Football caps: No. 16 Harrison (8-2) at No. 1 Mead (10-0)

Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer
Jake Watcher and No. 1 seed Mead open 3A playoffs by hosting Harrison on Saturday afternoon.

Class 3A, first round

Kickoff: Saturday, 1 p.m., Mead HS

Quick hits: The RPI has gone under scrutiny the past two years, but the numbers have made it hard to argue for any other team than Mead being 3A’s top seed. The Mavericks had the third-toughest schedule and went unblemished … Head coach Jason Klatt’s team has met every challenge, and in allowing just 12 points a game MHS has been able to get out to leads and keep on the gas pedal … Mead leads all big schools in rushing (4,078 yards) with Tyler Keys and Nathan Mackey both having eclipsed 1,200 yards on the ground. Derek Edwards and Jake Wachter also have 11 rushing touchdowns … Defensively, however, the Mavs have had a collective effort getting better from last year — a season littered with shootout after shootout … Harrison started 8-0 before back-to-back losses against Pueblo East and Durango by a combined 91-14 … The Panthers had one of the easiest schedules in 3A (38th of 42), but that’s not to say they don’t have athletes. Orlando Westbrook has accounted for 26 touchdowns (14 passing, 12 rushing), Aumiere Shedrick is another 1,200-yard rusher on the field and David Barrow has 11 touchdown catches.

Bottom line: Mead has a defense to match its offense in 2017. The Mavs just can’t afford to look past this week, and Klatt seems to be pretty adept at keeping his guys on track.

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