Week three of league play looked like week two of league play and like….. where’s Bill Murray and that stupid rodent?!
If you didn’t get the movie reference, League Play can seem like Groundhog Day: (solid flick from 1993 where Bill Murray, playing a local TV weatherman ala Mike Daniels, relives the same day over and over again while covering Punxsutawney Phil coming out of his home) big game, playoff implications, season on the line, clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose. That being said, the postseason is beginning to look a little clearer for all teams eyeing November.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Pueblo Central (4-3) vs. Pueblo Centennial (3-4)……. THE BELL GAME!!! 10,000 screaming fans – alumni and current – will pack Dutch Clark Stadium on Friday night for the biggest rivalry in the state (yep, I went there) and for the first time in five years, this game is going to be between two competitive teams. Centennial took the Bell home with a 14-8 OT win vs. Central. It was their only win of the 2017 season – Central finished 2-8. The Bulldogs are 3-4 entering the game against a four-win Wildcats team. Both teams are MUCH improved from last year and this will be a slobberknocker, no doubt. Look for a steady diet of Nico Martin for the Wildcats: 9 touchdowns and averaging 112 yards on the ground in his senior season. For Centennial it’s running back by committee in 2018: Bubba Rivera, Brandon Roberts, Buddie Niccoli, Devin Blue and Demerico Gonzales accounting for 1,553 yards on the ground and 18 touchdowns. Will the Bell ring Red or Blue? Find out tonight on News 5!
Pueblo West (5-2) vs. Air Academy (6-1): If the Bell Game was any other week, this would be the #5football game of the week but these two will gladly take second fiddle for what could be a season-defining game. The Cyclones defense has been smothering teams this season, allowing only 66 points this season. BUT this there a crack in the armor? They’ve given up 28 points the last two weeks combined. It will be hard to stop Air Academy on their six-game winning streak and winning games by an average of two touchdowns. Bo Powers and Kyle Pope are a solid combo for the Kadets on their quest to get back to the 4A playoffs. West sitting 12th in the 4A RPI Standings with Air Academy right on the bubble at 16.
Centauri (6-1) vs. Florence (6-1): Can we get some love for the Huskies!? Off to their best season, so far, since 2013 and getting a big-time test vs. another one-loss team on Friday night. The Husky defense has allowed only 72 points this season with three shutouts. The two teams are matched up pretty evenly on paper but Centauri has an extra week of rest after Dolores High School forfeited. So, edge to Florence or Centauri?
Sierra (3-4) vs. Harrison (7-0): *Shakes magic 8 ball, “Can the Panthers stay undefeated? Signs point to yes.” Sierra has a chance to play the role of spoiler for Orlando Westbrook and company but since opening the season with back to backs win, the Stallions have gone 1-4 since the 2nd week of September. Harrison has looked every bit of the contender in 3A – sitting comfortably in the 4th spot in the RPI Standings – and they’ll face *currently* winless Sand Creek and one-win Mitchell the close out the year. Is this the year for the Panthers to make a deep run in the playoffs?
La Junta (7-0) vs. TCA (3-4): Will the Tigers fall on the road this week? Maybe….. you never know. The last two meetings have gone the way of the Tigers but all have been decided by a total of 13 points. TCA is 2-1 at home and La Junta is, well, undefeated, so all stats are in their favor right now. The Tigers are legit contenders – odds-on favorites to win the 2A title – and this will be their last test before the playoffs begin.
Thomas Jefferson vs. Palmer
Mesa Ridge vs. Vista Ridge
Sand Creek vs. Mitchell
St. Mary’s vs. CSCS
Lewis-Palmer vs. Discovery Canyon
Pueblo East 59, Pueblo County 20
Pine Creek 44, Palmer 0
Regis 45, Fountain-Fort Carson 14