The calendar says there remains a few weeks in the regular season.
And the calendar doesn’t lie.
Nevertheless, the quest for conference championships for several teams may be decided this weekend.
First and foremost in that group is Fairview, which will take its 5A No. 2 ranking on the road to take on No. 8 Pomona in a critical North Metro League showdown. Silver Creek faces a similar challenge on the road against Roosevelt in the 3A Tri-Valley League, while undefeated Mead will try to hold serve against a Skyline club desperate for a win in hopes of setting up a huge showdown next week against the defending 3A champion Raptors.
Fairview, of course, will end the regular season next week in its annual rivalry showdown with Boulder. However, given the Panthers’ struggles, Fairview’s biggest game of the regular season will be Friday at the North Area Athletic Complex. Pomona fared well against another pass-happy attack in a win last week against Ralston Valley, which may have served as a valuable primer for this version of the Panthers as they face the Knights’ prolific combination of quarterback Anders Hill and receiver Sam Martin.
Roosevelt should prove to be a stern test for Silver Creek. The Roughriders lost a nail-biter to the lone team to knock off the Raptors — Frederick — and suffered their other loss by less than a touchdown on the road against a solid Loveland club. Roosevelt has the horses to keep pace with Silver Creek offensively, averaging 36.2 points a game.
Mead no longer is one of the state’s best-kept secrets, given the Mavericks’ unprecedented 6-0 start and their ascension to No. 8 in the state’s Class 3A rankings. A win against Skyline not only would give Mead neighborhood bragging rights, but may also show that coach Jason Klatt’s remains focused on the task and not next week’s battle against Silver Creek.
No one will start to get fitted for championship gear after the weekend. Yet for some teams, that dream could be much closer to reality come Sunday.
Frederick (4-2, 2-0 3A Northern League) at Holy Family (5-1, 2-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Mike G. Gabriel Stadium.
Last week: Frederick defeated Centaurus 28-14; Holy Family defeated Erie 20-19.
Quick hits: Holy Family, ranked fifth in 3A, faces a stern challenge against a streaking Frederick squad that has won four consecutive games … Frederick’s sturdy defense is allowing only 15 points a game … The Warriors rolled up 288 rushing yards last week against Centaurus in support of backup QB Mike Lamb. The status of starting QB Michael Broz remains uncertain due to an injury … Holy Family QB David Sommers has accounted for 16 of his team’s 22 offensive touchdowns with seven rushing touchdowns and seven TD passes.
Rooney’s read: Frederick by 4.
Longmont (5-1, 4-0 4A Northern League) at Niwot (2-4, 1-3)
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m., Everly-Montgomery Field.
Last week: Longmont defeated Greeley West 30-16; Niwot lost 35-14 against Greeley Central.
Quick hits: Surging Longmont has averaged 38.6 points during its five-game winning streak … Trojans QB Clint Sigg has thrown for 902 yards and eight touchdowns and has not thrown an interception in 92 attempts … Longmont RB Eli Sullivan remains the Trojans’ leading rusher, averaging 104.3 yards per game, but he has been held to 68 yards on 15 attempts over the past two games … Niwot has surrendered 132 total points during its three-game losing streak.
Rooney’s read: Longmont by 21.
Skyline (2-4, 0-2 3A Tri-Valley League) at Mead (6-0, 2-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Last week: Skyline defeated Montbello 31-21; Mead defeated Northridge 41-14.
Quick hits: Mead, ranked 8th in 3A, needs a win in order to set up consecutive showdowns with the league title on the line, beginning next week at Silver Creek and following with the regular season finale at home against Roosevelt … Mavericks QB Griffin Nelson has put together a whopping TD-to-interception ratio of 19-to-1 in 97 attempts … Mead RB Kyle Couch has averaged 162.5 rushing yards over the past four games … Skyline played No. 3 Silver Creek extremely tough last week and needs a win against a quality opponent to keep its playoff hopes alive.
Rooney’s read: Mead by 10.
Fairview (6-0, 3-0 5A North Metro League) at Pomona (6-1, 3-0)
Kickoff: 4 p.m., North Area Athletic Complex.
Last week: Fairview defeated Legacy 38-20; Pomona defeated Ralston Valley 42-30.
Quick hits: Given Fairview’s final opponent is a one-win Boulder club, this game not only will likely determine the league crown, but will serve as the second-ranked Knights’ final obstacle to an undefeated regular season … Fairview QB Anders Hill leads the state in passing yards (1,975) and teammate Sam Martin leads in receiving yards (946) … Martin needs 83 receiving yards to go over 3,000 for his prep career … 5A No. 8 Pomona boasts an offense that revolves around senior RB Chris Marquez (1,358 rushing yards, 14 TDs).
Rooney’s read: Fairview by 7.
Montbello (5-2, 0-2 4A Mountain League) at Broomfield (4-2, 2-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium.
Last week: Montbello lost 56-7 against Monarch; Broomfield defeated Standley Lake 27-23.
Quick hits: Broomfield joined the 4A rankings this week at No. 8 after defeating then-No. 3 Standley Lake last week … Eagles RB Noah Tripp has recorded three consecutive 100-yard games, compiling 380 yards during that span … Broomfield’s Michael Wristen, Blake Whitsell, and Austyn Harris have combined to produce 10 of the Eagles’ 11 sacks … Monarch has struggled against the top league competition, losing to No. 9 Standley Lake two weeks ago and getting dominated by No. 2 Monarch last week.
Rooney’s read: Broomfield by 10.
Silver Creek (5-1, 2-0 3A Tri-Valley League) at Roosevelt (4-1, 2-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Last week: Silver Creek defeated Skyline 21-13; Roosevelt defeated Berthoud 40-12.
Quick hits: This is the first of consecutive games for 3A No. 3-ranked Silver Creek against the other undefeated teams within the Tri-Valley, a stretch that continues next week against Mead … The game will be a contrast of styles, with the high-flying offense of Silver Creek — led by QB Ben Sjobakken, who ranks third in 3A with 1,469 passing yards — against a Roosevelt club that has thrown for only 318 yards all season. The Roughriders, however, are averaging more than 300 yards a game on the ground.
Rooney’s read: Silver Creek by 8.
Monarch (5-1, 2-0 4A Mountain League) at George Washington (1-6, 0-2)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., All-City Field.
Last week: Monarch defeated Montbello 56-7; GW lost 24-9 against Golden.
Quick hits: 4A No. 2 Monarch received five TDs from senior RB Ethan Marks in last week’s dismantling of another DPS program, Montbello … Senior Adedoyin Jibowu has been a bright spot for struggling GW, leading the Patriots in receiving yards, tackles, and interceptions.
Rooney’s read: Monarch by 28.
Legacy (2-5, 0-3 5A North Metro League) at Boulder (1-5, 0-3)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Recht Field.
Last week: Legacy lost 38-20 to Fairview; Boulder lost 25-0 against Arvada West.
Quick hits: Boulder scored 36 points in a season-opening win against George Washington but has produced only 35 points in five games since … Panthers QBs have combined to complete just 40 percent of their passes with seven interceptions in 92 attempts … Legacy remains shorthanded on offense due to some key suspensions, but sophomore QB Matt Lynch has displayed impressive growth the past two weeks against ranked teams from Pomona and Fairview, going 26 for 53 for 313 yards and three TDs with only one interception.
Rooney’s read: Legacy by 14.
Thomas Jefferson (2-5, 0-2 3A Northern League) at Centaurus (1-5, 1-1)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Warrior Stadium.
Last week: Thomas Jefferson lost 8-0 to Denver North; Centaurus lost 28-14 against Frederick.
Quick hits: Centaurus has shown signs of life lately, soundly defeating Denver North two weeks ago before playing Frederick tough in last week’s loss … Senior RB Matt Buchler is averaging 5.6 yards a carry for the Warriors … TJ scored 59 points in its first two games of the season but has managed just 38 points in five games since, including a total of six in the past two games
Rooney’s read: Centaurus by 10.
Lyons (5-1, 3-1 1A Metro League) at Jefferson (7-1, 4-1)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m., Trailblazer Stadium.
Last week: Lyons lost 35-31 against Platte Canyon; Jefferson defeated Estes Park 54-21.
Quick hits: Lyons put together an impressive late rally that fell just short last week against Platte Canyon … The Lions likely need a win to remain in contention for a 1A state tournament berth … Senior RB Trent Poulsen has scored two TDs in each of the past two games … The solid Lyons defense must key on Jefferson RB Jovanni Lucero, who has collected 1,070 rushing yards and 13 TDs.
Rooney’s read: Lyons by 3.
Justice (1-4, 1-2 I25 League) at Longmont Christian (3-3, 2-1)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Justice lost 45-14 against Rocky Mountain Lutheran; Longmont Christian defeated Belleview Christian 49-12.
Quick hits: Longmont Christian has averaged 42.7 points during a three-game winning streak … Justice has surrendered an average of 59.5 points in its four losses.
Rooney’s read: Longmont Christian by 10.
Nederland (0-6, 0-4 1A Metro League) at Estes Park (2-3, 1-2)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Last week: Nederland lost 47-0 against Front Range Christian; Estes Park lost 54-21 at Jefferson.
Quick hits: Nederland has suffered four shutout losses and has scored only 18 points all season. The Panthers have produced just six points in their past four games … Estes Park won last year’s meeting 47-15 at Nederland.
Rooney’s read: Estes Park by 14.
Erie (3-3, 0-2 3A Northern League) at Denver North (1-6, 1-1)
Kickoff: 4 p.m., All-City Field.
Last week: Erie lost 20-10 against Holy Family; Denver North defeated Thomas Jefferson 8-0.
Quick hits: After losses in three of its past four games against quality competition, including the past two against Frederick and Holy Family, the Tigers need to finish strong in three consecutive winnable games to retain their state tournament hopes …. Erie’s running game still is averaging over 300 yards a game, a unit paced by Joe Ramey (788 yards, 8 TDs) and Christian Mickey (613 yards, 7 TDs) … Denver North has produced just eight points in each of its past three games.
Rooney’s read: Erie 17.
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