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Lindenstein: A 1-2 showdown and some upstart resilience lead off Week 2 football capsules

 

Two columns for the bargain-basement price of one this week, plus capsules on all 15 local games. …


NO. 1 VS. 2 PROVIDES EARLY SEASON TREAT

Rankings are cheap this early in the football season.

Mullen proved that two weeks ago by knocking off the Valor Christian freight train that everyone feared was going to walk its way through Colorado’s top classification this fall.

There are too many unknowns, too many kids who spent the offseason growing, too many team changes in styles to know exactly who will be playing for a gold ball the first Saturday in December.

But that doesn’t make a No. 1 vs. 2 matchup any less intriguing, especially when it includes two of Class 4A’s usual powers.

Monarch (1-0) — ranked first in the Denver Post coaches and media poll — plays at No. 2 Wheat Ridge (1-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday night at Jefferson County Stadium.

Every season since 2006, at least one of the two programs has played in the 4A semifinals or better — with Wheat Ridge logging titles in 2006 and 2008 to go with a runner-up finish in 2010, and Monarch reaching the title game in 2007.

“It kind of gives you a playoff flavor heading into the week,” Monarch coach Phil Bravo said. “Not only is it 1 vs. 2, but it’s Wheat Ridge’s homecoming. So for us we know we’re walking into a hornets’ nest.”

For Monarch, the game continues a difficult start the season after opening against an always-tough Greeley West program last week. But Wheat Ridge — a 17-16 winner over 2011 Class 3A champ Windsor last week — also likely marks the end of the Coyotes’ rigors for awhile.

Monarch, a 32-6 winner over Greeley West, should cruise in its next three non-conference games. And after two years of playing in a competitive Mountain Plains League — of which Wheat Ridge was a member — the Coyotes face only one real test in league play this fall, Oct. 26 at rival Broomfield.

“I like it because you just know where you stand,” Bravo said. “You get a real true barometer of where you’re at now and what things you really need to improve on.

“Wheat Ridge is as physical a team as (Class 5A No. 1) Columbine. It’s just a wave of high-pressure physical football. So for us, that’s a test that we want to experience early.”

Bravo said running back Ethan Marks, who left last week’s game early with a shoulder injury, practiced all week and is ready to go for Thursday’s game.

All of the Coyotes had better be ready. MHS beat Wheat Ridge each of the last two seasons to win their former conference, and the Farmers will no doubt be seeking revenge.

Of course, don’t think the Coyotes haven’t taken note of the fact that they’re the Farmers’ homecoming foe — a distinction usually reserved for a team the home squad counts on as an easy win.

“I think our staff has done a really good job of preparing our kids for not only the physical part of the game but the emotional part as well,” Bravo said.

Sure, it might be early to start making title game predictions. But one team will no doubt walk away from Thursday’s game the favorite in Class 4A.

And it’s never too early to get excited for a matchup like that.


MEAD’S KLATT GETS PEAK AT MAVERICKS’ RESILIENCY

After leading 9-0 at halftime, worry soon crossed through new Mead football coach Jason Klatt’s mind.

A Valley squad that had beaten the fledgling MHS program the last two years in a row scored quickly after halftime to steal the momentum, and Klatt was afraid things might snowball from there for his defense.

The Mavericks, after all, had gone 3-17 in their first two seasons of varsity play, so there was plenty of room for doubt to creep into their minds.

But in a season where the Mavericks will likely endure plenty of bumps along the way, Klatt got an early indication of one thing for certain about his squad: It’s resilient.

The Mavericks answered Valley’s third-quarter score with one of their own, and the MHS defense came through with big plays when it needed them to stave off Valley’s rally.

“I thought what was most critical in the game was our defense’s ability to hang in there against a tough offense and not panic,” Klatt said. “They went back out there (after Valley’s first score) and hung in there for the rest of the game.”

And a team that knows it has a tough road ahead got nice Week 1 boost of confidence — and from a variety of contributors.

Logan Anderson piled up 171 yards rushing. Three different players scored touchdowns. Three different players logged double-digit tackle totals. And the defense forced four turnovers.

The Mavericks (1-0) will have to try and ride the wave of momentum this Friday. They host a St. Mary’s squad that is ranked ninth in Class 2A after following up a 1-9 season two years ago with a breakthrough 6-4 campaign last fall.

Then the Mavericks, who face the added difficulty of moving up to Class 3A this fall, face 3A No. 6 Holy Family, an always physical Erie squad and a nasty Tri-Valley League slate — Berthoud, Northridge, Skyline, Silver Creek, Roosevelt.

Klatt knows the Mavericks have a lot more building to do. He insists the team’s focus right now is more about improving each week rather than wins and losses. And he said his players — a group full of “solid character kids” — have done a good job of committing to such a process.

But maybe, just maybe in a Week 1 win, Klatt’s already gotten a sneak peak at the identity that will help the Mavericks reach their desired destination sooner rather than later.

“They’re not going to give in,” Klatt said. “We’re just going to keep battling every week.”


 

THURSDAY’S GAMES


Niwot (0-1) at Standley Lake (1-0)

Kickoff: 6 p.m., North Area Athletic Complex.

Last week: Skyline 41, Niwot 21; Standley Lake bye.

Quick hits: Niwot started off strong enough last week vs. Skyline but couldn’t keep the good times rolling. The Cougars could use a win here for momentum against a building Standley Lake squad — a 35-3 Zero Week winner over Littleton. The schedule for NHS is pretty much nasty the rest of the way.

Lindenstein’s line: Standley Lake by 6.


Monarch (1-0) at Wheat Ridge (1-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Jefferson County Stadium.

Last week: Monarch 32, Greeley West 6; Wheat Ridge 17, Windsor 16.

Quick hits: It’s No. 1 vs. No. 2 in Class 4A. … You have to go back to 2005 to find the last year when neither of these teams reached the state semifinals.

Lindenstein’s line: Monarch by 3.


Thompson Valley (1-0) at Skyline (1-0)

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

Last week: Skyline 41, Niwot 21; Thompson Valley 14, Golden 0.

Quick hits: Class 3A Skyline faces its second 4A Northern League foe in as many weeks. … A victory gives the Falcons their first 2-0 start since 2004. … Thompson Valley, another program looking for a turnaround season, is led by coach Clint Fick, who returned this fall to the program he guided to the 2005 state semifinals.

Lindenstein’s line: Skyline by 4.


Frederick (1-0) at Pueblo East (0-1)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Dutch Clark Stadium.

Last week: Frederick 7, Elizabeth 0; Discovery Canyon 29, Pueblo East 19.

Quick hits: Apparently Frederick’s Week 1 victory didn’t impress voters as the Warriors fell from the top spot in the Denver Post media and coaches poll. But perhaps voters just forgot that grinding out black and blue victories is what FHS did best on its run to the 3A semifinals last fall. … Pueblo East comes off a 6-4 season but could be a contender for the Southern League crown.

Lindenstein’s line: Frederick by 8.




FRIDAY’S GAMES


Boulder (1-0) at Prairie View (0-2)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Prairie View HS.

Last week: Boulder 41, George Washington 6; Legend 45, Prairie View 7.

Quick hits: Boulder running back Demetrius Kennedy racked up 144 yards of offense and three touchdowns on just nine touches last week. Quarterback TJ Patterson threw a touchdown pass every seven attempts vs. no interceptions. If the Panthers can keep up that kind of efficiency, they should find plenty of success. … Prairie View is in major rebuilding mode in its first season at the 5A level.

Lindenstein’s line: Boulder by 23.


Overland (1-0) at Fairview (1-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Recht Field.

Last week: Fairview 42, Poudre 7; Overland 13, Arvada West 6.

Quick hits: Who needs a starting quarterback when your backup can throw for 350 yards? Fairview found out it’s got a nice insurance plan in sophomore Johnny Feauto — the son of one of coach Tom McCartney’s former Boulder High teammates. … Fairview and Overland renew an old Centennial League rivalry in this one. … Overland, winless last year, came from behind last week with a balanced rushing attack and solid defense.

Lindenstein’s line: Fairview by 13.


Legacy (1-0) at Broomfield (0-1)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium.

Last week: Pomona 41, Broomfield 38; Legacy 31, Bear Creek 14.

Quick hits: This cross-classification, cross-town rivalry has become a standing-room only affair, with the last two years only fueling the fire. Legacy won 23-21 in 2010 only to see Broomfield take a 38-23 triumph on the Lightning’s turf last fall. … Want an early all-region player of the year candidate? How about Legacy tailback Phydell Paris, who had 230 yards and two touchdowns rushing vs. Bear Creek?

Lindenstein’s line: Legacy by 2.


Centaurus (0-1) at Silver Creek (1-0)

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

Last week: Conifer 40, Centaurus 8; Silver Creek bye.

Quick hits: Silver Creek has had two weeks to recover from a wild Zero Week overtime victory in Nevada. Now we get to see where last year’s 3A state runner-up Raptors stand against in-state competition after a load of graduation losses. … The Centaurus offense will look to get on track after amassing just 94 yards in its opener vs. Conifer.

Lindenstein’s line: Silver Creek by 9.


D’Evelyn (1-1) at Holy Family (1-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Mike Gabriel Field.

Last week: Holy Family 27, Faith Christian 24; Mountain View 35, D’Evelyn 32.

Quick hits: Holy Family gets an early gauge of where it stands against top 3A competition. D’Evelyn quarterback Cody Marvel is experienced and already has 656 yards of total offense to his name in two games. … Holy Family tailback Jarred DeHerrera got off to a solid start with 287 yards rushing last week.

Lindenstein’s line: D’Evelyn by 4.


Erie (1-0) at Berthoud (0-1)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Max Marr Stadium.

Last week: Erie 41, Mitchell 0; Fort Morgan 35, Berthoud 7.

Quick hits: You want efficiency? Erie doesn’t throw much, but quarterback Tristan Lyle went 4 for 4 for 47 yards and a TD last week. … The Tigers routed Berthoud by 20 last season, and the 2007 state champion Spartans are still going through a bit of a rebuilding process.

Lindenstein’s line: Erie by 15.


St. Mary’s (1-0) at Mead (1-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Mead HS.

Last week: Mead 30, Valley 21; St. Mary’s 7, Colorado Springs Christian 6.

Quick hits: Mead is already halfway to last season’s win total. Now can the Mavericks string some success together? … The Mavericks’ defense forced four turnovers last week. … St. Mary’s is just two seasons removed from a 1-9 campaign but is ranked ninth in Class 2A.

Lindenstein’s line: Mead by 5.


Lyons (1-0) at Yuma (0-1)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Yuma HS.

Last week: Lyons 23, Ellicott 6; Limon 47, Yuma 14.

Quick hits: The Brandon Wilkes era got off to a solid start last week at Lyons. Nice work Coach. Now, your first Eastern Plains road trip. Even in a down year, Yuma played state semifinalist Lyons tough a year ago in a 10-7 LHS victory. … Lyons appears to have another solid dual-threat QB in Logan Watson.

Lindenstein’s line: Lyons by 7.


Longmont Chr. (0-1) at Kiowa (1-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Kiowa HS.

Last week: Haxtun 48, Longmont Christian 6; Kiowa 42, West Grand 20.

Quick hits: Longmont Christian has a brutal schedule to start the season. But endure the early bumps, and the Warriors should still find themselves in agood position to compete for the I-25 Division title.

Lindenstein’s line: Kiowa by 13.


Justice (0-0) at Soroco (1-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Soroco HS.

Last week: Justice bye; Soroco 56, Gilpin County 0.

Quick hits: Justice is always a bit of a mystery until the season starts, but the young Phoenix should have the skill positions to keep them in games.

Lindenstein’s line: Soroco by 16.




SATURDAY’S GAME


Longmont (0-1) at G.J. Central (0-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m., Stocker Stadium.

Last week: Ralston Valley 41, Longmont 3; Palisade 41, Grand Junction Central 6.

Quick hits: Longmont fell against a tough 5A foe a week ago, but still figures to be in the 4A playoff mix when the dust settles. … The Trojans are expected to see starting quarterback Forrest Wetterstrom return this week after a one-game suspension. … Down to 4A from 5A, a struggling Central program opened with a loss to 3A power Palisade.

Lindenstein’s line: Longmont by 25.