5A FOOTBALL – WEEK 7

It's a Top 10 challenge and battle of unbeatens when Legend challenges Regis this week. The winner also gains control of the South division chase. PHOTO BY AJ MORTON

Class 5A football will roll the dice in Week 7.

Lucky or not, Colorado’s biggest boys head into the second week of league play as well as the first predicted inclement weather of 2019.

Just a month of regular-season play remains and below are a dozen offerings for your viewing pleasure and to keep you occupied:

Best bets …

Cherry Creek (6-0) vs. Arapahoe (5-1), Thursday, 7 p.m., Littleton Public Schools Stadium

In the Metro East, here’s a chance for the host Warriors to make some real noise in big schools. … They are, however, just 1-5 in their past six meetings against the Bruins, state runners-up a year ago. Arapahoe’s last victory over Creek was by 41-21 in October 2009. … The Warriors haven’t been posting a lot of their statistics, but this much is certain – they are 10-7 since Rod Sherman came over from Valor Christian. … Fact is, Bruins junior QB Julian Hammond has been terrific with 91-of-136 passing (67 percent) for 1,279 yards and 19 TDs. … Also credit the Creek defense, which has given up only 40 points (second in 5A) and registered two shutouts, most recently 44-0 over Overland the past week. … And since Dave Logan took over as Creek head coach in 2012, it’s an aggregate 73-22 with a title and state runner-up, and at least nine victories in each season, save for the first year, when it was 6-5.

Lakewood (4-2) vs. Columbine (6-0), Thursday, 6 p.m., Jefferson County Stadium

In the Metro West, the host Rebels have yet to lose a league game since its inception in 2018. … Concerning the Tigers, the previous coaching stop more than a quarter-century ago for Columbine head man Andy Lowry, they are on a two-game slide since opening 4-0. They were blanked (23-0) last week by Pomona to open the league. … Lakewood held Pomona to 9 yards passing, but gave up 235 on the ground, which, of course, is Columbine’s bread and butter. After a so-so first half last week against Mullen, the Rebels erupted for 29 points in the second, ran for 303 yards and had the Mustangs under the mercy rule with 8:12 to play. … By the by, the Rebels’ latest top ground-gainer, senior Tanner Hollens, is quite good … and tough. He has 784 yards and 13 TDs.

Cherokee Trail (4-2) vs. Grandview (6-0), Friday, 7 p.m., Legacy Stadium

In the second round of the Metro East, the host Wolves enter after their first real test of the season, They went 5-0 via an assortment of blowouts and are coming off a hard-fought, 14-11 victory over Eaglecrest. … Grandview’s Noah Schmidt was kept out of the end zone and held to 86 yards on 28 carries, but QB Jacob Burr picked up the slack. Despite just 4-of-15 passing, he rushed for a TD and threw for another, 33 yards to Noah Salazar. … The Wolves still rolled to 203 yards rushing. … The Cougars got off to a 7-0 start the past week against Arapahoe in their league opener, but were blanked over the next three quarters and fell 10-7. Plus, Cherokee Trail had the ball in Arapahoe territory twice inside the final 3 minutes but failed to convert on fourth down both times, the last with 10 seconds to play.

Regis Jesuit (6-0) vs. Legend (6-0), Friday, 7 p.m., EchoPark Stadium

Maybe the game of the round. … Raise your hand if you thought these two would be among the final seven 5A teams undefeated through six weeks, and don’t lie. … In the South, Regis opened with a 40-7 rout of hapless Chaparral and Legend got past Fountain-Fort Carson 23-21. … Raiders sophomore quarterback Nicco Marchiol stands third in 5A passing yards (1,409) after his 18-of-27 effort for 233 yards and four TDs (he has 13 on the season). … Juniors David Doty and Eddie Maxfield combined for 126 yards rushing and two TDs. … Anyone else have a problem calling the Titans the surprise team of 2019 so far? Didn’t think so. Under fourth year head coach Monte Thelen, their six victories include one over Castle View. … Blake Rarog (873 yards rushing) and Connor Else (623) also have combined for 20 TDs, 13 by Rarog. … Indeed, a Legend victory would be a shot fired across 5A. Prior to 2019, Legend was 40-52 this decade under three other coaches.

Also keep an eye on …

Arvada West (0-6) vs. Pomona (3-3), Thursday, 7 p.m., NAAC

A tough time for the winless ‘Cats to seek a triumph as the Panthers, who stumbled early against heavy competition, have won two in a row, including 23-0 last week over Lakewood as sophomore Dominick Nichols had 153 yards rushing and two TDs. It’s in the Metro West.

Mountain Vista (2-4) vs. Castle View (4-2), Thursday, 6 p.m., Douglas County Stadium

The host SaberCats and junior RB Ian Peirce (618 yards rushing, five TDs) probably will be ornery – they opened the Metro South last week on the short end of a 42-7 whipping to defending state champion Valor Christian.

Overland (3-3) vs. Eaglecrest (5-1), Thursday, 7 p.m., Legacy Stadium

In the Metro East, Overland has won eight of the past 13 meetings, but the Raptors have taken the past two. Eaglecrest is fresh from a 14-11 setback to undefeated Grandview in which it was hit for 203 yards rushing.

Denver East (4-2) vs. Smoky Hill (6-0), Friday, 7 p.m., Stutler Bowl

The Metro 10 continues to belong to the host Buffaloes and RB Obasanjo Sanni (785 yards, 15 TDs).

Highlands Ranch (1-5) vs. ThunderRidge (4-2), Friday, 7 p.m., Shea Stadium

It’s a battle of the two originals in the Ranch … the host Grizzlies have won six of the past 10 meetings and while QB Brent Huber may have been picked off eight times, he has rushed and thrown for seven TDs. It’s in the Metro South.

Horizon (2-4) vs. Fairview (5-1), Friday, 7 p.m., Recht Field

In the Front Range, the visiting Hawks and longtime coach Frank Ybarra are running into the Knights and senior QB Aidan Atkinson, who surpassed 100 career TD tosses last week. He has 24 in 2019, 102 as a schoolboy.

Ralston Valley (6-0) vs. Mullen (2-4), Friday, 7 p.m., Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at De La Salle Stadium

In the Metro West, unsung coach Matt Loyd and RV, after a season-opening 42-26 victory at Mountain Vista, have surrendered only 20 points over the past month. Meanwhile, Mullen, on a four-game slide, has scored only 36 points during the span. Remember, 5A is a scorers’ class.

Rock Canyon (1-5)  vs. Valor Christian (5-1), Friday, 7 p.m., Valor Christian

Sophomore RB Gavin Sawchuck (831 yards rushing, nine TDs) and the host Eagles have won all six Metro South games into a second season. Plus, Valor has allowed only 188 points over its past 20 games, including playoffs.


Neil Devlin

Neil Devlin

Neil H. Devlin is in his 40th year covering Colorado high-school sports. He's currently the Sports Information Director at Mullen High in southwest Denver. Twitter: @neildevlin. Web: www.mullenhigh,com

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