Well, that was interesting.
In an action-packed Week 1, Class 3A saw both returning state finalists (Pueblo East and Discovery Canyon) fall in devastating fashion, the stateâ€™s top quarterback (Holy Familyâ€™s Stone Samaras) put up another electrifying performance, and the mobile Mavericks of Mead (507 yards rushing, 5 TDs) ran wild over another top-10 team.
But perhaps the story of the week came out of Longmont, where the Trojans kick-started their 2017 campaign with a 31-6 thrashing over the three-time defending state champion from Pueblo East.
Cruz Garcia ran for 104 yards, including a 38-yard scamper, Oakley Dehning tossed a pair of touchdowns, and Austin Hassler snagged a pair of picks to help Longmont claim victory over the Eagles, who had their 11-game winning streak snapped in the process.
And just like that, there was a new king atop the hill, as Longmont claimed the No. 1 spot in the CHSAANow.com coachesâ€™ poll.
Holy Family (2-0), meanwhile, climbed from No. 3 to No. 2 after blitzing Palisade, which was ranked No. 8 at the time, 56-20. Samaras, one of the top passers in the state regardless of classification, had another ho-hum day at the office in which he threw for 384 yards and four touchdowns — all while completing over 70 percent of his passes. The Tigers are idle this week, but have a looming showdown on Sept. 15 with No. 6 Fort Morgan (1-0, at Falcon this week).
Discovery Canyon, which last year didnâ€™t suffer a defeat until the state championship game, dropped its season opener to 4A power Fruita Monument 49-14, and in the process dropped from No. 2 to No. 8 in the rankings. The Thunder will look to turn it around against Brighton at 7 p.m. Friday.
So, what in the wide world of prep sports will happen this week?
Weâ€™re about to find out.
Hereâ€™s how it all shakes down for Week 2, starting with some of the top teams and moving through a handful of other interesting contests to watch.
No. 1 Longmont Â (1-0) at Greeley West (1-0)
When: 6:30 p.m., Thursday
Where: District 6 Stadium, Greeley
The Blitz: Greeley West is a spry Class 4A team which snuck by an equally scrappy Roosevelt (1-1) by a 14-6 final a week ago. Longmont, of course, is the new No. 1 squad in Class 3A looking to make a strong run at the crown. Those type of ingredients are sure to make for a good, old fashioned northern Colorado brouhaha. The Trojans, led by Hassler on the defense, will look to ride the wave of momentum and get off to a 2-0 start for the second time in the last three seasons. The last time they started 2-0? It was 2016, and the Trojans remained unbeaten all the way up until the Class 4A state semifinals.
Vista Peak (0-1) at No. 3 Mead (1-0)
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Mead High School
The Blitz: Statement. Made. The burnt orange-clad Mavericks of Mead proved that theyâ€™re coming for not just a piece of the pie, but the whole dang thing this year. The Mavericks stormed to a dominant 41-14 win on the road over then-No. 9 Lewis-Palmer in Week 1, thanks to a fantastic running performance that saw three players (Tyler Keys, Derek Edwards, Nathan Mackey) eclipse the 100-yard mark. Keys, the dual-threat QB, ran for 106 yards and three scores, while Edwards went for 203 (on just 13 carries) and a pair of touchdowns, and Mackey grinded out 132. Whatâ€™s in store this week? Vista Peak, while 0-1 after a 42-27 opening loss to Erie, poses an aerial threat led by senior QB Derrick Smashum, who still threw for 296 yards and 2 TDs in the Bison loss last week.
Pueblo West (1-0, 4A No. 10) at No. 5 Pueblo East (0-1)
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Dutch Clark Stadium, Pueblo
The Blitz: Pueblo West reclaimed its coveted Pigskin Classic trophy last week against District 70 rival Pueblo County, but heading into city limits to face an angry East team poses a different kind of test. Last year, the Cyclones seemingly had the Eagles dead to rights in their annual East/West Bowl (name unofficial, of course), before an East kick return for a touchdown sparked a thrilling comeback and led them on a quest to go unbeaten in the Steel City — and of course capture a third straight state title. But the Eagles, with a young but playoff-tested core, are coming off a thumping that likely left a bad taste in their beaks. The last time East lost to open up the season (again to Longmont in 2015), they responded with a 49-0 win in Week 2.
Montrose (1-1) at Palisade (1-1)
When: 7 p.m., Thursday
Where: Stocker Stadium, Grand Junction
The Blitz: Sure, Palisade has technically had one away game and one home game. But they havenâ€™t really been on the road at this point in the season. After an opening overtime win in Zero Week against Grand Junction Central and a lopsided Week 1 loss to Holy Family, both at Grand Junctionâ€™s Stocker Stadium, the Bulldogs are hoping that familiarity breeds something closer to conquest than contempt. Last season, Palisade entered this meeting between western slope foes with a 1-1 record — after a close opening win followed by a loss to Holy Family — and it walked out with a 15-13 win. Terrance Williams and the boys will look to get the Bulldogs back on track with a little bit of home cooking and a pinch of deja vu.
Dâ€™Evelyn (0-1) at Green Mountain (0-1)
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Jeffco Stadium, Lakewood
The Blitz: Rivalry game. Homecoming night. Two schools a stoneâ€™s throw from one anotherâ€™s doorstep. It doesnâ€™t get much more hyped than that. These two Jefferson County schools, just about five miles apart, forged a new tradition last year when they meet on the gridiron for the very first time. It was a game in which the Jaguars, ranked No. 4 in Class 2A at the time, escaped by a whisker with a 16-15 win. Friday night, on their homecoming, the Rams of Green Mountain will look to even up the series this time around and pick up an all-important first win of the season in the process.
Kennedy (1-0) at Glenwood Springs (1-0): Denverâ€™s Kennedy High School boasts more than just one of the best nicknames in Class 3A. The Commanders, who unanimously impeached George Washington 42-7 last week at All City Stadium, enter a road contest at Glenwood Springs with a pep in their step and a chance to tie their win total from last season already. Led by Diontaye Wallace (9 rushes, 105 yards, 3 TDs in Week 1), Kennedy will march into Glenwood and face a hungry Demons squad on the western slope, which topped Conifer 20-13 last week.
Weld Central (1-0) at Skyview (1-0): In another early season showdown of the unbeatens, Skyview will host a perennial 2A scrapper in Weld Central with eyes on its first 2-0 start since 2011. The Wolverines zoomed past Centaurus 33-14 in their season opener last season, thanks to a fabulous performance by running back Deyvon Butler (196 yards, 3 TDs). These two also met last season, with Weld Central edging by Skyview 21-18.
No. 4 Silver Creek at Mountain View (Thursday)
No. 6 Fort Morgan at Falcon
No. 7 Palmer Ridge vs. Liberty
No. 8 Discovery Canyon vs. Brighton
No. 9 Erie vs. Eagle Valley
No. 10 Durango vs. Piedra Vista (N.M., Saturday)