TOP FOOTBALL GAMES – WEEK 5

League play gets started in Classes 1A and 2A this week and continues in the eight and six man divisions so the games carry extra weight.  Regardless of how a team ends up in non-conference play they can earn a playoff spot by winning a league championship.
For the largest three classes, it’s one more round of non-conference play and the results will play a role in the RPI standings and eventual playoff wildcard spots for those clubs who don’t land league crowns.
Games listed below are set for Friday unless otherwise noted.  Colorado Preps will preview all the games and more inside our weekly classification reports.  Classes 4A and 5A will publish on Tuesday, 3A and 2A on Wednesday and then the remaining divisions on Thursday.
 

CLASS 5A

Cherokee Trail (2-2) at Grandview (2-2) (Thurs)
Cherry Creek (3-1) at Valor Christian (4-0)
Doherty (3-1) at Fountain Fort Carson (2-2)
Standley Lake (4-0) at Arvada West (3-1)
Chaparral (2-2) at ThunderRidge (2-2)
Pomona (3-1) at Rockhurst MO (Sat)
NOTES:  Always fun when Cherry Creek and Valor Christian step onto the same field.  The Bruins are the only team to ever beat the Eagles in the post-season and now the two clubs renew their rivarly in regular season action.  Seeding for the playoffs is on the line as both teams expect to win league titles.  Grandview and Cherokee Trail are long-time rivals and former members of the Centennial league.  Doherty and Fountain Fort Carson battle for big school supremacy in the Springs.  Standley Lake and Arvada West are both programs on the rise again so the winner continues the momentum.  Chaparral and ThunderRidge are two teams that should be in contention for a wildcard berth if they don’t land their own league title.  For Pomona, they’ll try to bounce back from the loss to Valor with a long road trip against a top level program from the Kansas City region.
 

CLASS 4A

Broomfield (2-2) at Monarch (4-0) (Thurs)
Widefield (4-0) at Chatfield (3-1)
Discovery Canyon (2-2) at Vista Ridge (2-2)
Grand Junction Central (1-3) at Montrose (2-2)
Brighton (2-2) at Fort Collins (2-2)
NOTES:  Monarch continues their tough early season slate against a Broomfield team that seems to be getting better week by week.  The Eagles reached the state finals last year.  Despite a 4-0 start, Widefield seeks more respect statewide as they line up against a Chatfield team coming off an emotional win over Columbine.  Discovery Canyon and Vista Ridge both lost last week and each wants momentum for league play next week.  Montrose and Central are two rivals that could be on the playoff bubble so their game is very important.  The same scenario holds for Brighton and Fort Collins who hope to be in the post-season discussion late in the season.
 

CLASS 3A

Holy Family (4-0) at Longmont (1-3) (Thurs)
Pueblo South (3-1) at Pueblo East (0-4)
Silver Creek (3-1) at Erie (4-0)
Mead (4-0) at Fort Morgan (2-2)
Canon City (4-0) at Palmer Ridge (4-0)
NOTES:   The headliner is the unbeaten battle between Palmer Ridge and Canon City.  Palmer Ridge has already moved into the top five while Canon City looks to build on a great win over Pueblo East last week.  Mead looks to avenge a regular season loss to Fort Morgan last week while the Mustangs seek an end to a short two game losing streak.  Silver Creek beat Erie last year and needs another win over the Tigers to bounce back from the tough loss to Roosevelt.  Erie is part of the rugged Tri Valley as the six teams there have a combined record of 22-2.  Pueblo South and Pueblo East is the latest in the rivalries in the Steel City.
 

CLASS 2A

Kent Denver (4-0) at Elizabeth (3-1)
Weld Central (3-1) at Valley (3-1)
Eaton (2-2) at University (2-2)
Classical Academy (4-0) at La Junta (3-1)
Aspen (4-0) at Coal Ridge (3-1)
NOTES:  In the first week of league, several league titles could be on the line.  Classical Academy and La Junta are both in the top five and the winner should land the Tri Peaks crown.  Kent Denver and Elizabeth have a common opponent in La Junta.  Kent beat the defending champs 10-7 last week while Elizabeth fell by just eight points two weeks ago.  With Resurrection Christian rebuilding a bit, the winner between Eaton and University could end up as the Patriot West champion.   Aspen (2-7) and Coal Ridge (0-9) combined for just two wins last season but now they sport a combined 7-1 mark and the winner should challenge Basalt for the Western Slope championship.
 

CLASS 1A

Clear Creek (4-0) at Bennett (4-0)
Limon (3-1) at Wray (2-2)
Holyoke (2-2) at Burlington (2-2)
Highland (2-2) at Strasburg (3-1)
Hotchkiss (3-1) at Meeker (4-0)
Grand Valley (2-2) at Olathe (2-2)
Cedaredge (2-2) at Paonia (3-1)
Rocky Ford (3-1) at Crowley County (4-1) (Sat)
NOTES:  It’s a good schedule for the opening week of conference play.  Bennett is the defending champion in the Colorado and remains favored again.  A win over Clear Creek won’t click as the Tigers must also face 3-1 Platte Canyon later in the season.  The North Central race should be exciting each week and two early matchups between Limon-Wray and Holyoke-Burlington will help set the tone.  Strasburg and Highland finished one-two in the Northern last year and it could end up that way again.  Cornerstone Christian seems improved but the winner on Friday gains the inside track to that title.  Rocky Ford and Crowley County are the only two teams in the Santa Fe with a winning record so that winner could end up with that title.  Meeker is favored to land the Western Slope crown but the next five spots could end up in any order so we list all three matchups on the league schedule this week.
 

EIGHT MAN

Hayden (4-0) at West Grand (4-0)
Sedgwick County (3-0) at Akron (2-2)
Haxtun (4-0) at Dayspring Christian (3-1)
Caliche (2-2) at Merino (4-0)
Del Norte (3-1) at Norwood (2-1)
NOTES:  The Plains conference has produced the last four and eight of the last ten champions in eight man and the league this year appears very deep.  All six teams open conference action on Friday and all three games should be very competitive.  Norwood lost a league opener to Sargent last week so the Mavericks must get a win over Del Norte to stay in the conference title chase.  Four teams inside the Northwest have at least three wins and the two unbeatens meet in the opening weekend.  Gilpin County and Soroco (both 3-1) should also be in the mix.
 

SIX MAN

Hanover (2-2) at Edison (3-1)
Cotopaxi (4-0) at La Veta (3-1)
Briggsdale (2-2) at Peetz (3-0) (Sat)
NOTES:  Genoa Hugo took a big step to the Central division crown by beating Hanover last week but the game between the Hornets and Edison could determine the runner-up spot.  It will also factor heavily into RPI standings.  Cotopaxi and La Veta are two of the top teams in the Southwest so the winner likely will battle unbeaten Sierra Grande for the crown.  Briggsdale came close to a league win against North Park last week and now challenges the Northern favorite Peetz on the road.

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