Thursday could be one of the biggest days of the year when it comes to impactful Class 5A football matchups. Already with a win over Valor Christian, 5A No. 4 Regis Jesuit heads to the Stutler Bowl to take its shot at defending state champion, No. 1 Cherry Creek.
Grandview, ThunderRidge and Pine Creek are other ranked teams in action on Thursday night with the rest of ranked teams seeing action on Friday.
(4) Regis Jesuit at (1) Cherry Creek (Thursday)
Cherry Creek hasn’t had too much trouble with in-state opponents as it has won its three games by a combined score of 121-51. The Bruins had a great showing in a 62-21 win over Arvada West last week.
Regis Jesuit is coming off a stunning loss to Ralston Valley. After falling behind early, the Raiders pulled ahead 21-10 after the third quarter, but the surging Mustangs overcame that deficit to come away with the win. Adin Chase rushed for 115 yards adn Exander Carroll scored two rushing touchdowns for Regis.
(2) Columbine at Fort Collins
This Columbine team has looked very much like most Columbine teams. The Rebels run the ball and run it well and they win as a result. Josh Snyder ran for a team-high 104 yards in the win over Arapahoe while Marquand Taylor, James Cillessen and Brayden Harvey each found the end zone.
After starting the season with a win over Denver East, the Lambkins have dropped three straight.
(3) Ralston Valley at (6) Valor Christian
Ralston Valley took down its second straight No. 2-ranked opponent last week with a win over Regis Jesuit. The Mustangs had beaten Grandview a week earlier. Logan Madden threw for 253 yards and three touchdowns against Regis and will try to put together another solid performance.
The Eagles are coming off a game that they’d much rather forget. They lost to Liberty (Ariz.) 50-7 and would love to get a bounce back win over Ralston Valley, which is a task much easier said than done. They’ll likely lean heavy on the run game as Trey Stott, Roman Bradley, Ethan Carlson and Jake Isernhagen have rushed for over 100 yards so far this season.
Pomona at (5) Grandview (Thursday)
This looks like it could be a get-right game for the Wolves. They lost to Ralston Valley two weeks ago and escaped the Western Slope with a one-point win over Fruita Monument. Donavon Vernon led the Wolves offensively with 174 rushing yards while Liam Szarka threw for three touchdowns.
Pomona has lost their last three games by an average score of 43-0.
(7) ThunderRidge at Chaparral (Thursday)
The Grizzlies have done a great job at taking care of business the way they’re supposed to. That trend should continue this week over a winless Chaparral team. Cole Hanchett ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s win over Chatfield.
Mullen at (8) Pine Creek
The Eagles were dominant in a road win against Denver East last week. Mason Miller, Jonathan Coar and Luke Zimmerman all eclipsed the 100-yard mark. Coar led the trio with 129 yards and Miller found the end zone three times. Jake Graver hauled in two touchdown passes form Cameron Cooper.
Mullen comes in fresh off their first win of the year, a 44-28 victory over Lakewood.
Legacy at (9) Legend
Despite having several chances to tie the game, Legend suffered its first loss of the season last week as it fell to Ponderosa. The Titans looked good defensively as they held the Mustangs scoreless in the second half, but couldn’t take advantage of opportunities on offense. The team rushed for 189 yards and John Brookhard threw for 128 yards and a touchdown.
Legacy is starting to find its groove as evidenced by a 41-28 win over Mountain Vista last week. Mullen Lerma had a day as he threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for 106 yards.
(10) Rock Canyon at Arapahoe
Like ThunderRidge, Rock Canyon has done a great job at completing the task at hand this season and hopes to maintain that trend on Friday. Aidan Duda is rushing for 164 yards per game and has scored seven touchdowns this season.
Arapahoe has been dealt some competitive losses to Regis Jesuit and Columbine in recent weeks and is looking to bounce back and get back in the win column.