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Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer
Erie High School’s Gavin Mendoza throws a pass during a game against Frederick on Friday in Frederick.

Thursday, Oct. 3
Centaurus (2-2) at Class 4A No. 8 Heritage (3-1), 6 p.m.
Class 4A No. 2 Broomfield (4-0) at Fort Collins (1-3), French Field, 6 p.m.
Smoky Hill (5-0) at Boulder (2-3), 7 p.m.
Class 3A No. 2 Mead (4-0) at Class 3A No. 9 Erie (2-2), 7 p.m.
Holy Family (2-2) at Skyline (2-2), Everly-Montgomery Field, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 4
Longmont (2-2) at Silver Creek (3-1), Everly-Montgomery Field, 7 p.m.
Class 3A No. 6 Frederick (4-0) at Littleton (0-4), 7 p.m.
Gateway (1-3) at Monarch (1-3), Spangenberg Field, 7 p.m.
Class 1A No. 1 Strasburg (4-0) at Lyons (0-4), 7 p.m.
Class 5A No. 9 Fairview (4-1) at Legacy (0-5), North Stadium, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 5
Justice (0-4) at Dolores Huerta Prep (0-5), 1 p.m.
The Academy (3-1) at Prospect Ridge Academy (2-2), Five Star Stadium, 1 p.m.
Eagle Valley (1-3) at Niwot (3-1), Everly-Montgomery Field, 1 p.m.

Blitz Package:
— After scoring a combined 66 points in back-to-back wins, Centaurus was blanked by Wheat Ridge last week. The Warriors have a tough go of it this week with the Eagles on their home field, as Heritage’s only loss is a 9-7 slugfest against 5A Arapahoe three weeks ago. Heritage has posted 420 yards a game on average so far and have climbed to No. 5 in 4A RPI.

— Broomfield has not let off the gas pedal so far, winning games by an average of 27 points. A win against Fort Collins (No. 37 in 4A RPI) won’t really benefit their own RPI standing much (currently No. 7) but it would finish an unblemished run in nonleague play. The Lambkins, led by Hayden Iverson at QB, may be better than their record and RPI indicate with two tough overtime losses already.

— Undefeated Smoky Hill, which has won 15 consecutive regular season games, is earning votes for the Class 5A rankings and comes to Recht Field with a No. 5 RPI. Boulder’s task is to rebound from consecutive Metro 10 League losses and pull off one of its best games under coach Ryan Bishop. Smoky running back Obasanjo Sanni already has 12 touchdowns, and Leslie Richardson III already has 12 TD passes. The Panthers have seven turnovers their past two outings and need to hang onto the football to give themselves a shot.

— Mead at Erie could very well be the game of the week in the area (Longmont and Silver Creek could be a doozy, too), but at the very least it’s this week’s only matchup of top-10 teams. Host Erie gained 272 rushing yards with three scores in last week’s blowout victory at Canon City to even its record, while Mead (No. 1 3A RPI) had its bye week and took the time to do some team-building. Prior to last year’s 41-24 win in the series for Erie, the Mavericks had reeled off five consecutive defeats over the Tigers. The past three meetings have been extremely high scoring, but it may reverse direction into a defensive tussle this go-round.

— Holy Family and Skyline met for the first time in the MaxPreps era just last year, and what a game it produced as the Tigers beat the Falcons 47-41  with more than 1,100 offensive yards posted between them. It likely won’t be that kind of a shootout this year, but it could be a fun one at EMF. Both teams got good quarterback play when it mattered in wins last week, as HFHS’ Calahan Carter and SHS’ Chase Silva each threw a pair of touchdown passes.

— Longmont and Silver Creek both have good reason to get after it, as both teams are coming off tough losses that perhaps they didn’t expect. The host Raptors fell from the ranks of the undefeated with a Homecoming loss to Mountain View (it took three overtimes) while Longmont was blanked by rival Skyline. The Trojans have won four of the past five meetings in the series but all things are equal with the Raptors having a bit more varsity experience on the roster.

— Frederick has a No. 8 3A RPI that won’t budge much with a win against winless Littleton (dead last in 3A RPI at No. 42), but rather the Warriors have a chance to continue and build varsity depth and game experience that could benefit them in league play. Frederick’s 50.3 points per game tops all Colorado 11-man teams so far.

— Monarch could gain its bearings against Broomfield last week, and the Gateway Olympians present a challenge, as well, despite their record. Gateway have scored 135 points in four games including 36 and 21 in a current two-game skid. Jack Ewig has been great for the MoHi defense with 49 tackles, seven for loss.

— Lyons has its hands full with Strasburg, which just took over as the top-ranked team in 1A 11-man play after taking out Limon at Limon. The Indians’ Collin Russell is a nice dual-threat QB and is one of three Strasburg players with more than 150 yards rushing this year. He also has accounted for eight touchdowns, five on the ground.

— Fairview and Legacy butt heads at North Stadium Friday night, beginning 5A Front Range League play. Hopefully for the sake of fans in attendance for the host Lightning, Legacy will be able to bounce back from a rough performance against Mountain Vista last week. Braelon Tate did rush for 91 yards to vback a 182-yard breakout performance the week before, and he has clearly taken over main tailback duties. For Fairview, its defense has stepped up and are allowing just 15.3 points per contest over a three-game win streak.

— Justice has a long trip down to Pueblo, but that could be seen as a chance to bond as it tries to get its first win. Dolores Huerta Prep can put up some points, but its defense has allowed more than 43 points per game. Neither team has individual stats posted on MaxPreps.

— Prospect Ridge is cookin’ right now with consecutive wins and 85 points posted in those games. Seth Hagan rumbled for 348 yards and five touchdowns against Jefferson, and now the Miners forge ahead into 2A Patriot West play with that needed momentum. The Academy has scored but 32 points its past three games but somehow went 2-1.

— Niwot (No. 34 3A RPI) hosts Eagle Valley (3A No. 35 RPI) in what can be considered one of the Cougars’ biggest games in years. Can they go into 3A North Valley play with a third straight strong performance? We’ll see. One thing is for sure, and that’s the fact the Cougars can attribute much of their winning ways to simply taking care of the football, starting with Ayden Bartko and his 7-to-1 TD-to-interception ratio.