For the second consecutive season, a quarterback from the BoCoPreps coverage area is rewriting the Colorado record books.
Last year Holy Family’s Chris Helbig set a new state mark for passing yards in a single game when he threw for 607 yards against Mountain View in the Tigers season opener.
But that record would only stand for a little over a year thanks to Longmont Christian’s Luke Puchino, who threw for 706 yards last week in a 83-75 loss to Briggsdale.
Puchino, a 6-foot-2, 190 pound senior, has led an unprecedented air attack this year for the Warriors, who did not field a team in 2015. Playing 6-man ball, Puchino has thrown for 2,464 yards and 27 touchdowns for Longmont Christian (0-7), which closes out the season Friday when it hosts also winless Mountain Valley.
Puchino also set another state record in the win over the Falcons with nine passing TDs in a single game, besting the previous mark of eight. That gave him 18 passing touchdowns in the Warriors past three games, setting another new record by beating Helbig’s 17, which he set in 2015.
Puchino finished the game with 795 total yards, also a new record, and scored a rushing touchdown, giving him 10 total TDs in the game, good for third-best in Colorado history.
The Warriors’ Cameron Jauregui also put his name in the state record books with 356 receiving yards in the game. Jauregui’s record also wiped out a mark held by a Holy Family player — Joe Golter set the previous record last year with 356 yards.
Jauregui finished with 501 all-purpose yards, thanks to 145 in return yards, good for second most in Colorado history.
News and notes
• One thing that the latest RPI football rankings reaffirmed is how weighted the formula is toward strength of schedule. In many cases, who you play is more important than wins or losses, so much so it’s on the verge of making the whole thing a joke.
For example, Pomona (6-1) beat Hinkley 55-0 last week but dropped from fourth to seventh in the latest 5A rankings. Two teams the Panthers have already beaten — No. 2 Valor Christian (4-3) and No. 4 Mullen (5-2) — are ahead of them in the rankings.
Fairview (6-1) scored a 35-21 road victory over a pretty good ThunderRidge club, but dropped from 12th to 13th.
In 4A, Broomfield (5-2) lost a home game to Greeley West, but remained ranked third. Skyline (6-1) recorded a 33-23 win over Greeley Central, but dropped from 20th to No. 24.
And in 2A, University was beaten 42-0 by Resurrection Christian, but the Bulldogs moved up from 13th to No. 7.
Considering the state moved to new alignments this year determined by a waterfall system where teams were ranked based upon their two-year RPI, it’s going to be really hard for some teams to make the playoffs no matter how many wins they pile up this season.
The top 16 teams based on the final RPI rankings will be placed into the postseason bracket. If a conference champion finishes outside the top 16, they will replace the lowest ranked team that is not a conference champion in the bracket.
That is why there is real fear around these parts that Fairview could go 8-2 and not make the postseason. And it seems like the only hope Skyline has of reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2000 is to win the Northern League outright.
The RPI system is in play for at least one more school year, but if this season is any indication, there are things that need to be fixed with it if CHSAA is going to go forward with it in the future.
• Remember to check out the BoCoPreps.com podcast where each week we break down the area’s biggest stories. New episodes are uploaded every Thursday and you can find it, along with past podcasts, at BoCoPreps.com. This week I’m joined by Adam Dunivan and Neil Devlin and we discuss RPI, state softball and more.
Feel free to contact me with questions, suggestions or story ideas at 303-473-1315 or firstname.lastname@example.org