COLORADO SPRINGS – We’re now into Week 1 of the Colorado high school football season! Here are our 5 Games to Watch as we prepare for a full Thursday and Friday night lineup of games on the Friday Football Fever.
Game of the Week – PUEBLO WEST @ PUEBLO COUNTY:
The Pigskin Classic takes center stage in Week 1 as the County vs. West rivalry adds a new character in Cyclone head coach Clint Buderus. He comes to Pueblo West from La Junta where he won he schools first state title in more than 50 years when they won in 2016 – on home soil, no less! Buderus no doubt hopes he can bring that same magic to the Cyclones when they won their only state football title in 2007. A rocky start at least, losing 10-6 last Friday against Fruita-Monument will give them some motivation into this week. It’s been three years since the Hornets have seen the postseason and Jeff Wilson’s squad are hungry to get back. Throw out the record books with a rivalry game and just enjoy the game!
EAGLECREST @ FOUNTAIN-FORT CARSON:
A playoff rematch in 5A from last season and these two could meet again if things go the Trojans way in 2018. Everything appears to be going in the right direction with F-FC (1-0) after a solid 21-14 win over Horizon last week. In head coach Jake Novotny’s third season at the helm, the team has gotten progressively better each year. A once doormat in Colorado High School football, Eaglecrest is now one of the state’s best teams and even with new head coach Dustin Delaney – a few new healthy transfers – the Raptors should contend for another state title. (EHS fell to Pomona 56-49, setting a record for the state’s highest total scoring championship game.) Raptors are fast and talented, so if F-FC and they’re at home…. flip a coin.
ERIE @ PUEBLO SOUTH:
The new 3A #1 takes on the defending 4A champs at Dutch Clark Stadium, oh what a matchup! The Colts (0-1) stayed in the top ten in 3A with their loss to Holy Family last week but it might be a year of growing pains for Ryan Goddard’s team. Marcel Barbee? JUCO. Zach Cozzolino? Graduated. Thomas Pannunzio? CSU. In the uber-competitive 3A class, it might take a season to get up to speed. Erie topped Evergreen 35-7 last week to get their season going. The Tigers (1-0) got a taste of the title game last year – falling to Palmer Ridge 46-21 in the state championship game – and they’ll be hungry to get back there. The Colts haven’t kicked at the Dutch yet this season, expect a big crowd Friday night for their first home game.
DOHERTY @ MULLEN:
Can Doherty right the ship? We’ll find out Friday night vs. Mullen. The Spartans felt the sting of missing the 5A playoffs – despite a 7-3 regular season record but were clipped due to RPI Standings – and set out to set a schedule that would leave no doubt, as long as they won. Coming off a 56-7 drubbing at the hands of 5A #1 Cherry Creek, we’ll see how quickly they can bounce back and move on. Mullen made quick work of their Week 1 opponent with a 48-10 win over Far Northeast. If The Spartans can’t make a defensive presence on the road – and get the run game going – it could be a long night for Head Coach Jeff Krumlauf’s team.
Extra Game to watch: PINE CREEK @ RIO RANCHO (NM):
Pine Creek is taking their game on the road to New Mexico. The 4A state runner-up will take on Rio Rancho HS Friday night, to see how they stack up south of the Colorado border. Pine Creek withstood Palmer Ridge’s second-half rally last week for their first win of the season. Rio Rancho was a 9-3 ball club last season…. and that’s about all I got on them. We’ll see if Pine Creek brings back a win with their hatch green chiles.
Others to pay attention to:
4A: Vista Ridge vs. Windsor
4A: Chatfield vs. Rampart – Saturday
3A: Roosevelt vs. Discovery Canyon
Your team not listed here? Several schools played Thursday night, final scores and highlights are available here.
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