The Stratton Eagles got an unexpected week off in Week 5, with their opponent Hi-Plains unfortunately having to forfeit their matchup.

While the Eagles did notch a win without stepping foot on the gridiron, not being able to play a game surely will have the squad champing at the bit for action this week. And it doesn’t get much better than facing a team that is among those talked about in the 6-man ranks as a championship-caliber team.

Stratton (5-0, No. 1 in the Colorado Preps Select Media Football Poll) hosts Idalia (4-1, No. 3 ranked) on Saturday at 2 p.m. — a game that could be a late-round playoff preview.

The teams don’t have much of a history, with just two games played between them and both of those coming in the past two seasons. It’s been Stratton’s series so far with two wins over the Wolves, but this latest chapter could sing a different tune if Idalia’s phenomenal freshman Gabe Kechter has anything to do with it. Kechter, part of a very young Idalia roster, so far has a hefty 10.3 yards-per-carry average (628 yards on 61 carries), with eight total touchdowns and a touchdown pass to boot.

Stratton hopes to flex its muscles, however, and take a big step toward a possible perfect run through the regular season. The Eagles will likely continue to utilize the skills of senior Cyler Notter, whose 201.8 yards per game represent one of the classification’s highest individual averages. His 22 touchdowns lead the 6-man ranks.

Central League showdown

Through four games, the Lyons Lions and Byers Bulldogs have put pretty much everything together in all phases of the game — high-powered offense, dominant defense and disciplined special teams. This Friday night, they’ll put each other to the test in a huge 8-man clash at Byers.

Lyons (4-0, No. 4 ranking) got the Bulldogs (4-0, No. 6) last year, 52-14, but this certainly isn’t the same Bulldogs team. Byers has outscored opponents so far by a 182-76 count, with junior quarterback Chase Long igniting the Byers offense with a 68% completion rate, nine touchdowns and no interceptions. Fellow junior Kaleb Willoughby has doubled his nightly output from last year, surpassing 200 offensive yards a game, too.

Lyons’ four opponents so far have combined for a 5-11 record, which indicates the Lions have their biggest challenge so far directly ahead of them this week. But the defense for Jason Yantzer has quietly been one of 8-man’s best, notching eight turnovers in four contests.

Limon puts its best foot forward

Yards didn’t come easy for the Limon Badgers last Saturday at Buena Vista, but a 21-0 shutout of 1A’s No. 5 ranked team indicates the squad is once again one of the elite contenders. Senior Lohgan Bottjer scored both offensive touchdowns for Limon (4-0, No. 1 in 1A), while Jordan Rockwell’s 38-yard interception return for a touchdown was a back-breaker for the Demons (4-2). Limon has a good game on its hands this week as it hosts longtime rival Burlington on Friday night.

The rest of the story

Kent Denver (4-0) has outscored opponents, 167-8, so far this season. The Sun Devils’ latest win was a 48-0 blanking of Sterling.

Englewood junior quarterback Carson Campbell has thrown 15 TD passes to just two interceptions in helping the Pirates to a 3-1 record. Seven of those touchdowns have gone to senior Dominic Dever.

Former Frederick coach Travis Peeples has Wellington 4-0 in just its second varsity season.