A good portion of the teams in eight-man football saw action in week one, and nearly everyone will be on the field this week. In just the second week of the season, the schedule already gives us four clashes between ranked opponents.
Leading off is three-time defending champion, Sedgwick County, as the top-ranked Cougars host #4 Hoehne on Friday. The Cougars return a number of key pieces, including last season’s Player of the Year, Layne Green. Green rushed for 1685 yards and 25 touchdowns last year, and he’ll have his running mate, Beau Parker, back as well. The Cougars have won 38 of their last 39 games and the lone loss was to an out of state opponent.
Hoehne posted its eighth consecutive season with eight or more wins in 2017, but the Farmers were knocked out in the opening round of the playoffs. A new quarterback will need to be found, as Jacob Yates, who combined for over 1700 yards of offense last season, has graduated. However, the Farmers do return Trystan Moltrer, who rushed for close to 1200 yards a year ago.
One more contest on the slate has two top-five teams squaring off, as #5 Caliche hosts second-ranked West Grand on Friday. Both teams enter the contest having won their openers by 43-0 counts. For West Grand, Luis Dominguez starred in the victory over Calhan, throwing for 121 yards and four scores, while also adding 140 yards and another touchdown on the ground.
Caliche avenged a 36-30 loss to Gilpin County from last year, blasting the Eagles in Blackhawk last week. Once again, the Buffs feature a power running attack, spearheaded by Adam Zink and Dylan Huss. This will be the first meeting with West Grand since Caliche earned a 28-8 victory in 2011.
After claiming a 41-16 win on the road over Dayspring Christian last week, Holly moved up two spots to #3 this week. The Wildcats got strong efforts in that victory from Kobe Davis, Erick Chapparo, Andy Ramos, and Gus Dominguez, as well as many other returning players. That cast of characters will look to make it two straight wins as they visit eighth-ranked Akron on Friday.
The Rams spent last Friday in Holly’s part of the state, claiming a 34-8 win at Springfield. Justin Traxler led the way with 84 passing yards and 143 on the ground. He had a hand in three touchdowns, running for two and tossing another. Akron won the only other previous meeting with the Wildcats, 35-14 in 2016.
The final game featuring ranked foes has sixth-ranked Fowler opening the season at #9 Sargent on Friday. The Grizzlies reached the quarterfinals last season before being eliminated by Sedgwick County. Quinton Flanscha and Luke Bitter will try to lead them even deeper this year.
The Farmers also made it to the quarterfinals last year before bowing out to West Grand. Keep an eye on Frank Torrez and Cosme Cordova, as they lead a Sargent squad that was hit pretty hard by graduation. Sargent will be looking to avenge last season’s 26-13 loss to the Grizzlies. Prior to that defeat, the Farmers had won the two previous meetings.
Gilpin County will be looking to get back on track after suffering the lopsided loss to Caliche last week, but the task will not be an easy one. The Eagles will visit #7 Merino on Saturday, with the Rams coming off a 22-6 win at Pikes Peak Christian in the opener. The Eagles were on the receiving end of Caliche’s hammering ground attack, racking up 82 tackles in the game, 18 by Angel Gomez.
Merino has not lost to Gilpin County in two previous match-ups. The Rams won a nail biter (35-28) last season, and they dominated the Eagles 50-0 two seasons ago.
Tenth-ranked Sanford has a bye this week after opening the season with a 46-18 victory over McClave. The Indians return to action next Friday with a home contest against Swink.