Class 5A, first round
Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m., Recht Field
Quick hits: It has been a lackluster run of late for Arvada West, but former Wildcats star player and current head coach Brad Pyatt has his team 13-7 over the past two years and in the playoffs for the first time since 2010 … A-West finished 3-2 in the Mount Wilson League with arguably its best win over Rocky Mountain … The Wildcats have a clear go-to player in the backfield with Tony Cass (1,468 rushing yards) and another out on the edge with wide receiver Chris McEahern (65 catches, 813 yards, 10 TD’s) … Defensively, the Wildcats have been able to apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks (33 team sacks) and have 13 takeaways … Fairview will be looking for its fourth straight win in the series, but they have not played since 2013 … Tom McCartney’s Knights have reeled off four straight wins (all Mount Cameron League games) after their lone loss to Columbine on October 6 … FHS has emphasized balance (159 rushing yards and 272 passing yards per game), and senior Mariano Kemp enters Friday with 1,167 yards and 19 TD’s … Sophomore QB Aidan Atkinson has a 68 percent completion rate with 19 touchdowns … Defensively, Jeff Erickson (94 tackles, five sacks, three caused fumbles) has been stellar … Tevye SchuettPelz-Rohl has also been one of the most dynamic players in the state playing wideout, defensive back, kicker and punter all effectively.
Bottom line: Fairview has been bounced in the first round each of the past two seasons, and Arvada West is a team that really doesn’t have a lot to lose. Expect the Wildcats to play hard and the Knights to utilize every possible weapon.