One month into the football season and we continue to see top teams start to separate themselves from the rest of the division.  League play in the eight man ranks gets started this week and that division features several important matchups while other divisions continue to work through the non-conference slate with programs hoping to improve early RPI standings.
As we’ve done each Friday of the regular season, we provide a Game Day look at the top matchups.  We narrow the schedule to the best and most important four games in each division.  Games listed in bold are the feature matchups and we hope to visit with the winning coach live on our Scoreboard Show this evening.
The Scoreboard Show is again presented by Colorado Farm Bureau Insurance and airs from 9:30-11:00pm on radio affiliates across the state.  A complete list can be seen here.
You may also follow along with our Daily Scoreboard as we will provide in-progress updates of nearly every game in Colorado.
Enjoy the games tonight and then catch our statewide recap on the way home.

  1. Otis (2-0) at Flagler/Hi Plains (2-0)
  2. Walsh (1-1) at Cheyenne Wells (2-0)
  3. Briggsdale (1-1) at Idalia (1-1)
  4. Weldon Valley (2-0) at Fleming (2-0)

Notes:  Top ranked Stratton/Liberty remains the favorite to land the East Central championship but Friday’s winner between Otis and Flagler/Hi Plains steps up as the top challenger.  Both teams are also in the top five so statewide rankings will shift based on the result.  Most folks expected Kit Carson and Cheyenne Wells to battle for the Southeast title but Walsh made some noise last week with their blowout of Cheraw.  A win at Cheyenne Wells tonight puts them right in the middle of that league championship chase.  Briggsdale is ranked 8th while Idalia is pushing for a spot in the top 10 and their matchup could be the best game of the night.  Weldon Valley has two more wins than Fleming but the host Wildcats remain the favorite as they’ve played a much more difficult schedule than the Warriors.

  1. Hoehne (1-1) at Springfield (1-2)
  2. Vail Christian (2-0) at Rangely (3-0)
  3. Akron (2-1) at Sedgwick County (3-0)
  4. Byers (2-0) at Caliche (1-1)

Notes:  The Southeast conference has several good teams this year and two of them face off as Hoehne goes to Springfield.  Fowler and Holly are in the same conference so the winner is not yet assured of a top two finish.  The Farmers have a loss to Sedgwick County and a win over Dayspring Christian.  Springfield has also played a strong schedule with losses to Akron and Sargent.  Rangely already has one more win than all of last season (2-7) but they could get challenged by fellow unbeaten Vail Christian.  The Panthers must also avoid looking to next week’s clash with #2 West Grand.  Sedgwick County beat Akron in the state championship in the first two of their current three-year dominance of the division.  The Rams are trying to become the first Colorado team to beat the Cougars since 2014.  Byers has scored 118 points in wins over Calhan and Front Range Christian but steps up a level against Caliche.  The Buffs have spent two weeks of frustrating practice following a loss to West Grand in week two.

  1. Meeker (1-1) at Limon (2-0)
  2. Wray (1-1) at Cornerstone Christian (1-1)
  3. Crowley County (2-1) at Yuma (1-1)
  4. Clear Creek (1-1) at Peyton (2-0)

Notes:  One of the top matchups in any class has Meeker on the road to Limon.  Almost any coach from the Eastern side of the state will be in Limon to get an in-person look at the Cowboys who appear to be the best 1A team from the Western Slope.  Centauri (1-1), who plays Olathe, is also in the middle of that discussion.  Limon is coming off a strong showing in a 40-6 win at Crowley County last week and tonight’s game begins a tough two-game stretch with Strasburg lurking next week.  The winner between Wray-Cornerstone Christian gets a leg-up in the playoff chase.  Neither team is expected to land a league title so valuable RPI points are up for grabs.  Crowley County looks to rebound from the Limon loss and hopes for a better showing at Yuma.  The Indians are coming off a good win over Cornerstone Christian last week.  Peyton can’t look past a Clear Creek team that can score points in bunches through QB Lucas Gerding.  The Panthers have run for over 200 yards in impressive wins over Florence and Colorado Springs Christian.

  1. Pagosa Springs (1-2) at Basalt (2-0)
  2. Buena Vista (2-0) at Salida (3-0)
  3. Kent Denver (2-0) at La Junta (3-0)
  4. Cedaredge (1-1) at Aspen (1-1)

Notes:  It’s a great schedule in the division and the headliner is the matchup between Kent Denver and La Junta.  Tonight marks their fourth meeting in three years.  Each game always impacts the statewide rankings and playoff bracket and the second meeting determined the 2016 state championship.  The teams have split two regular season contests.  Buena Vista and Salida square off for the Chaffee county championship and both teams are playing good football.  Buena Vista dominated the series from 2011-16 but the Spartans broke through in a big way last year (55-7).  Pagosa Springs nearly beat La Junta two weeks ago and then handled Centauri last week so Basalt will be challenged as they look for a 3-0 start.  Aspen probably gained more respect statewide in their loss to Bayfield last week than their first win at Meeker.  The Skiers led the defending state champions 8-7 at halftime on the road.  Cedaredge needs to rebound from a tough loss to Buena Vista last week.

  1. Harrison (2-0) at Pueblo Centennial (2-0)
  2. Bayfield (2-0) at Durango (1-2)
  3. Discovery Canyon (3-0) at Holy Family (2-0)
  4. Thomas Jefferson (2-0) at Fort Morgan (2-0)

Notes:  According to the Durango Herald, the annual battle between Bayfield and Durango now has a name and a traveling trophy that will go to the winner.  The two local rivals now play for the Vallecito Bowl which is named after the reservoir sitting between the two cities.  It’s the third year since the rivalry was resumed and each team has won once.  Durango is the last team to beat Bayfield in the regular season.  After double digit wins over Mountain View and Roosevelt, Discovery Canyon survived at Pueblo South last week; beating the Colts 42-41 in overtime.  The Thunder are in a tough stretch as Pueblo East is on the schedule for next week.  Holy Family trailed Glenwood Springs 21-10 after one quarter two weeks ago but roared back for a 57-35 win.  The Tigers scored 21 fourth quarter points.  Thomas Jefferson has two wins over 4A opponents Silver Creek (28-16) and Denver South (32-7) so they have plenty of confidence coming into Fort Morgan.  The Mustangs played very well in a 37-20 win at Lutheran last Friday.  Harrison has a balanced offense with 334 yards rushing and 491 passing through two games but Centennial is run dominated and has rushed for 747 yards and 12 touchdowns already this season.

  1. Grand Junction Central (2-1) at Palisade (2-0)
  2. Pueblo East (3-0) at Pueblo West (2-1)
  3. Fruita Monument (1-1) at Chatfield (3-0)
  4. Skyline (2-0) at Brighton (2-1)

Notes:  Grand Junction Central goes for the city championship at Palisade tonight.  The Warriors have already beaten Fruita Monument and Grand Junction.  Palisade outscored Green Mountain 42-26 last week and this is their only meeting with a Grand Junction area school as they do not face either Grand Junction or Fruita.  Fruita tries to slow down the high-powered Chatfield offense today.  The Chargers have scored 133 points in wins over Gateway, Rampart and Brighton.  Brighton played well in the 39-30 loss to Chatfield and gained some recognition statewide for the effort.  They face another explosive offense in week four as Skyline has scored 83 points in wins over Westminster and Mead.  They’re coming off a bye and must avoid looking ahead to next week’s much anticipated rivalry game with Longmont.  Pueblo East is coming off the great win over Palmer Ridge and normally, fans and coaches might be worried about a letdown but the Eagles have a rivalry game with Pueblo West so again will be fired up.  West Coach Clint Buderus is involved in his first in-city rivalry game in the Steel City.

  1. Pine Creek (3-0) at Valor Christian (3-0)
  2. Columbine (3-0) at Highlands Ranch (1-2)
  3. Regis (1-2) at Mullen (2-1)
  4. Wheat Ridge (1-1) at Arvada West (3-0)

Notes:  Cherry Creek’s overtime win over Pomona on Thursday night set the stage for what could be a great weekend in the big school ranks.  Equally anticipated is tonight’s clash between Pine Creek and Valor Christian.  Pine Creek has won three state championships since 2013 and is widely considered the standard bearing program in Class 4A.  Valor Christian is the same in Class 5A and has totaled seven state titles since beginning their varsity program in 2008.  Valor Christian rolled Pine Creek 66-10 for the 4A title in 2011.  Valor also scored a second-round win (41-16) in 2010.  Columbine has 814 yards rushing in three wins including 276 in a big win over Fountain Fort Carson (49-6) last week.  The Regis-Mullen game is among the best rivalries in Colorado and both teams are looking for a bit of momentum for the second half of the season.  Arvada West is favored against Wheat Ridge but it’s an old Jeffco rivalry where anything can happen.