8MAN FOOTBALL PREVIEW – WEEK 4

Last week’s action on the field created two major movements in the newest set of rankings. Thanks to a 33-14 victory at Hoehne, Holly (3-0) jumped three spots to #3 this week. In a corresponding move, the Farmers fell six spots to #8. Hoehne (2-1) is once again involved in a game against a ranked opponent, taking on #2 Dayspring Christian on Saturday.
Holly, who has this week off for the town’s annual fair, rode the arm and legs of Kobe Davis to the comeback victory last week. Trailing 14-7 at the half, the Wildcats outscored Hoehne 26-0 in the second half. Davis led the way with 238 yards passing, including a 97-yard TD toss to Byron Lincoln, and rushed for 51 yards with three scores. Erick Chapparo’s 67 yards on the ground paced the squad in that phase of the attack, and Gus Dominguez hauled in eight passes for 114 yards. Brendyn Nordyke had a big night on defense, racking up 14 tackles and three fumble recoveries.
Jacob Yates threw for 129 yards and also rushed for a touchdown for the Farmers, who will be facing a ranked opponent for the third time in four games when they visit Dayspring Christian. Trystan Moltrer led the team with 125 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, and Riley Hudson added 112 yards on 13 attempts.
Dayspring Christian (3-0) moved into the #2 slot that was vacated by Hoehne after the Eagles were dominant in a 47-12 road victory at Springfield. DCA led that contest 32-7 at the half. Christian Still had a hand in five touchdowns, rushing for three and passing for two more. Jimmy Fargo ran for one and caught one, and Ben Morris added a score on an 82-yard reception. Seth Mondragon led a spirited defensive effort with 20 tackles. It was the senior’s fifth career game with at least 20 stops.
This will be just the fourth meeting between Dayspring Christian and Hoehne, with the Eagles having won all three prior contests. Last year, the two played a wild shoot-out, with DCA coming out on top 51-50 in OT. Yates piled up 234 yards and three scores on the ground for the Farmers, while Mondragon made his appearance felt on defense for the Eagles, posting a game-high 18 tackles.
Saturday will see another contest that pits two ranked foes against each other, with #9 Merino hosting #10 McClave. Merino was pushed to the limit last week before downing Rocky Mountain Lutheran 26-20. The Rams trailed 20-6 at one point in the second quarter before scoring the next 20 points in the contest. With the Eagles threatening inside the final minute, Merino’s defense stiffened and held them on fourth down to secure the victory.
Last week’s 42-14 victory over Swink moved McClave to 3-0 to start the season for the second straight year. Last year, the Cardinals also took a 3-0 mark into their meeting with Merino. The Rams won that match-up 40-6. The Cards are looking for their first 4-0 start to a campaign since 2008, when they won 10 straight before finishing with a postseason loss.
Sedgwick County (3-0) not only retained the #1 ranking this week, but the Cougars made it unanimous for the first time this year. The Cougars trailed Perkins County (NE) 28-27 in the fourth quarter and faced a fourth and 12 from their own 20. Brennan Ehmke connected with Dalton Carlson on a 51-yard pass that put the Cougars in position to defeat the #5 team in Nebraska. They would finish off the drive with a TD to claim a 33-28 victory. Ehmke threw for 312 yards and a touchdown, and also intercepted two Plainsmen passes on defense. Cade McKinley was on the receiving end of 11 passes for 182 yards and a TD, while Layne Green racked up 210 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
The Cougars will wrap up non-conference play on Saturday with a road trip to Rangely (1-2). The Panthers dropped their second straight game, falling to Soroco 34-12 last week. The defense gave up 297 yards on only 24 rushing attempts, while the offense turned the ball over six times. Sedgwick County won last year’s meeting with the Panthers 62-0. Rangely was held to 31 yards of offense, with a minus-13 on the ground.
Fourth-ranked Norwood (2-0) prepped for this week’s contest against Sargent (0-3) by defeating Sanford (0-4) 56-6 last week. The Mavericks scored twice in the first quarter and then got the mercy rule initiated with a 29-point second quarter, building the lead to 43-0 at the half. Will Gabriel only completed three of seven passes in the game, but two went for scores. He added two more touchdowns on the ground, accumulating 86 yards rushing in the process. DJ Snow led the Mavs with 144 yards and three TDs on just six carries.
Sargent led #7 Fowler 7-0 at the half last week, but could not hold on for the victory. The Grizzlies outscored the Farmers 26-6 in the second half, rallying for the 26-13 win. Trevor Milne struggled throwing the ball, completing two of 11 attempts for 28 yards with one score and two picks, but he was solid in the running game. The senior led the Farmers with 86 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Ryan Davis added 64 yards rushing and 37 passing, and he caught the TD pass from Milne.
The Farmers won last year’s game at Norwood, 22-20, with Davis throwing for 151 yards and rushing for 108. Norwood took the first two meetings in the series. A win by the Mavericks on Friday would send Sargent to its first 0-4 start since 2010, when the Farmers finished 3-6.
For the first time since 2011 Fowler (3-0) is undefeated heading into the fourth week of the season. If the Grizzlies can pick up the victory on the road against Wiley (1-2) on Friday, they would have their first 4-0 start since 2006. They went into the crossover round 8-0 that season, but lost to Springfield. In last week’s win over Sargent, Luke Bitter threw a pair of touchdowns, one each to Zane Denton and Chantz Lange, and Brand Sharp rushed for 161 yards and two scores. Denton added an interception, as did Titus Unruh.
Wiley found itself down 41-0 at the half last week in Haxtun and the Panthers went on to lose the contest 54-12. Braden Grogan pounded the Bulldog defense for 203 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries, but the Panthers had little offense outside of that, as they racked up just 38 more yards. Wiley is just 2-3 against Fowler, but the Panthers did claim a 19-0 victory last year.
Haxtun (3-0) is up one spot to #6 this week after its win over Wiley. Three of Drew Coffin’s four completions went for touchdowns in that victory, as he averaged over 41 yards per completed pass. Jaxon Brown added a career high 146 yards on just two carries. Both went for scores. Through three games, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 154-26. Haxtun will visit Kiowa on Friday.
Kiowa (1-2) snapped a two-game skid with a thrilling 48-46 victory over Granada last week. The last two games for the Indians have been decided by a total of three points. The Indians rushed for over 400 yards last week, behind 183 by Kade Bitterman and 179 by Bryar Morgan. Those two also combined for five rushing touchdowns. Morgan also led the defense with 17 tackles and a fumble recovery.
The Bulldogs and Indians have only met one other time, with Haxtun earning a 49-6 victory last year. Haxtun led 42-0 at the half, scoring 28 first quarter points. They burned the Kiowa defense for six touchdown passes.
Fifth-ranked West Grand (3-0) finds itself in a familiar position. Last year, the Mustangs were also 3-0 heading into their match-up with Pikes Peak Christian (2-1). West Grand scored a touchdown in the third quarter to grab an 8-6 lead in that game, but gave up 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to suffer the 20-8 loss. Thanks to a forfeit from Nederland last week, the Mustangs have had a little extra time to prepare for the Eagles. They will be led by Luis Dominguez (143 yards) and Brady Gore (130 yards) in the passing game, and Hugh Wheatley (275 yards) rushing.
After a two-point loss in the season-opener and a one-point win the following week, Pikes Peak Christian had to enjoy last week’s 29-12 victory over Simla. The Eagles led 21-0 at the half, but saw things tighten up as the Cubs scored a touchdown in the third and another to start the fourth, making it a nine-point game. PPC’s defense came up with two big fourth quarter interceptions, one with about two minutes remaining. They would convert that one into points on a Tommy Harmon TD run to put the game away.
 

RPI STANDINGS – PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 20TH

  1. Mancos
  2. Merino
  3. Norwood
  4. McClave
  5. Sedgwick County
  6. Holly
  7. Haxtun
  8. Plateau Valley
  9. Fowler
  10. Soroco
  11. West Grand
  12. Gilpin County
  13. Dayspring Christian
  14. Del Norte
  15. Justice
  16. Pikes Peak Christian
  17. Hoehne
  18. Rocky Mountain Lutheran
  19. Hayden
  20. Swink
  21. Caliche
  22. Sanford
  23. Akron
  24. Rangely

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