No. 2 Cherry Creek (6-1) vs. No. 8 Arapaho (6-1)
when and where: Friday at 7 pm at LPS Stadium
last meeting: Cherry Creek 49, in Arapaho 7, November 6, 2020
Arapahoe is set to make its best start in six years, and now faces the biggest test of the season. The Bruins are fresh with a 21-13 win at Grandview last week. For the first time since their 5A state semifinal win over Pomona in November 2019, the Colorado team came within single digits of Creek. That victory marked the first. The Warriors have an explosive offense (36.4 points per game), but can they light up the scoreboard against the junior OLB. Blake Purchase (11.0 sacks) and Dove Creek Defense (10.7 points per game allowed)?
No. 6 Arvada West (6-1) vs Pomona (4-3)
when and where: Friday at 7 pm at NAAC Stadium
last meeting: 14 at Pomona 33, Arvada West, October 31, 2020
After a 0–2 start, Pomona found its footing under new coach Nate Johnson with four wins in five weeks. This included a 17-3 upset at Ralston Valley last Thursday in what may have been the Panthers’ best defensive performance of the season. Now comes a date with the A-West, 6-1, for the first time since 2009 and looking to end a nine-game losing skid against their cross-town rivals. Wildcats QB Ethan Cooke has gone nuclear, throwing 907 yards and eight TDs in the past three weeks (all wins). In the Pomona defense – a total of 10 points allowed in the last two weeks – he would find a worthy opponent.
No. 3 Legend (6-1) vs. Douglas County (6-1)
when and where: Friday at 6 p.m. at Douglas County Stadium
last meeting: Legend 42, 14 in Douglas County, November 14, 2020
Douglas County’s run as 5A’s Cinderella upstart took a detour to a 35-7 loss at Pine Creek last weekend. Things don’t get any easier this week with the red-hot legend on the docket. The Titans have won five in a row since losing to Mullen in Week 2, which culminated in a 42-41 shootout win over the Regis Jesuits last week, with quarterback Colton Warner hitting 25 for 422 yards, four TDs and one interception. Completed 13 passes. Receiver Jackson Brush has topped 100 yards with two TDs in back-to-back games. Can he make it three in a row?
Castle View (5-2) vs No. 10 Thunderridge (6-1)
when and where: Friday at 7 pm at Shea Stadium
last meeting: 28 at Castle View 42, Thunderridge, October 17, 2020
The Thunderridge’s bounce from a disappointing 2020 season (1-5) is fully visible, when the Grizzlies secured their third winning season in four years with a 35-16 dissolution of Mountain Vista last week. Double threat QB Seth Frazier (1,675 yards total) has been a big part of that renaissance, as has the Grizzlies defense with 10 turnovers and 35 tackles for damage, including six aps from juniors Ethan Hill, Gavin Olshan and Caiden Shaw. Are included. A win at Castle View would put them all-out in 5A Douglas County League title talks.
Chatfield (5-2) vs No. 7 Golden (7-0)
when and where: Thursday at 6 pm at NACC Stadium
last meeting: Chatfield 36, vs. Golden 14, October 30, 2020
Those wondering if the monsters are real are about to find out. Ranked the lowest of 4A’s four unbeaten teams, the Goldens close out the regular season in succession with their three toughest opponents (Chatfield, Dakota Ridge and Bear Creek). QB Jazel Riley IV (1,530 yards total) is the engine of a demon offense that averages 35.4 points per game. While the Chargers are getting smart after their 14-10 loss to Bear Creek, they remain a significant road block.
No. 6 Loveland (6-1) vs Longmont (4-3)
when and where: Saturday at 11 a.m. at Ray Patterson Stadium
last meeting: Loveland 50, Longmont 21, November 6, 2020
Ever since the 50-6 loss at the hands of Erie — a game QB Keegan Patterson (2,137 passing yards) missed — the Trojans have had nothing but 145 points, 1,353 total yards and three double-digit victories. Now Longmont has his chance to prove that he has staying power. Loveland has not lost a game in 4A competition in 15 games, and the Red Wolves have not scored in eight quarters. Allowing only 6.3 points per game, Loveland may have the best defense in 4A. As strength-versus-strength matchups go, this should be a hoot.
No. 1 Montrose (7-0) vs No. 10 Vista Ridge (5-1)
when and where: Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on Vista Ridge
last meeting: Montrose 28, vs Vista Ridge 21, October 6, 2017
Vista Ridge Junior Brayden Dorman, Colorado’s most sought-after quarterback recruit, has lived up to his top billing so far this fall, throwing 1,502 yards, 19 TDs and just three interceptions in six games. The top-ranked Indians have already slowed down this fall, catching Palmer Ridge in three touchdowns in a 28-21 win two weeks ago. If his grinding run game, led by senior Austin Griffin, can control the ball as it often does, Dorman’s opportunities will be limited.
No. 7 Holy Family (4-2) vs No. 5 Frederick (5-0)
when and where: Thursdays in Frederick at 6:30 p.m.
last meeting: Frederick 52, Vs. Holy Family 21, October 17, 2019
The Warriors have passed all the Tests they have played so far this season and set their perfect 5-0 record, beating opponents by an average margin of 34.6 points. The three-headed running back monster of Parker Ayers (557 yards, 12 TD), Cruz Zamudio (400, 4) and River Leckie (348, 3) has been formidable with five 100-yard games combined this season. They should expect a lot of resistance against a Holy Family defense who just handed a touchdown last week.