) is playing just the third varsity game in school history. No seniors are on the roster and they’ve played a ton of people over their first two games. They have not been tested at all; beating Arvada 39-0 and Alameda 54-0. This game, win or lose, will give them a better indication of where their program stands just three games in.
The Whistle Game between #4 Lamar and La Junta is again important. A win by Lamar gets the Savages to 3-0 and sets up a huge showdown with #6 Pagosa Springs next week. La Junta was taken out by Pueblo County (38-7) last Friday so they need to win to avoid a 1-2 start.
Lamar has the advantage in a high scoring game as they’ve netted 41 points in each win this season; beating Elizabeth in week one and Bayfield in week two. The Savages rush for 280 yards and pass for 173 a game. Damian Ramos (219), Zane Rankin (172) and Jesus Reyes (161) spearhead the running game. Zane has tossed four touchdown passes including three to Blake Buxton who leads the clubs with eight catches.
The defense, with 10 turnovers in two games, has also turned in big plays. Ramos has three interceptions and Rankin two. Four different players have also recovered a fumble.
La Junta’s offense has produced just two touchdowns in two games. But they’ve added two more on kickoff returns; both coming in the week one win at Englewood. The defense though struggled in giving up 343 yards rushing and 164 passing to Pueblo County last week.
Pagosa Springs will watch the Whistle Game with interest but the Pirates must also focus on a Bayfield team that is much better than their 0-2 record. The Wolverines have played arguably the most difficult schedule in 2A with losses to #2 Delta and #4 Lamar. This week marks their third straight top six opponent. Pagosa Springs has rolled past Middle Park and Alamosa to open the season; getting 421 yards rushing from Dylan Tressler and 219 from Grant Aucoin. The two have combined for 10 touchdowns.
Resurrection Christian was scheduled to play Alameda this week but the Pirates pulled out due to COVID. Now the top ranked Cougars will visit Englewood instead. Resurrection Christian needs an opponent to push them a bit after outscoring D’Evelyn and Arvada 110-0. Both games were decided quickly as the Cougars led D’Evelyn 40-0 at halftime and Arvada 50-0.
Englewood lost their season opener to La Junta and did not play last week. As mentioned, they gave up two kickoff returns for TD’s against La Junta.
#7 Eaton should bounce back from the loss to Sterling as they host winless Fort Lupton. The Reds look to stay healthy in this one ahead of a closing schedule that includes games with Brush, Severance and Platte Valley. Those three clubs are a combined 5-1.
Outside the rankings, Valley (1-1) looks to stay in the playoff picture with a win over Weld Central (0-2). The Viking gave coach Scott Leffler his first win last week as they edged D’Evelyn 31-25. The defense forced four turnovers but also surrendered 429 yards and four touchdowns through the air. Pass defense though may not be a concern this week as they face a Rebels offense that has run the football 88 times in two games compared to just 14 pass attempts.