One loss certainly isn’t disastrous. Especially to teams as talented as Silver Creek and Monarch.
Yet the championship aspirations harbored by both squads will be forged by just how capably each team bounces back from stunning, last-minute defeats.
Silver Creek and Monarch entered last week’s games ranked No. 1 in Class 3A and 4A, respectively, but were unceremoniously dumped from their perches. The Raptors were undone by a feisty Frederick squad that is showing signs of rapid improvement. Monarch was toppled by Montrose in the Coyotes’ second one-versus-two matchup of the season.
“The thing that came from it the most for us is just that we need to play every play,” Silver Creek coach Mike Apodaca said. “Frederick is a good team, but we’ll play a lot of good teams from here on out. Special teams was probably glaring for us, but when it comes down to it we had many chances to either make a stop or score points, and we didn’t do it.”
Both teams should rebound with little trouble this week, as Silver Creek begins Tri-Valley League play Friday night against Northridge while Monarch visits winless Golden in its 4A Mountain League opener.
In Silver Creek’s case, a midseason loss could be exactly what the Raptors ordered. Silver Creek suffered back-to-back losses against Skyline and Roosevelt last season, ruining the team’s chances at a league crown. Nevertheless, the Raptors promptly reeled off a six-game winning streak, allowing an average of only 10.2 points a game during that run while capturing the program’s first state title.
“We have a high majority of those kids back,” Apodaca said. “We just have to make sure they understand that nothing is guaranteed. Just because something happened last year, doesn’t mean it will just happen the same way this year. That’s a battle we knew we’d face this year.”
Among this week’s other highlights is red-hot Longmont hosting Thompson Valley in a Thursday night showdown; upstart Mead looking to remain unbeaten against Berthoud; Frederick looking to continue its momentum in a tough draw against Erie; and 5A No. 3 Fairview pitting its high-flying offense against Arvada West.
Thompson Valley (3-1) at Longmont (3-1)
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m., Everly-Montgomery Field.
Last week: Thompson Valley defeated Greeley West 7-3; Longmont defeated Windsor 26-14.
Quick hits: The surging Trojans have won three consecutive games and have developed a dynamic one-two punch on offense with QB Clint Sigg (571 passing yards and 5 TD’s; 350 rushing yards and 4 TD’s) and RB Eli Sullivan (558 yards, 5 TD’s) … The Trojans debuted in this week’s CHSAA Class 4A state rankings at No. 10 … Longmont is averaging 38.5 points a game … Windsor, which Longmont defeated by 12 points last week, handed Thompson Valley a 41-point loss two weeks ago … Thompson Valley has scored only seven points in each of its past two games.
Rooney’s read: Longmont by 14.
Erie (3-1) at Frederick (2-2)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Last week: Erie defeated Northridge 35-6; Frederick defeated Silver Creek 31-28.
Quick hits: Frederick enters this 3A Northern League opener on a roll, having recorded consecutive comeback wins against Roosevelt and then-3A No. 1 Silver Creek … After rushing for 194 yards through the first three games, Frederick RB Xavier Lindburg recorded 168 yards and two touchdowns last week against the Raptors … The Warriors’ stout defense has forced nine turnovers while recording four sacks … Erie already has rushed for over 1,300 yards and compiled 355 rushing yards in last week’s win against Northridge.
Rooney’s read: Frederick by 8.
Arvada West (3-2) at Fairview (4-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Recht Field.
Last week: Arvada West defeated Legacy 24-0; Fairview defeated Ralston Valley 43-18.
Quick hits: Both teams are 1-0 in the 5A North Metro League … 5A No. 3-ranked Fairview is averaging 49.8 points a game … Despite having played one less game than most of the competition, Fairview QB Anders Hill leads Class 5A, and ranks second in the state overall, with 1,300 passing yards … Knights WR Sam Martin leads the state with 683 receiving yards … Arvada West’s win against a shorthanded Legacy team last week was the squad’s second shutout of the season.
Rooney’s read: Fairview by 10.
Berthoud (1-3) at Mead (4-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Last week: Berthoud lost 48-20 at Holy Family; Mead won 49-0 against Skyview.
Quick hits: Mead is 4-0 for the first time in the program’s history … The Mavericks have recorded a pair of shutouts and have allowed only 27 points all season … Mead QB Griffin Nelson has thrown 16 TD’s with only one interception in 52 attempts. That’s a TD in every 3.3 pass attempts … The Mavericks debuted at No. 7 in this week’s CHSAA Class 3A state poll … Berthoud has displayed uncanny balance on offense, averaging 164 rushing yards and 164.8 passing yards per game.
Rooney’s read: Mead by 15.
George Washington (1-4) at Broomfield (2-2)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium.
Last week: GW defeated Kennedy 21-20; Broomfield defeated Denver South 26-15.
Quick hits: After losing its first two games in close decisions against 5A programs, Broomfield has looked like a 4A playoff contender while posting consecutive wins … This is the 4A Mountain League opener for both teams … Broomfield RB Noah Tripp has rushed for three TD’s in each of the past two games … GW allowed an average of 45.8 points during its four losses.
Rooney’s read: Broomfield by 21.
Niwot (2-2) at Mountain View (1-3)
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m., Ray Patterson Stadium.
Last week: Niwot lost to Loveland 48-20; Mountain View lost to Greeley Central 42-27.
Quick hits: The Cougars are averaging a respectable 5.2 yards per attempt on the ground, but due to often playing from behind Niwot has averaged fewer than 15 rushing attempts per game … Niwot QB Bryan Meek has been responsible for 596 of the Cougars’ 710 yards of total offense … Mountain View has surrendered at least 42 points in each of its three losses.
Rooney’s read: Mountain View by 4.
Boulder (1-3) at Ralston Valley (3-2)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m., North Area Athletic Complex.
Last week: Boulder lost 44-8 at Pomona; Ralston Valley lost 43-18 at Fairview.
Quick hits:. The Panthers have been outscored 125-28 during a three-game tailspin, and they will be hard pressed to turn things around against the high-scoring Mustangs … Sophomore RB Todd Jones has been a bright spot for Boulder, but large early deficits have left the Panthers unable to fully utilize the running game … Although the Mustangs struggled early last week against Fairview, Ralston Valley QB Jacob Knipp still has thrown 11 TD’s with only two interceptions in 110 attempts.
Rooney’s read: Ralston Valley by 21.
Monarch (3-1) at Golden (0-5)
Kickoff: 4 p.m.; North Area Athletic Complex.
Last week: Monarch lost 39-34 against Montrose; Golden lost 13-6 against Littleton.
Quick hits: After getting dropped from 4A No. 1 to third after last week’s loss against new No. 1 Montrose, Monarch should rebound easily enough against a winless Golden club that has been outscored 200-21 … This is the 4A Mountain League opener for both squads.
Rooney’s read: Monarch by 28.
Northridge (3-2) at Silver Creek (3-1)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Everly-Montgomery Field.
Last week: Northridge lost 35-6 to Erie; Silver Creek lost 31-28 to Frederick.
Quick hits: The Raptors, who dropped from first to fourth in this week’s CHSAA 3A poll, opens Tri-Valley League play against a Northridge team that has lost two of its past three games following a 2-0 start … After making five catches for 74 yards through the first three games, Silver Creek receiver Eric Machmuller erupted for nine receptions for 151 yards and a touchdown in last week’s loss against Frederick … Northridge is averaging a solid 338.2 yards a game but the club has been turnover-prone, committing 10 in five games.
Rooney’s read: Silver Creek by 14.
Thomas Jefferson (2-3) at Holy Family (3-1)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Mike G. Gabriel Stadium.
Last week: Thomas Jefferson lost 28-19 against Mitchell; Holy Family defeated Berthoud 48-20.
Quick hits: The Tigers begin 3A Northern League play against a TJ team that has scored only 25 points in its past three games … Holy Family’s dynamic offense has produced at least 42 points in each of the team’s three victories … Often overlooked by the Tigers’ high-scoring offense, Holy Family’s defense has forced 13 turnovers.
Rooney’s read: Holy Family by 18.
Skyline (2-2) at Roosevelt (2-2)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Last week: Skyline defeated Centaurus 40-19; Roosevelt defeated Elizabeth 35-16.
Quick hits: After suffering late losses in its first two games, Skyline has rebounded with consecutive victories … QB Garret Angstead continues to do most of the heavy lifting for the Falcons, compiling 670 passing yards and 448 rushing yards while accounting for all 11 of Skyline’s touchdowns … Roosevelt features a powerful rushing attack that already has produced more than 1,100 yards and 13 TD’s.
Rooney’s read: Roosevelt by 10.
Centaurus (0-4) at Denver North (0-5)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., All-City Field.
Last week: Centaurus lost to Skyline 40-19; Denver North lost 38-8 against Fort Morgan.
Quick hits: Centaurus’ offense has shown signs of improvement. After scoring just six points in their first two games, the Warriors have posted 40 points in their past two games … Although the Warriors are struggling junior RB Matt Buchler has developed into a bright spot. Buchler has compiled 440 rushing yards with four TD’s … Winless Denver North has scored just 35 points in five games.
Rooney’s read: Centaurus by 7.
Pomona (4-1) at Legacy (2-3)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., North Stadium.
Last week: Pomona defeated Boulder 44-8; Legacy lost to Arvada West 24-0.
Quick hits: Legacy again will play without RB Taten Petersian, who is expected so serve a suspension for violating team rules until the final regular season game against Ralston Valley on Oct. 25 … Petersian gained 476 rushing yards in the first four games, but Legacy managed just 128 total yards without him in last week’s shutout loss against Arvada West … 5A No. 9 Pomona has received 167.6 rushing yards a game from senior RB Chris Marquez.
Rooney’s read: Pomona by 17.
Gilpin County (3-2) at Longmont Christian (1-3)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Gilpin County defeated Justice 72-22; Longmont Christian defeated Resurrection Christian JV 33-20.
Quick hits: Longmont Christian WR Josiah Bolyard has made 22 receptions for 242 yards in the past three games … The Warriors will be challenged to slow a Gilpin County offense that has scored 130 points in its past two games … Longmont Christian defeated Gilpin 41-8 last year.
Rooney’s read: Gilpin County by 14.
Lyons (4-0) at Nederland (0-4)
Kickoff: 1 p.m.
Last week: Lyons defeated Front Range Christian 14-13; Nederland lost to 50-6 against Denver Christian.
Quick hits: Lyons’ Trent Paulsen-Logan Watson-led offense has been effective, but the Lyons have truly gotten the job done on defense. The Lions have collected 10 sacks, nine interceptions, and two fumble recoveries … Nederland has scored only 18 points all season. The Panthers have committed 14 turnovers.
Rooney’s read: Lyons by 24.
Follow Pat on Twitter: twitter.com/prooney07