Class 2A Football, Week 7 League Breakdown
League play is in full motion and with nearly every team in action this week some leagues will have 3 teams or less in the battle for the league title.
The Colorado League got off to the start I expected with Englewood, Kent Denver, and Machebeuf all winning. All three in fact won big with the closest game being Machebeuf 48 Alameda 24. This week there are two games to keep an eye on. Game 1 features Alameda vs Ridge View Academy. Both teams lost their first league game and going to 1-1 in league is now key. The loser will be eliminated from the league crown race and a shot at the playoffs. Both teams also sit outside the Top 30 of the RPI and a win here will probably move them back into the top 30. The main event this week features #9 Kent Denver vs Englewood. Both teams are 4-1 and 1-0 in league and the victor will have the best shot at winning the league title. Of course, both teams still must face Machebeuf and that will decide a lot. Englewood has played the 5th weakest schedule in Class 2A (according to the RPI). Englewood lone loss was to Denver North. Englewood even with a 4-1 record is sitting at 25 in the RPI and this game win or lose will benefit their RPI. Englewood will have to play their best football of the season if they plan on dethroning Kent Denver. Kent Denver is on a bit of a winning streak now winning 2 straight games. Kent Denver lone loss was to #3 La Junta and they seem to be improving weekly. Kent Denver has the 15th strongest schedule in 2A and will be the favorite to beat Englewood. Kent Denver defensively must stop the run. Kent Denver is looking to repeat as champions of the Colorado League once again. I am going with Kent Denver over Englewood, but it will be a good game. The one team we didn’t mention much this week was Machebeuf. They play Riverdale Ridge and should be 2-0 and awaiting the outcome of the Kent Denver vs Englewood game.
RPI: #10 Kent Denver, #25 Englewood, #26 Machebeuf, #33 Ridge View Academy, #39 Alameda, #40 Riverdale Ridge
The Flatirons started as expected but I still think it could wind up to be a 4-team race. Faith Christian, D’Evelyn, and Bennett were the victors last week. Faith Christian and Bennett cruised to easy wins and D’Evelyn was in a tight game against Middle Park but won 14-0. Middle Park is also a team I think could challenge still for a top spot in league. This week there are 2 games of interest. Game 1 features Faith Christian hosting Arvada. Arvada was blown out by Bennett 53 to 13. Arvada will have to quickly bounce back and try to pull a huge upset. Faith Christian cruised past Denver West 55-0. Faith Christian has now won 3 straight games and should pick up #4. Faith Christian should be 2-0 in league after this week. Game #2 pits Bennett vs Middle Park. This is a huge game for both teams. Middle Park fell last week to D’Evelyn 14-0 and just couldn’t get much going on offense. Middle Park needs to pull the upset this week if they want any shot at the league title. If Middle Park loses this week I think their league crown hopes are gone. They could still be in the playoff race, but another lose would hurt their as well. Bennett picked up a huge win last week and now must be ready for a tough opponent. Bennett offensively will have the upper hand, but their defense will have to play tough as well. Bennett is the favorite in this game and I am picking them to move to 2-0 in league play. D’Evelyn was not mentioned and they play Denver West and should also move to 2-0 in league play.
RPI: #11 D’Evelyn, #16 Middle Park, #17 Faith Christian, #21 Bennett, #35 Denver West, #36 Arvada
The Intermountain League kicked off with a bang and 2 very good games last week. Bayfield picked up their first league win blowing past Alamosa 30 to 6. Bayfield scored 16 points in the second quarter and 14 in the third quarter to blow it open. Alamosa did get on the board in the fourth quarter but by then this game was over. The other game last week was a good one with Pagosa Springs picking up a close 41 to 28 victory over Montezuma-Cortez. This week Bayfield has the bye and will still have a share of the league lead. The two league games this week are going to be great games with 1 being an elimination game and the other for a chance to stay undefeated in league. Game #1 is Alamosa hosting Montezuma-Cortez. Montezuma-Cortez fell just short against Pagosa Springs but proved they are going to be a tough out for whoever they play. Montezuma-Cortez defensively struggled stopping Pagosa Springs offense but offensively did have some success. Montezuma-Cortez will have to be ready to stop the run this week and must be ready for a very tough Alamosa defense. Alamosa struggled to get anything going offensively last week. Alamosa was limited to 93 yards rushing but had some success passing the ball. Alamosa for the past two years has needed their offense to develop and have still struggled to get anything going. Alamosa will need their offense this week to try and keep pace with a very good passing team. The loser of this game will be eliminated from winning the league crown and have their hopes for a playoff spot seriously hurt. Game #2 is going to be a good one when #7 Salida travels to Pagosa Springs. Pagosa Springs has played the toughest schedule in Class 2A and played well against top teams. They will be tested again by one of the toughest defense in Class 2A. Pagosa Springs must have success running the football and their defense will have to stand tough. Salida must stop the run and played disciplined defense against the double win attack. Salida also must get their offense going this week and control the tempo of the game. Salida defense will be tested this week but I think they will rise the challenge and move to 1-0 in league.
RPI: #4 Salida, #5 Bayfield, #9 Pagosa Springs, #18 Alamosa, #19 Montezuma-Cortez
Patriot East League
The Patriot East league opened with no upsets and the Top 3 teams all picked up their first league win. Brush played the closest game last week outscoring Fort Lupton 25-15. Sterling and Platte Valley both won with ease. This week there is one game that will have a huge impact and the other two games are not as big. The two other games feature winless Valley vs winless Weld Central and this is a good chance for struggling teams to gain some confidence and build towards next year. The other game features #1 Platte Valley vs Fort Lupton. Platte Valley should move to 2-0 in league and await the victor of the main game this week. The main event is Sterling traveling down I-76 to face Brush. Both teams were victorious last week and now both must focus on this game. The winner of this game will keep pace with Platte Valley and the loser will need some help to have a shot at the league title. Brush is a very young team this year and probably a year out from being very competitive. Brush will have to establish the run this week and must be ready to play physical football. Brush must limit turnovers and need a big day from RB Nick Wellen. Sterling made quick work of Valley last week scoring 45 points in the first half. Sterling played a very tough schedule and should have them prepared for this game. Sterling must play better defense this week and will have to be able to stop the run if they plan on grabbing the win. Both teams will still be in the hunt for a playoff spot, but the victor will have a huge leg up in the league race and a playoff berth. I am going with Sterling to snag the win and go to 2-0 in league.
RPI: #2 Platte Valley, #22 Sterling, #29 Weld Central, #31 Brush, #38 Fort Lupton, #31 Valley,
Patriot West League
The Patriot West may be one of the more competitive leagues in 2A. The first week of the league season had two very good games and 1 blowout. The Academy picked up their first win easily beating Prospect Ridge 40 to 0. Resurrection Christian also picked up a monster win over Berthoud 28-8 and Eaton held off University 20 to 7. This week there are 2 very good games and 1 game that a team cannot afford to lose. That game is Berthoud vs Prospect Ridge. Berthoud needs to grab the win this week to move to 1-1 and cannot afford to drop a game to a 1-4 team. Berthoud should bounce back nicely and beat Prospect Ridge. Game #1 features Resurrection Christian vs University. University has played tough this year but seems to be falling just short in games. University will have to figure out how to beat one of the best defense in Class 2A. Resurrection Christian has played a tough schedule and continue to show that their defense is one of the best in 2A. Resurrection Christian will have to play solid football to avoid the upset but should move to 2-0. The main game this week features The Academy at Eaton. Both teams were victorious last week and now face off to keep pace with Resurrection Christian. The Academy had the blowout win last week but now they face a very good defensive team. The Academy will have to play their best game this season if they plan on upsetting Eaton. Eaton has a simple strategy for winning games, run the ball and play great defense. Their strategy seems to be working as most teams cannot score on this defense. Eaton must play good defense this weekend to stop the balanced attack from the Academy. Eaton also must be able to score some points this week. Eaton is the favorite in this game and my pick to win as well. This should be a low scoring physical game.
RPI: #6 Eaton, #7 Resurrection Christian, #12 Berthoud, #20 The Academy, #27 University, #34 Prospect Ridge
The Tri-Peaks League has a clear leader and that showed in their first week of league play. La Junta posted the only shutout of the first week of league but not the only blowout. Elizabeth also posted an impressive 41 to 6 wins over Manitou Springs. TCA also posted a 27-6 win over Lamar. All three games have some importance this week. Lamar vs Woodland is a battle to see how is eliminated from any shot at the playoffs. Both are low in the RPI but a loss in this game would be the final nail. The winner will have to see what happens to their RPI. The Game #2 is Manitou Springs at Classical Academy. Manitou Springs was blowout against Elizabeth and are looking to bounce back. A lose to TCA will eliminate them from the league title chase and put their playoff hopes on life support. TCA is on a hot streak picking up a huge win over Lamar. TCA is hoping to keep pace with the winner of the La Junta vs Elizabeth game and keep gaining ground in the RPI. The big game this week features #3 La Junta vs Elizabeth. Elizabeth looks to be the biggest threat to La Junta and they will have to play their best game this season. Elizabeth has not played well against top teams and showed in their blowout losses to Berthoud and Platte Valley. Elizabeth must establish the run and they will need RB Reece Ullery to have a monster game. La Junta arguably has the best defense in 2A and have posted 4 shutouts this season. They have only allowed 14 points to Pagosa Springs and now focus on Elizabeth. La Junta will have to focus on shutting the run down and of course getting their power offense going. I expect La Junta to soar through this game and move to 2-0 in league.
RPI: #3 La Junta, #15 Elizabeth, #24 Classical Academy, #28 Manitou Springs, #30 Lamar, #37 Woodland Park
Western Slope League
The Western Slope League started off with a bang. Two big wins and probably one of the most exciting games this year. The two big wins were Rifle 36-Coal Ridge 8 and Basalt 33-Moffat County 13. The exciting game was a shootout and I had said it was going to be a high scoring game. Delta was able to outscore Aspen 49 to 40 and move to 1-0 in league play. That was a slight upset and a very high scoring game. 2 of the 3 games this week should be very good. The one game not mentioned is Basalt vs Coal Ridge. Basalt should move to 2-0 and await the results from this week’s games. The first game is Aspen hosting Moffat County. Moffat County had a hard time keeping pace with Basalt in the second half being outscored 26-7. Moffat County did slow down Basalt a good amount and shown they cannot be taken lightly. Moffat County will have to find a way to stop a very high scoring offense this week. Moffat County should have success running the ball after Aspen surrendered 339 yards rushing to Delta. Aspen has plenty of things to fix on defense this week after giving up 626 yards of total offense to Delta. Aspen must be able to stop the run in the Western Slope league or will be in some trouble. Aspen offensively had a great day putting up over 450 yards of offense. Aspen must continue to grow as a team and this is the game to prove they have. Game #2 looks to be a one of the best games in the state in Class 2A, #5 Rifle vs #10 Delta. Delta offensively was on fire last week putting up 626 yards of offense but of course had a hard time stopping Aspen offense. Delta this week is facing a run heavy team and will have to be physical up front. Delta offensively is a balanced attack and will test a very solid Rifle Defense. Rifle will have to be ready defensively for everything Delta throws at them. Rifle has only allowed 43 points this season and their defense will be tested by Delta this week. Rifle must take care of the ball on offense and RB Tanner Vines should have plenty of success this week. I am going with Rifle to move to 2-0 in league and continue towards their matchup with Basalt.
RPI: #1 Basalt, #8 Delta, #13 Rifle, #14 Aspen, #23 Moffat County, #32 Coal Ridge