When scouring the schedule for week five of Class 4A football, it wasn’t difficult to settle on the top game of the week as Chatfield heads to Pine Creek. Both clubs have played strong schedules but they enter the midway point of the season at 4-0 with the Eagles ranked second and Chargers fourth. With both teams are expected to easily make the playoff bracket, the outcome will still factor heavily into seeding where teams are placed.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY PINE CREEK HIGH SCHOOL
Chatfield has beaten Longmont, Brighton, Fountain Fort Carson and Fruita Monument this year; outscoring them 143-84. Their latest win came out west as the Chargers stuffed Fruita Monument 28-7. Stats for both teams were similar but the difference was turnovers as the Chargers forced five but committed just one. Turnovers have played an important role in the Chargers 4-0 start as they’ve created 12 including 10 interceptions.
Coach Bret McGatlin’s defense also limited Fruita to just 185 yards rushing and less than four yards per carry. Caden Logan had 11 tackles and Elijah Rodriguez 10. Blake Cowgill had two of the four interceptions.
On offense, Drew Rohlman caught two passes for 59 yards and both went for touchdowns.
Pine Creek’s defense has played a key role in their 4-0 start. The Eagles opened the season with two shutouts and then allowed just seven points to Discovery Canyon in last week’s win. On the season, Coach Todd Miller’s club has just six turnovers but has also produced 12 sacks and 51 tackles for loss. Josiah Roy is the key offensively as the junior quarterback has been involved with 15 touchdowns. Seven have come in the passing game where he’s connected on 31 of 47 attempts for 546 yards.
Denver South (3-1) has exploded offensively since an opening 31-28 loss to Mesa Ridge. In the three games since, the Ravens have tallied 153 points in wins over Adams City, Broomfield and Wheat Ridge. Now they take the offense on the road to challenge Standley Lake (2-2). The Gators are 2-2 and have dropped two straight since the 2-0 start.
QB Joseph Capra triggers the Ravens offense. Clicking on 62 percent of his passes, Capra has already tossed 15 touchdown passes and enters week five with 900 yards through the air. Rashad Caldwell (8) and Dominic McGath (5) have combined for 13 of those 15 scores. Caldwell leads the Ravens with 23 receptions for 521 yards; McGath sits at 12 for 260.
Standley Lake counters with an offense scoring 23 points a game. They have the ability to get more as evidenced by a 41-0 rout of Centaurus in their opening game. Fulton Jackson directs the offense with 443 yards and five TDs passing; plus he’s added another 147 yards and a sixth touchdown on the ground.
Jackson is a sophomore and he leads a young group that at times, can be inconsistent. One of those periods happened last week as the Gators committed five turnovers in a 50-20 loss to Ponderosa.
Ponderosa (3-1) returned two of the interceptions for scores and also blocked a punt as they jumped to an early 23-0 lead. It was the Mustangs third straight win and it got them back into the top ten this week. They seek a fourth consecutive victory at home this week in hosting Vista Peak (3-1).
Lyam Edwards and Ethan Rodriguez earned the defensive touchdowns last week and Brendyn Herrick blocked the punt. Zac Pekarek led the defense with 11 tackles and also picked up 79 yards rushing with two scores on offense. KJ Bricker also scored twice in the run game as well.
Vista Peak enters off their first loss of the season as they fell to Heritage in overtime (27-26). Despite the loss, there were positives for the Bison as they rallied from a 20-6 deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime. They were successful on a two point conversion in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 20 but misfired on a second attempt in the first overtime.
Jordy Ruiz threw for 244 yards and four touchdowns in the loss. His TD passes went to four different players with Christopher Marquez and Anthony Sotel-Lares each catching five balls. They were held to 69 yards rushing and hope to be more effective in that area against Ponderosa this week.
In looking at the schedule, a win this week sets the Bison up for an 8-1 record heading into their season finale with Denver South. That contest, well down the road, should determine the league championship and playoff berth.
Silver Creek (3-1) and Longmont (1-3) square off this week with the city rivals both coming off frustrating losses in week four. Silver Creek let a fourth quarter lead slip away in a loss to Skyline while Longmont did not have a full roster in the 50-20 setback to Erie. Over a dozen players were not in uniform, including standout QB Keegan Patterson and and Coach Doug Johnson was not on the sideline due to COVID protocols.
Now they look to bounce back and with the rivalry game on tap, emotions should not be an issue. Silver Creek generated just 16 yards rushing last week and will have to be more effective on offense to keep up with the high scoring Trojans. With Patterson at the helm in the first three games, the Trojans scored 103 points with 960 yards passing and 293 on the ground.
With their win over Silver Creek last week, Skyline (3-1) has the inside track to the Longmont city championship but Erie actually has a chance to earn that honor. As mentioned, they took out Longmont last week; face Silver Creek this week, and then open league play against Silver Creek next week. Wins in all three should earn them the city trophy.
Getting by Skyline won’t be easy. The Falcons moved the ball very well on offense last week but had trouble getting across the goal line until the fourth quarter. They trailed 14-3 but two late scores pushed them to the 17-14 win. It was a nice bounce back from the tough loss to Golden in week three where they had to play just a few days after losing a teammate.
Overall the Falcons generated 273 yards on the ground all came from the combination of Wynn Drewes (144) and Logan Miller (129). Both also scored a touchdown. The defense also picked off three passes including two from Giancarlo Barron. Maddox Leggett registered six tackles including two for loss.
Erie (4-0) has won each game by at least 18 points but as mentioned, last week’s 30 point margin was misleading. Regardless, this is a good football team that has many weapons on offense. Much of the attention is given to sophomore QB Blake Barnett, but last week Caleb Theisen led the way with 184 yards rushing and a touchdown. Barnett also played a role with four combined scores and 139 total yards.
Across the top 10, two 4A teams step up to face 5A opponents as #1 Palmer Ridge meets Lakewood and #9 Fountain Fort Carson faces Highlands Ranch. Lakewood may be the tougher out as they’re 3-1 and used a long fourth quarter drive to stun Eaglecrest last week.
#3 Dakota Ridge is favored at Brighton. The Eagles are 3-0 in Colorado with each win coming by at least 28 points. #5 Montrose looks to finish off a perfect 5-0 non-conference schedule against the West as they are expected to roll past Grand Junction. The Indians have already beaten Grand Junction Central, Fruita Monument, Durango and Palisade on that side of the state.
Hard to count how many big games #6 Loveland and Broomfield have played over the years but they collide in non-league play on Friday. Both are coming much needed wins; the Red Wolves out-ran Windsor in a tough 14-7 win last week while the Eagles picked up win number one over Monarch (28-7).
#8 Golden should get to 5-0 against winless Widefield ()-3). Then the Demons will get two weeks of rest before starting the Jeffco gauntlet where they battle Standley Lake, Chatfield, Dakota Ridge and Bear Creek over the final five weeks.
CLASS 4A – TOP 10 SCHEDULE
#1 Palmer Ridge at Lakewood
#2 Pine Creek vs #4 Chatfield
#3 Dakota Ridge at Brighton
#5 Montrose vs Grand Junction
#6 Loveland at Broomfield
#7 Erie vs Skyline
#8 Golden at Widefield
#9 Fountain Fort Carson vs Highlands Ranch
#10 Ponderosa vs Vista Peak (THURS)