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Ethan Marks
Tom Burns, Colorado Hometown Weekly
Monarch running back Ethan Marks carries the ball in the Coyotes’ 21-14 win against Wheat Ridge last season. The teams meet in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown Thursday at Jeffco Stadium.

While many football teams are busy correcting Week 1 blunders and learning the feel of their new squads, things get ultra-real for Monarch really quick this week. 

With the calendar only in the first week of September, it’s difficult to think showdown. But here it is, Thursday night: No. 1 Monarch at No. 2 Wheat Ridge (7 p.m., Jeffco Stadium). 
The Class 4A rivals have closed the regular season the past two years, when they were members of the Mountain Plains League. Monarch won each time, 26-13 on the road in 2010 and 21-14 at home last season. 
Now the foes are in different leagues – Monarch in the Mountain, Wheat Ridge in the Plains – but this qualifies as the marquee game of the week (maybe the month) in the classification. 
Each team won its opener, as Monarch throttled Greeley West 32-6 and Wheat Ridge nipped Windsor 17-16. Monarch’s top back Ethan Marks rushed for 122 yards on 10 carries before leaving with a right-shoulder bruise. Coach Phil Bravo and Marks himself said after the game that he is expected back for this week.
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