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Rooney: Football Week 9 preview capsules
Rooney: Football Week 9 preview capsules

Rivalry week.

Enough said.

As the playoff picture begins to slowly take shape, a number of prominent local programs will attempt to hone their postseason resumes in the sort of emotionally-charged matchups that routinely are circled on the schedule the moment they are released.

Fairview vs. Boulder. Monarch vs. Broomfield. Longmont vs. Loveland. All three matchups stir the passions of players and fans alike. And to one extent or another, all three will boast crucial postseason ramifications.

“It’s a rivalry game for us,” Longmont coach Doug Johnson said. “It’s all the marbles.”

Although one regular season game remains after Thursday’s showdown between Johnson’s Trojans and Loveland, the fate of the Class 4A Northern League will be in the balance at Everly-Montgomery Field. Having already been shut out by a Windsor team that Longmont defeated on Sept. 27, Loveland is in desperate need of a win to claim at least a share of the conference crown.

For 4A No. 7 Longmont, the math is much simpler. The Trojans are in control of their own destiny, and a victory against Loveland will pave the way for sole possession of the league championship, barring a letdown next week in the regular season finale at Greeley Central.

“The kids wrote their goals at the beginning of the season, and they wanted to be city champs and they wanted to be league champs,” Johnson said. “I’ve told them this is an opportunity to complete those goals.”

While Monarch remains in control of the 4A Mountain League — the Coyotes have defeated their three conference foes by a combined 162-7 — the 4A No. 3-ranked defending champs will face their toughest test since a five-point setback against Montrose a month ago.

At Recht Field, some of the luster of the annual cross-town showdown between Fairview and Boulder has been erased given the giant chasm between the current state of each program. Fairview is ranked No. 2 in the state and is in line to perhaps receive the top seed in the 5A state tournament. Boulder is simply trying to score a touchdown after enduring two consecutive shutout defeats, but a strong showing against the Knights in the 50th edition of the rivalry could provide a positive springboard into the first postseason under first-year Boulder coach Bob Simmons.

“The message is that you have to play the ball game, and it is a rivalry game,” Simmons said. “They’re a good football team and they’ve shown that throughout the year. For us, we cannot make the mistakes. We have to play with emotion. If we do that, and not make mistakes, we’ll have an opportunity. But we have to believe that.”



Loveland (6-1, 4-1 4A Northern League) at Longmont (6-1, 5-0)

Kickoff: 6:30 p.m., Everly-Montgomery Field.

Last week: Loveland defeated Thompson Valley 35-13; Longmont defeated Niwot 50-12.

Quick hits: This game essentially will determine the Northern League crown, with 4A No. 9 facing an under-.500 Mountain View next week and the eighth-ranked Trojans finishing the regular season against Greeley Central … A win by the Trojans would keep them undefeated in league play with head-to-head victories against the nearest competition, including Windsor … The Trojans are averaging 38.9 points a game behind QB Clint Sigg, who has thrown for 1,034 yards with only one interception in 104 attempts. Sigg also has rushed for 528 yards and eight TDs … Loveland QB Mike Zweigle has been equally efficient, tossing just two interceptions in 105 attempts. But the Trojans’ defense must key on a Loveland rushing attack averaging 216.3 yards a game.

Rooney’s read: Longmont by 7.


Holy Family (6-1, 3-0 3A Northern League) at Centaurus (2-5, 2-1)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Warrior Stadium.

Last week: Holy Family defeated Frederick 29-28; Centaurus defeated Thomas Jefferson 20-7.

Quick hits: A win by Holy Family, which moved up to No. 4 in Class 3A this week, likely would secure the Northern League crown for the Tigers heading into next week’s regular season finale against 1-7 Denver North … Tigers RB Ryan Younggreen had been held in check for three consecutive games before erupting for 208 yards on 15 carries last week at Frederick … Of the 17 touchdowns scored this season by Centaurus, 14 have been recorded by junior RB Matt Buchler … The Warriors earned a homecoming win against Thomas Jefferson last week despite being held to under 100 total yards.

Rooney’s read: Holy Family by 17.





Boulder (1-6, 0-4 5A North Metro League) at Fairview (7-0, 4-0)

Kickoff: 5:30 p.m., Recht Field.

Last week: Boulder lost 42-0 against Legacy; Fairview defeated Pomona 33-30.Quick hits: This will be the historic 50th meeting between the cross-town rivals in a series Fairview leads 29-20 … Fairview, ranked second in 5A, already has clinched the league crown and could be in line for the top seed in the state tournament with a win against the struggling Panthers. The Knights own the top spot in this week’s state wild card points with a 105-101.87 advantage over Valor Christian … Boulder has been shut out in two consecutive games and has scored only 35 points in six games since a season-opening win at George Washington … The struggling Boulder offense will be without top playmakers River Addison (concussion) and Todd Jones (knee).

Rooney’s read: Fairview by 28.


Broomfield (5-2, 3-0 4A Mountain League) at Monarch (6-1, 3-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Warrior Stadium.

Last week: Broomfield defeated Montbello 21-13; Monarch defeated George Washington 51-0.

Quick hits: Monarch has an opportunity to pull even in a rivalry series that Broomfield leads 6-5 … After winning the teams’ first four meetings, Broomfield has lost five of its past seven games against Monarch .. Monarch inexplicably dropped one spot to No. 3 in the weekly 4A poll despite defeating its past three opponents by a combined 162-7 … Monarch’s Logan Soole and Ethan Marks, two of the leaders of the Coyotes’ punishing ground attack, combined for 359 rushing yards in last year’s win against Broomfield … Eagles RB Noah Tripp has averaged 150.3 rushing yards over the past four games.

Rooney’s read: Monarch by 10.



Mead (7-0, 3-0 3A Tri-Valley League) at Silver Creek (5-2, 2-1)

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

Last week: Mead defeated Skyline 38-8; Silver Creek lost at Roosevelt 23-20.

Quick hits: Mead will have an opportunity to show how far it has come in its final two regular season games against the Raptors and Roosevelt … While it has been a magical season for the Mavericks, this will be Mead’s biggest test by far. The Mavericks have defeated just one team with a winning record, and the combined record of their seven opponents going into this week is 8-37 … That said, the Mavericks are in control of their own destiny in the chase for the conference crown … Silver Creek was held scoreless in the second half of last week’s loss at Roosevelt. The last time the Raptors were held scoreless in a half was in the 2011 3A title game against Windsor.

Rooney’s read: Silver Creek by 10.



Erie (4-3, 1-2 3A Northern League) at Thomas Jefferson (2-6, 0-3)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., All-City Field.

Last week: Erie defeated Denver North 47-8 Thomas Jefferson lost 20-7 at Centaurus.

Quick hits: Despite losses in three of four games against quality opponents — Mead, Frederick and Holy Family — the Tigers will remain in the 3A playoff picture with wins in their final two games … Christian Mickey and Joe Ramey scored two touchdowns apiece to key last week’s rout of Denver North … TJ has scored only 13 points in its past three games.

Rooney’s read: Erie by 10.



Niwot (2-5, 1-4 4A Northern League) at Windsor (6-2, 4-1)

Kickoff: 6:30 p.m., HJ Dudley Field.

Last week: Niwot lost to Longmont 50-12; Windsor defeated Mountain View 42-10.

Quick hits: Niwot has struggled to score points and will be challenged by a tough Windsor defense … Windsor has won its past three games while allowing only 10 points during that span. The stout Wizards defense has recorded three shutouts this season and has surrendered a total of only 31 points in their six victories … Niwot closes the season at home next week against Thompson Valley.

Rooney’s read: Windsor by 14.



Skyline (2-5, 0-3 3A Tri-Valley League) at Berthoud (1-6, 0-3)

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last week: Skyline lost 38-8 at Mead; Berthoud lost 42-6 at Northridge.

Quick hits:. This game pits two teams with similar profiles — clubs trying to snap losing streaks to end the season on a positive note … After nearly scoring an upset against Silver Creek two weeks ago, Skyline’s surrendered touchdowns on four of the game’s first five drives in a loss against Mead last week … Berthoud has lost four consecutive games and has scored only 18 points in its past two games.

Rooney’s read: Skyline by 6.



Denver North (1-7, 1-2 3A Northern League) at Frederick (4-3, 2-1)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Tesone Field.

Last week: Denver North lost to Erie 47-8; Frederick lost 39-28 at Holy Family.

Quick hits: Frederick will be in good shape for the postseason if it takes care of business in its final two games against very winnable opponents, firs with Denver North and again next week against Thomas Jefferson … The Warriors played last week’s game without starting QB Michael Broz and leading rusher Xavier Lindburg … Denver North has scored just eight points in each of the past four games.

Rooney’s read: Frederick by 18.



Ralston Valley (5-3, 2-2 5A North Metro League) at Legacy (3-5, 1-3)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., 1st Bank Field (Formerly North Stadium).

Last week: Ralston Valley defeated Arvada West 41-14; Legacy defeated Boulder 42-0.

Quick hits: Legacy is expected to welcome back senior RB Taten Petersian, who has not played since Sept. 20 due to a suspension … Petersian still leads Legacy with 476 rushing yards but Alex Ortiz filled in admirably during Petersian’s absence. Ortiz scored three TDs in last week’s win at Boulder … The Lightning defense will have its hands full with Mustangs QB Jacob Knipp, who has completed 74.6 percent of his passes for 2,006 yards and 17 TDs. Knipp has thrown only three interceptions in 185 attempts.

Rooney’s read: Ralston Valley by 10.



Denver Christian (1-6, 1-4 1A Metro League) at Lyons (5-2, 3-2)

Kickoff: 7 p.m., Mead High School.

Last week: Denver Christian lost 57-7 at Platte Canyon; Lyons lost 38-21 at Jefferson.

Quick hits: Lyons will look to rebound from consecutive losses to league frontrunners Platte Canyon and Jefferson to close the regular season with a win … The Lions’ Trent Poulsen and Logan Watson have contributed remarkably similar production for Lyons. Both seniors enter the game with 543 rushing yards on the season … Denver Christian has surrendered an average of 50.5 points in its six losses.

Rooney’s read: Lyons by 16.



Merino (3-5) at Longmont Christian (4-3)

Kickoff: 6:30 p.m., Sandstone Ranch.

Last week: Merino defeated Akron 34-0; Longmont Christian defeated Justice 34-20.

Quick hits: Longmont Christian has won four consecutive games, averaging 40.5 points during that span … Warriors QB Cade Martin threw for 299 yards and five TDs in last week’s win against Justice … This is a divisional crossover game in the 8-man North League. Longmont Christian is the No. 2 seed out of the I25 Division.

Rooney’s read: Longmont Christian by 4.

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