6MAN FOOTBALL – WEEK 3 PREVIEW

Eads junior Damien Barnes has already scored 13 TD's this season in leading the Eads to a 2-0 start. PHOTO BY KIOWA COUNTY INDEPENDENT/WILSON PHOTOGRAPHY

With just two weeks of the season knocked out, only 11 unbeaten teams remain in six-man. This week, that number will be reduced by at least two, as there are a pair of contests between 2-0 squads.

One of those match-ups featuring unbeaten squads takes place in the North Division, where second-ranked Fleming hosts #7 Peetz on Friday. Peetz is already 1-0 in the division, having defeated Weldon Valley 59-28 in week one. Last week, the Bulldogs earned a 42-14 victory over Otis, with Cooper White rushing for 264 yards and five touchdowns. The only returning starter from last season, White tallied 108 yards and a score in last year’s 67-22 win over Fleming.

Fleming posted a 48-0 shutout of Arickaree/Woodlin last week, jumping out to a 40-0 halftime lead along the way. As a team, the Wildcats rushed for 297 yards, 87 by Brandon Williams. While the offense put up solid number, the defense was definitely the star of the contest. That unit held the Indian-Mustangs to negative yards from scrimmage, forcing two turnovers and a safety. Williams registered 17 tackles, eight for loss. Chris Goss and Brady Kuntz each added nine stops.

Peetz owns a slight 9-8 edge in recent meetings with the Wildcats, including three straight victories. The Bulldogs no longer have Bryson Long, who rushed for 270 yards and five scores in last season’s contest. Peetz held a 31-22 lead after one quarter in that game, and then exploded for 36 over the next two periods. Kade Comstock threw for 143 yards and two scores in the defeat.

The other clash of unbeatens will be in the South East Division, as Eads visits Granada on Friday. Coming off a 2-6 season last year, the visiting Eagles did not receive a vote in the preseason poll, but after wins over Genoa-Hugo and Manzanola, Eads is ranked eighth this week. Damian Barnes, who rushed for 280 yards and six touchdowns in the 61-37 win over Genoa-Hugo, topped that performance last week. The junior powered the Eagles with 353 yards and seven scores in the 78-48 victory against the Bobcats. Eads trailed 12-7 after one quarter, and used a 34-12 fourth quarter to put the game away.

For Granada, this will mark its home-opener. The Bobcats earned a 24-18 victory at Manzanola in week one, and they then collected a 53-38 win at Idalia last week. Granada overcame an 18-6 first quarter deficit, and rode the arm and legs of Dominic Coleman. The sophomore rushed for 106 yards and three scores, and hit 14 of 18 passes for just under 180 yards with three more touchdowns. John Hainer aided the cause with a team-high 188 yards on the ground. He scored twice on the ground and once on a reception.

Granada won last year’s meeting in a 54-0 shutout. It was the first match-up between the two programs since 2005, when both were 8-man programs.

Top-ranked Kit Carson downed La Veta 63-12 last week, outscoring the Redskins 22-0 in the first quarter and 21-0 in the third. The Wildcats will be favored in Friday’s home game against Arickaree/Woodlin, who has been outscored 84-8 through two weeks. Kit Carson won a pair of games against the Indian-Mustangs last year, 50-8 in the regular season and 44-14 in the semifinals.

Stratton/Liberty regrouped from its week one loss to Kit Carson and beat #6 Prairie 60-34 last week. The Knighted Eagles, who saw Jaret Lichty return from injury in time for the contest, had a less than ideal start to the game. Maverick Mertens returned the opening kick-off 70 yards for a Prairie touchdowns. Then, on Stratton/Liberty’s first offensive play, the Mustangs recorded a safety to go up 8-0. The Knighted Eagles pulled away late in the second quarter, taking a 42-14 lead at the intermission.

Trevor Frank paced Stratton/Liberty with 230 yards and five touchdowns in the rushing game. Lichty added 168 yards and four scores. The third-ranked Knighted Eagles will host Hanover on Saturday. Hanover collected a forfeit from Cripple Creek-Victor last week, following a 58-18 loss to Prairie in the season-opener.

Freshman Devin Johnson ran for 119 yards to lead the Hornets, while fellow freshman Tyler Hoffman added 70 yards and two touchdowns in that loss to Prairie. Underclassmen accounted for all but five yards of offense in that game.

Two games into the season, #5 Cheyenne Wells has outscored its opponents 114-8. The Tigers, who have picked up lopsided wins over Otis and Genoa-Hugo, will visit an Idalia squad that has allowed 118 points in its first two games.

Cade Mitchek has topped the century mark in both games this season and leads the Tigers with 306 yards and five touchdowns. Quade Pelton has added 165 yards and four scores on the ground, and leads the team with 99 yards passing. Pelton leads the defense with 31 tackles and Mitchek is third with 23. Evan Worley is sandwiched between them with 27.

Idalia had high expectations entering the season, as the Wolves were ranked seventh in the initial poll. The Wolves opened with a 65-12 loss at #2 Fleming, and then suffered the 53-38 loss last week to Granada. Idalia has lost three straight games to Cheyenne Wells, 26-14 last year. Idalia’s Yahir Enriquez was held to zero yards on 12 carries in that loss.

Prairie will be looking to bounce back from its loss to Stratton/Liberty on Friday and the Mustangs will do so at home against #10 Briggsdale. Prairie has won the last two meetings with the Falcons, including a 56-40 shootout last year. The winner usually scores 50 points or more when these two programs get together.

The Mustangs will need to really crank up their ground game, which tallied 181 yards and averaged nine yards per carry against Stratton/Liberty, to keep the high-powered Briggsdale passing attack sidelined. Last year, Ty Blickem threw for more than 400 yards and six touchdowns in the loss for the Falcons. Briggsdale is coming off a 68-27 win over Sierra Grande on the road.

To say that Zayd Banks had a big day in #5 Flagler/Hi-Plains’ 62-52 win over Walsh last Saturday would be an understatement. The junior rushed for 242 yards and five touchdowns, threw for 151 yards and two more scores, caught a touchdown, and returned an interception for another TD. Altogether, the junior had a hand in every Thunder touchdown on the day. He added a second pick, a fumble recovery, a sack, and 10 total tackles. He’ll be looking for an encore performance Saturday against Edison, who was shutout 42-0 by Cheraw last week.

North Park picked up a wild 45-40 win on the road last week at Cotopaxi, holding on after entering the fourth quarter leading 38-12. The Pirates put together a huge rally, and it looked like they would have a chance to complete the comeback before lightning put the game in a delay with around one minute to go. With a mandatory break of at least 30 minutes to let the lightning pass, and the Wildcats facing a four hour trip home, the game was called at that point.

Prior to that decision, the Wildcats had seen Brock Follett rack up 16 tackles with 2.5 sacks, giving him 41 stops on the season. Eli Houston had 13 tackles and an interception, while Destry Schmidt tallied 10 tackles. North Park is home on Saturday against Mountain Valley, who picked up a 52-0 victory over Primero behind the eye-popping performance of Elijah Roberts. Roberts rushed for 242 yards and five touchdowns on just eight carries, added a 49-yard TD reception, and returned one of his two interceptions for a score. Christopher Wallace added two interceptions and a sack for the Indians.


Kerry Sherman

Kerry Sherman

Kerry Sherman is a lifelong resident of eastern Colorado. He started covering high school sports in 1991, focusing on the smaller classifications. He has also coached boys basketball at Woodlin, Otis & Weldon Valley. In his spare time, Kerry substitute teaches at area schools. He and his wife, Colleen, live on the family farm near Anton, along with their three Corgi mutts, Selene, Caesar & Helios.

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