Just when it seemed like one team was ready to take control of the game, the other would strike right back. Mesa Ridge ended up having the ball in the final seconds and kicked a field goal to beat Colorado Preps No. 4 Pueblo West 36-24 at the CSU-Pueblo ThunderBowl on Friday.

Down one point with under a minute to go, Grizzlies quarterback Bryce Riehl found Isaiah Jones over the middle to get his team into field goal range. They burned their final timeout to setup a Zander Iwanski 33-yard field goal to pull ahead and win the game.

“That last seven or eight minutes of that game was the most exciting eight minutes I’ve coached in a long time,” coach Jerimi Calip said on the Scoreboard Show. “We got the ball back after they scored their last touchdown and marched down the field. We kicked the field goal and won the game.”

It was a much-needed win considering they had come up on the short end against Dakota Ridge in a 39-25 game back on Sept. 9.

Prior to Friday night, they had outscored their opponents 94-14 as they prepared for league play. Opening with a win over Pueblo West puts the Grizzlies in a good spot when shooting for a league title. They’ll see tough road games against Rampart and Montrose, which should be the stretch of games that will determine the Southern League champion.

Prior to Friday’s game, Riehl had been efficient through the air, throwing for 783 yards and six touchdowns, amassing a 94.5 quarterback rating along the way.

Mesa Ridge will try to move to 2-0 in league play next week when they face Coronado at home.

Grandview avoids rivalry mishap

Liam Szarka helped his team build an 18-6 lead at halftime before things got interesting in the final 24 minutes. Eaglecrest overcame a multi-sport deficit to actually take the lead over Grandview before the Wolves battled back to win the game 39-32.

The Raptors forced a late turnover and right away Joe Steiner found Xavier Waldron for the long score to give them the lead.

But Szarka maintained his composure and found Donavon Vernon for a touchdown and the added 2-point conversion made it 39-32 which is right where the game ended.

Fruita Monument stuns No. 9 Heritage

It’ll be a fun bus ride home for the Fruita Monument Wildcats as they edged out 4A No. 9 Heritage 37-34. They jumped out to an early 13-3 lead and it almost looked like they’d have firm control of the game, but Heritage cut into the lead before the slugfest truly got started.

It was a good league win for the Wildcats and it puts them in a good position to finish either first or second with their game against Broomfield on Oct. 20 likely deciding that league title.

Buena Vista hold strong on defense

There could have been a moment of panic when North Fork capitalized on a couple of Buena Visa miscues. The Miners scored their first touchdown of the game early in the second half to cut the Buena Vista lead to 14-7.

But the Demons defense wasn’t having anything else. Despite not getting any more points on the board themselves, they kept North Fork out the end zone for the remainder of the night to escape town with a 14-7 win. The win moves Buena Vista to 2-0 in Western Slope League play and they can claim a win title with wins over Meeker and Cedaredge in the next two weeks.

Holyoke begins tough stretch of schedule with a win

A tough league schedule is only going to get tougher after No. 2 Holyoke got out of No. 3 Wray with a 32-14 win. Now all the Dragons have to do is get through No. 4 Wiggins next week and then No. 1 Limon the week after.

“There’s nothing better,” coach Dustin Sprague said on the Scoreboard Show. “It’s great to be in this conference and if you can stay healthy that’s the key.”

Sprague noted that his team is healthy right now and he’s hoping that it can stay that way over the course of the next couple of weeks.

Ranked 6-man teams dominant

Three ranked 6-man teams all came away with wins on Friday night. The closest of the three was No. 5 Walsh’s 26-18 win over Eads. The Eagles have now won two in a row since losing to Granada back on Sept. 15.

Speaking of the No. 3 Bobcats, they rolled to a 56-16 win over Cheraw.

No. 6 Arickaree fared even better in its game against Hi-Plains, coming away with a decisive 66-14 win.

Ranked teams in the classification will not go undefeated on Saturday, however, as three games will pit six of the top 10 squads against each other.

Friday Night Scoreboard Show:

Notable scores:

Class 5A:

  • (9) Regis Jesuit 35, Douglas County 7
  • (10) Mountain Vista 49, ThunderRidge 7

Class 4A:

  • (2) Erie 36, (7) Loveland 19
  • (6) Thomas Jefferson 52, Vista Peak PREP 13

Class 3A:

  • Vista Ridge 30, (7) Northfield 27
  • Denver North 35, (8) Skyview 0