By the time you read this sentence, Doherty may have scored. Again.
The Spartans, now 3-0, rank first in Class 5A total points (173 points). The next-best big-school team is Poudre, which has 159 points and the Impalas have played a fourth game.
“Yeah, it’s fun,” head coach Jeff Krumlauf said. “But we still have a lot to improve.”
But it may be difficult to do even a little better on the Spartans’ output through 12 quarters, putting up video-game numbers and nearly knocking off regular power Cherry Creek.
In its opener against Rangeview, Doherty’s quarter-by-quarter scoring was 21, 21, 13 and 28 points. The Spartans crushed the Raiders 83-55 and this was Colorado schoolboy 5A nonleague play, not something out of an Arena League.
“Obviously, it’s not what we wanted defensively,” Krumlauf said.
Next was a 33-27 setback to the always good Bruins. A victory arguably would have been the Spartans’ most-memorable in years.
“Against Creek, we knew that would be an amazing test,” Krumlauf said. “Obviously, Cherry Creek and (head coach) Dave Logan in a well-established program … last year, I said we can play with the big boys, but I think mentality it was not quite there. This year, we can play with them and we’re supposed to be on the field with them. We talked about it. We’re right there.”
And most recently was a 63-12 crushing of city foe Palmer in which the Spartans had a 36-point first quarter and led 43-6 at halftime.
“One hundred seventy-three points? Obviously, our goal is to put it in the end zone,” Krumlauf said.
Doherty also has compiled 1,392 yards. Individually, quarterback Logan Siffert, a sophomore, has thrown for nine touchdowns and senior running back Julian Cooks has rushed for nine TDs. Number nine, number nine has deep meaning here, too.
“Our expectation is, if we have it 10 times, we want to score on 7 of those times,” Krumlauf said.
The coach also credits his players’ off-season work, getting into the weight room, their commitment to turning it around and embracing the fact that the Spartans and Fountain-Fort Carson are the last two big-school football programs in the Colorado Springs area. So why not them? And why not now?
“Honestly,” Krumlauf said, “we embrace that, us, and Fountain-Fort Carson down here, we don’t get a whole lot of press unless you earn it.”
So Colorado is about to wrap up its first full month, Week 4, and it’s complete with a biggie, Valor Christian vs. Pomona, another matchup of programs that not only have met in recent seasons, but also decided the past two state titles (both won by Valor).
In addition, several others below have been marked for your viewing pleasure as big schools are about to get within a week of mid-season:
Horizon (2-1) vs. Legacy (2-1),Â Thursday,Â 7 p.m., Adams 12 North Stadium
Another game between district (Adams 12 Five Star) rivals that doesn’t count in league standings. … The Frank Ybarra-coached Hawks got blown out by Fairview 38-14 in their opener, but followed it up with back-to-back shutouts of Overland and Mountain Range by a combined 75-0. … Legacy won the matchup 38-21 a year ago. … Shutouts? They’re everywhere. The Lightning got shut out 34-0 by Grandview in Week 2, then returned the favor last week to Prairie View, winning 38-0. … QB Alec Lewis and receivers Ryan Lynch and Ross Smith keep climbing up the Lightning career lists with lots of football to play. Smith has surpassed 1,000 career receiving yards; Lynch tied the all-time program mark with 72 receptions and Lewis has gone over 3,000 career yards passing.
Cherokee Trail (2-1) vs. Eaglecrest (3-0),Â Friday,Â 7 p.m., Legacy Stadium
After getting handled 36-15 by Highlands Ranch, a team he saw regularly while at ThunderRidge, new Cougars coach Joe Johnson has watched his guys win twice by a combined 74-7. … Cherokee Trail allowed Overland only 150 yards of offense last week in a 41-7 victory. It led 34-0 at halftime. … The Raptors’ special Victor Garnes caught two TD passes from Jalen Mergerson during his 139-yard all-purpose performance against Grandview. … Eaglecrest has won its past 13 regular-season games. … The Eaglecrest defense did not give up an offensive TD last week until inside the final minute. … Kenny Wanting has rushed for six TDs.
Valor Christian (3-0) vs. Pomona (3-0),Â Friday,Â 7 p.m., NAAC
Hands down, the game of the week, the two-time defending champion Eagles visiting the two-time runners-up Panthers. … Head-to-head, Pomona has won the past two regular-season meetings. … Pomona is going to score — the Panthers’ 138 points rank third, including behind a team that has played one more game. … Junior Theorius Robison tops Pomona with 332 yards rushing and seven TDs. … And Max Borghi, coming off knee surgery and bound for Washington State, has rushed for six TDs the past two games. … Year in, year out, Valor’s schedule is second to none. This years includes victories over Faith Lutheran, Nev., and Greater Atlanta Christian, Ga. … The Eagles were idle the past week. … University of Colorado pledge and QB Blake Stenstrom missed the Mullen victory with a concussion, but came back last week by going 16-of-21 for 200 yards and three TDs, two to Joshia Davis.
Grandview (2-1) vs. Cherry Creek (2-1),Â Friday,Â 7:30 p.m., Stutler Bowl
The visiting Wolves have won the past three meetings in the Cherry Creek District series and very few programs can state they have beaten the Bruins that many times in succession. … Grandview had only given up seven points over its first two games before getting set back 21-14 last week against rival Eaglecrest. … Aaron Harris blocked a punt and recovered it for a TD last week. … Cherry Creek is scoring. It has 101 points and responded nicely after losing 25-20 to Regis Jesuit in its opener. … So much for possession time — the Bruins had it for 17 minutes, 57 secondsÂ on SaturdayÂ against Arapahoe, which registered 30:03 with the ball. Cherry Creek won 48-31. … 10th-grader Jayle Stacks rushed for three TDs and junior QB Alex Padilla ran for a TD and threw for three others, to Dimitri Stanley, Marcus Miller, and Chase Penry.
Regis Jesuit (2-1) at Highlands Ranch (3-0),Â Saturday, 6 p.m., Shea Stadium
A week after blowing a 13-point lead against rival Mullen, the Raiders regrouped and handled another Aurora program, Rangeview, by 35-12. … QB Justin Lamb had nine completions, three that went for TDs. Lamb also rushed for 126 yards and a TD. … And Kiahn Martinez was a rushing workhorse, getting 31 attempts for 213 yards and a TD. … The Falcons had their head coach resign a day before their opener, so they remain one of the early season’s top stories. … Highlands Ranch held off district-rival Chaparral 20-13 last week. … Junior Tyler Dobbs had a 70-yard TD run and the Falcons defense had to make a late stop inside their 20-yard line to seal it.
Also keep an eye on …
Westminster (0-3) vs. Doherty (2-1),Â Thursday,Â 7 p.m., Garry Berry Stadium
The host Spartans are on a scoring roll (see above) and will be facing a winless team that already has been hit for 100 points.
ThunderRidge (1-2) vs. Rock Canyon (3-0),Â Thursday,Â 7 p.m., EchoPark Automotive Stadium
Highlands Ranch foes that both need a victory and for different reasons — the Grizzlies to climb back into it and the Jaguars to try and keep pace with 5A’s elite.
Poudre (4-0) vs. Rocky Mountain (1-2),Â Friday,Â 7 p.m., French Field
The emerging Impalas, clearly one of 5A’s top stories in the first month, have another local date in Fort Collins.
Chatfield (2-1) vs. Columbine (3-0),Â Friday,Â 7:30 p.m., Jefferson County Stadium
A Jefferson County-rival game between neighboring schools that’s always followed. Plus, the rushing Rebels also lead 5A in scoring defense (only 20 points).
Mullen (2-2) at Bothell, Wash.,Â Friday,Â 8 p.m., Pop Keeney Stadium, on ESPNU
The Mustangs head to the Northwest, where the Cougars are six-time King County champions since 2002 as well as Washington champions (in 2014).
Prairie View (0-3) vs. Fairview (3-0),Â Saturday,Â 11 a.m., Recht Field
The host Knights rank fifth in 5A scoring (119 points) and have won 36 of their past 40 regular-season games.
Chaparral (1-2) vs. Legend (2-1),Â Saturday,Â 1 p.m., EchoPark Automotive Stadium
A Parker battle that should attract additional interest on a lighterÂ SaturdayÂ afternoon.
RPI STANDINGS (AS POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 19TH)
- Highlands Ranch
- Valor Christian
- Arvada West
- Rock Canyon
- Cherry Creek
- Cherokee Trail
- Fountain Fort Carson
- Smoky Hill
- Rocky Mountain