Lindenstein: Finally football questions will start to get answered

What’s that you say Kathy Sabine? Eighty degrees today?

Come to think of it, the air did get crisper last night — just in time for the first official football Friday of the season.

And not a moment too soon.

In one respect, Week 1 is the best time of year.

Every team touts itself as a league contender in August. Grand plans are laid out. And for some teams, their worth is obvious. For others those plans are clearly pipe dreams. But there is plenty of gray area, too.

Tonight — finally — the mystery starts unraveling. (Zero Week is just a tease.)

Who’s got what? Who is starting where? Which teams are for real?

For a trio of local squads, one of the bigger mysteries of fall camp was who they’d have taking snaps.

Those questions have been answered.

Fairview, which opens at home tonight against Poudre, is going with experience, starting returning senior Mike McVenes over sophomore Anders Hill.

At Boulder, junior Phil Swisher is getting the nod on Saturday at George Washington. But don’t be surprised to see classmate Demetrius Kennedy, now toting the ball at tailback, to see spot duty behind center in certain situations as well.

Centaurus, meanwhile, has a bit of a two-headed approach heading into tonight’s game at Northridge. Junior David Schald is the starter, but sophomore John Howard should also see first-half action.

At Skyline, the Falcons might have rested easier this week had they faced a little more of the unknown in regard to their opponent.

SHS faces cross-town rival Longmont at 7 p.m. today in the Prep Game of the Week, and there’s no mystery about what the Trojans bring to the mix. In case you missed it, the 4A No. 4 Trojans blasted 5A Arvada West 43-7 in a rare Monday night game earlier this week.

Granted, A-West is down this season, but it’s still one of 5A’s programs that never seems to fall far. (Not to mention the Wildcats beat LHS 38-7 a year ago.) The Trojans look like they’re for real.

Who else will impress on opening night? The fun is in finding out.

Pack your sweatshirts and enjoy.

Poudre (0-0)

at Fairview (0-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Recht Field.

Last year: Fairview (4-6); Poudre (4-6); Fairview def. Poudre, 38-21.

Quick hits: FHS brings plenty of playmakers to the mix but could be hampered some, at least in Week 1, by injuries. Poudre is big up front on both sides of the ball and will feature a tough running game as usual.

Lindenstein’s line: Fairview by 7.

Longmont (1-0)

vs. Skyline (0-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Everly-Montgomery Field.

Last year: Longmont (7-5); Skyline (3-7); Longmont def. Skyline 29-14.

Quick hits: Longmont has won 18 in a row in this rivalry series (they didn’t meet from 1998-2001), but somehow Skyline usually manages to make it a game. Five of the last six between these two have been competitive.

Lindenstein’s line: Longmont by 18.

Niwot (0-0)

at Adams City (0-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Krough Field.

Last year: Niwot (1-9); Adams City (0-10); Niwot def. Adams City 35-10.

Quick hits: This was Niwot’s only win last year, and the talent the Cougars return should make a victory a given again. Now, can they keep it going?

Lindenstein’s line: Niwot by 27.

Centaurus (0-0)

at Northridge (0-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., District 6 Stadium.

Last year: Centaurus (8-3); Northridge (2-8); Centaurus def. Northridge 21-7.

Quick hits: Both teams are rebuilding, but Centaurus at least has a few players back who have won before to build around. It’s baptism by fire for CHS, which opens with two road games, then 2A power Faith Christian at home and league rival Holy Family on the road.

Lindenstein’s line: Centaurus by 4.

Holy Family (0-0)

at Steamboat Springs (0-1)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Gardner Field.

Last year: Holy Family (7-3); Steamboat (0-10); Holy Family def. Steamboat 37-6.

Quick hits: Steamboat has lost 12 in a row dating back to the 2009 state title game. Holy Family is a playoff contender with a 1,000-yard rusher back in Connor Clay.

Lindenstein’s line: Holy Family by 23.

Elizabeth (0-1)

at Erie (0-0)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m., Erie Stadium.

Last year: Erie (7-4); Elizabeth (14-0); Elizabeth def. Erie 28-13.

Quick hits: Both top-10 teams from a year ago, both were decimated by graduation. Preseason 3A No. 1 Elizabeth lost a Zero Week showdown against 2A No. 1 Olathe.

Lindenstein’s line: Elizabeth by 3.

Boulder (0-0)

at George Washington (0-0)

Kickoff: 1 p.m., All City Stadium.

Last year: Boulder (4-6); Washington (2-8); Boulder def. Washington, 40-16.

Quick hits: Boulder is gunning for its first winning season since 2003 and should have the personnel to do it. Taking care of business here against a GW team trying to recover from a rough year last season would be a good first step.

Lindenstein’s line: Boulder by 20.

Silver Creek (0-0)

at Kent Denver (0-0)

Kickoff: 2 p.m.

Last year: Silver Creek (8-4); Kent Denver (10-3); Silver Creek def. Kent, 21-20.

Quick hits: Silver Creek is ranked third in 3A, while Kent is fourth in 2A and looking for revenge from last season. SCHS is loaded with playmakers, led by Washington State recruit Austin Apodaca at quarterback.

Lindenstein’s line: Silver Creek by 5.

Byers (1-0)

at Nederland (0-0)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

Last year: Nederland (0-9); Byers (9-2); Byers def. Nederland, 42-0.

Quick hits: The Panthers are experienced enough that they should close the gap on several teams this year. How much is the question.

Lindenstein’s line: Byers by 13.