It was such a great and exciting three-day stretch of high school football that our Best Wins of the Week list could have easily included close to 30 teams. But we’ve narrowed the list to 15 clubs with the focus on programs that major steps to the top spot in their respective conference and a playoff berth. Several other schools that won top 10 battles or had milestone games are included in our notes section. PHOTO BY TARA ABRAMSON.
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Now the list of teams with the Best Wins of Week 3.
PONDEROSA: The Mustangs overcame a 21-14 deficit to rally past Fruita Monument 28-21. The win pushed Ponderosa to 3-0 on the season and very much in the thick of the 4A playoff chase. Next up is an expected win over Grand Junction before they close with Montrose and Palmer Ridge.
HOTCHKISS: The Bulldogs may have moved very close to the 1A Western Slope crown with a defensive minded 14-8 win over Meeker. Both teams were 2-0 and ranked in the top 10 going in. A punt return for TD in the first half sparked the Bulldogs to the win. They also stopped Meeker’s final drive near the Hotchkiss 20 yard line in the final two minutes.
MERINO: A strong performance in a 44-30 road win at Dayspring Christian moved the Rams to 3-0 and they remain in a first place tie with Sedgwick County atop the Plains conference. The Rams rushed for nearly 400 yards and had 42 first half plays to just 11 for the Eagles.
PIKES PEAK CHRISTIAN: The Eagles took a major step to winning another league championship as they edged Simla 12-6. The winning touchdown came midway through the fourth when the Eagles scored from 65 yards on out on 4th and 10 from their own 35 yard line. The Eagles are 3-0 and they handed the Cubs their first loss of the season.
RANGELY: Like 8man counterparts Merino and Pikes Peak Christian, the Panthers win over West Grand pushed them closer to a league championship. They must still get by Gilpin County before laying claim to the title. Rangely stuffed a West Grand two point conversion try late in the game and then snuffed out another drive after the Mustangs recovered the ensuing on-side kick. The final was 14-12.
CHEYENNE WELLS: Based on statewide rankings, the 4th ranked Tigers were slated for a tough battle with #3 Kit Carson but it was all Cheyenne Wells. They pummeled the Wildcats 74-18 for their second win inside the rugged East conference where all five teams were ranked this week. The Tigers take a break from the league schedule against Genoa Hugo next week but then close with Eads and Stratton/Liberty.
POMONA: Inside a very talented 5A Jeffco conference, the Panthers stunned Ralston Valley 17-14 in a 5A Top 10 clash on Friday. Joevannie Rosales was the hero as he booted through a 41-yard field goal on the games final play. The win pushed the Panthers 3-0 and sets up a major showdown with Columbine in the final week of the regular season. That game, provided the Rebels beat Ralston Valley, could determine the league crown and a very high post-season seed.
LEGEND: The 10th ranked Titans (5A) were very impressive in blowing past #7 Regis 31-7 on Friday. The game involved the two best teams in the conference so the Titans now have control of the league chase. The win also gives them a good chance to finish the regular season at 6-0 which may be needed to get in the post-season bracket. Connor Eise ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns in the critical win.
WINDSOR: In what have been the best game of the weekend in any class, the Wizards went to double overtime before winning the battle of unbeatens with Erie (38-32). Neither team was ranked entering the game but both were 2-0 and with the victory, the Wizards continue their push for a playoff berth in Class 4A. Dax Polka (154) and Jaden Thomas (117) combined for 271 yards rushing for the Wizards.
SKYLINE: The Falcons improved to 3-0 by beating outscoring city rival Longmont 51-38 on Friday. As you would guess, the offensive numbers were mind-numbing. Skyline’s Grayden Bridwell exploded for a career best 384 yards rushing. Teammate Chase Silve combined for 388 yards of offense and was involved in six touchdowns; including four on the ground. Keegan Patterson threw for 490 yards and 4 TD’s for Longmont in the loss.
LUTHERAN: A second straight statement making win for the Lions as they rolled Palisade 54-24 on the road. It was their second straight dominant win over a top 10 opponent as they also dropped Discovery Canyon in week two. Now 3-0, the Lions picked up 271 yards and 3 TD’s passing from Clayton Jacobs and 170 yards rushing with two scores from Ryan Kenny.
STERLING: The defending 2A state champions held off Platte Valley 31-21 and now have complete control of the Patriot East race. They’re 3-0 against league rivals with those wins coming against Brush, Eaton and Platte Valley. Playing on the road, the Tigers jumped to a 18-0 first quarter lead and held on from there. They’ve now won 17 straight games against in-state opponents.
DELTA: The Panthers earned a 27-2 decision in the highly anticipated and highly important top 10 clash with Woodland Park. Both were 2-0 going into the game with the winner knowing they would become the favorite in the Western division chase. The defense limited the Panthers to 173 yards of total offense and Nolan Bynum threw for 273 yards and three TD’s and also provided 95 yards and another score on the ground.
FLEMING: Despite getting only eight offensive plays in the first half, the top ranked team in 6man survived for a 32-8 win at #5 Prairie. Briggsdale and Peetz remain on the schedule but the Wildcats are now favored to land another Northern conference crown. Kade Comstock connected with Brady Kuntz on a pair of touchdown passes and Chris Goss scored twice in the run game.
GUNNISON: It’s been awhile since the Cowboys enjoyed a football victory. They downed Cedaredge 20-7 on Friday for their first win since October 21st, 2016 when they blanked Montezuma Cortez (42-0). The Cowboys went winless in 2017 (0-9) and did not field a varsity program in either 2018 or 2019. They had opened this season with losses to top 10 opponents Florence and Meeker.
NOTES: Levi Kramer earned his 100th coaching victory as Wray took out Class 3A Niwot 52-22 on Saturday. It moved the Eagles to 3-0 this season. Two other 1A clubs were very impressive in downing fellow top 10 clubs as #1 Limon bounced #8 Colorado Springs Christian 42-7 and #4 Florence rolled past #10 Peyton 48-6. Limon and CSCS played about 24 hours after deciding to play. Both had their regularly scheduled games with Alamosa and Rye respectively; cancelled on Friday. Sedgwick County (20) and Cherry Creek (17) stretched their respective winning streaks by one more game on the week. The Cougars have won the last five crowns in eight man and whipped Haxtun on Friday. The Bruins are the defending 5A champs and blanked Grandview the same night. Tradition rich programs Pine Creek (4A) and Pueblo South (3A) won their season debuts as the Eagles downed Chaparral 17-7 on Friday and the Colts handled Pueblo Centennial 41-0 on Saturday. Both clubs missed the first two weeks dealing with quarantine issues. Several programs kept playoff hopes alive by scoring wins over quality opponents on the weekend. Each winner listed improved to 2-1. Sierra Grande (6man) rallied past Cotopaxi 28-24, University downed Severance 26-14, Conifer outscored Mountain View 34-24, Mead handled Fort Morgan 35-0, Vista Ridge stunned Rampart 32-31 in overtime and Brighton took care of Herirage 27-13. Sierra Grande and Brighton won their second straight game but all others on the list bounced back nicely from week two setbacks.