It’s the final week of the regular season for 2-1A schools and 5A which means the final chance to go for broke and make the playoffs and win league.
Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose, right? I read that somewhere…
Game Of The Week – AIR ACADEMY (6-2, RPI #19) vs. RAMPART (6-2, RPI #18): These two are playing for bragging rights in their own school district but this is a huge game for both teams, hence why it’s game of the week. Rampart currently tied with Pueblo West in the 4A Southern 2 League – both 3-0 – and a win will keep them in a tie with the Cyclones atop the standings. (Sorry Widefield). BUT if Air Academy can get the win road win, they’ll be in a tie with the Rams (both would be 3-1). Kadets head coach Scott Grinde has done a solid job in three years at the helm, bringing them up from 2-8 his first year to 6-4 in 2017, but now he’s got them on the cusp of the 4A playoffs. Kadets need the wins and help to keep them in the postseason conversation with their low strength of schedule (36) and an RPI ranking at 19. Rampart is not out of the woods either, sitting one spot higher at #18 and a weaker strength of schedule by a single number (37). The winner will no doubt be watching what happens with Pueblo West and if Widefield can pull the upset.
PALMER RIDGE (6-2, RPI #14) vs. LEWIS-PALMER (5-3, RPI #13): The Rangers saved their season when they upset Discovery Canyon, 30-27, last Saturday and actually helped their arch-rivals in the 3A Central League race. As of writing this, Palmer Ridge sits atop the league with LP two spots back. And what do we say when we have rivalry games? “THROW THE RECORD BOOKS OUT!” Yeah, I know it’s a tired cliche but it’s true and LP could knock off the Bears at Don Breese Stadium on Friday night. The Rangers have all the capability on offense to hang with Palmer Ridge, putting up 242 points so far. We all know the Bears can score points (346) but their defense has been the unsung hero of the season, holding their last three opponents to single digits and recording one shutout in 2018. Expect a slug match Friday night as these two battle for the Palmer Cup.
FLORENCE (7-1, RPI #4) vs. CSCS (7-1, RPI #6): What a match up we have this late in the season! Both teams with one loss and the league title is on the line! Let’s give it up for the 1A schools, yeah!? The Lions are roaring in 2018, a better record than last season already and are on pace for their fourth playoff appearance in five years. Their defense has been leading the way, allowing less than 50 points for the season (five shutouts) – that’s incredible for any level of football in Colorado. Florence is no slouch defensively, allowing just 79 points this season while averaging 38 points in league play. Winner of the this one wins the 1A Tri-Peaks league and a guaranteed spot in the playoffs but since both teams RPIs are so high, we could see the same two again in the playoffs.
PUEBLO CENTENNIAL (4-4, RPI #21) vs. PUEBLO SOUTH (3-5, RPI #15): Fresh off their win in the Bell Game (Bell rings red for the 3rd straight year), can the Bulldogs catch South in the league race and boost their RPI standing? They’ll need the wins down the stretch to improve their chances of making the post season. All teams are playing for second place behind Pueblo East in the league race so style points might help both teams in their quest for November. South, the defending 4A champs, are in slight danger of missing the post season but their solid RPI number is keeping the afloat and wins like last week vs. Durango are improving their chances with two weeks to go.
FOUNTAIN-FORT CARSON (5-4, RPI #19) vs. DOHERTY (4-5, RPI #21): As of right now, both teams are inside the top 24 for the 5A playoff bracket but both are going to finish behind Regis in the 5A South League. So, tomorrow’s game and win are at a premium for either teams to continue their season. If Doherty can get consistent play from their defense, Friday night could be interesting vs. the Trojans. FFC lost sophomore running back Quentin Jones to a season ending leg injury so the workload will fall on quarterback Isaac Robinson…. tune into News5 at 10 on Friday night to see how it shakes out!
4A: Grand Junction Central (6-2, RPI #10) vs. Pine Creek (7-1, RPI #3) – Saturday
4A: Widefield (2-6, RPI #40) vs. Pueblo West (6-2, RPI #9)
3A: Discovery Canyon (7-1, RPI #6) vs. Lutheran (3-5, RPI #25)
2A: Manitou Springs (3-5, RPI #29) vs. La Junta (8-0, RPI #3)
1A: Peyton (8-0, RPI #2) vs. Trinidad (0-7, RPI #37)
THURSDAY FOOTBALL SCORES:
Pueblo East: 48
Pueblo Central: 16
Sand Creek: 0
Vista Ridge: 58