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8 Colorado high school football games to watch in Week 8

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Class 5A

No. 2 Cherry Creek (6–1) vs. No. 8 Arapahoe (6–1)

When/where: 7 p.m. Fri­day at LPS Stadium

Last meet­ing: Cher­ry Creek 49, at Ara­pa­hoe 7, Nov. 6, 2020

Ara­pa­hoe is off to its best start in six years, and now faces its biggest test of the sea­son. The Bru­ins are fresh off a down-to-the-wire 21–13 vic­to­ry over Grand­view last week. That win marked the first time a Col­orado team came with­in sin­gle dig­its of Creek since its 5A state semi­fi­nal win over Pomona in Novem­ber 2019. The War­riors have an explo­sive offense (36.4 points per game), but can they light up the score­board against junior OLB Blake Pur­chase (11.0 sacks) and the dom­i­nat­ing Creek defense (10.7 points allowed per game)?

No. 6 Arvada West (6–1) vs. Pomona (4–3)

When/where: 7 p.m. Fri­day at NAAC Stadium

Last meet­ing: Pomona 33, at Arva­da West 14, Oct. 31, 2020

After an 0–2 start, Pomona has found its foot­ing under new coach Nate John­son with four wins in five weeks. That includ­ed a 17–3 upset of Ral­ston Val­ley last Thurs­day that might’ve been the Pan­thers’ best defen­sive per­for­mance of the sea­son. Now comes a date with 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 Cook has gone atom­ic, throw­ing for 907 yards and eight TDs over the past three weeks (all wins). In the Pomona defense — 10 points allowed total the past two weeks — he will find a wor­thy adversary.

No. 3 Legend (6–1) vs. Douglas County (6–1)

When/where: 6 p.m. Fri­day at Dou­glas Coun­ty Stadium

Last meet­ing: Leg­end 42, at Dou­glas Coun­ty 14, Nov. 14, 2020

Dou­glas County’s run as 5A’s Cin­derel­la upstart took a detour last week­end with a hum­bling 35–7 loss at Pine Creek. Things don’t get any eas­i­er this week with red-hot Leg­end on the dock­et. The Titans have won five in a row since los­ing to Mullen in Week 2, cul­mi­nat­ing with last week’s 42–41 shootout win over Reg­is Jesuit that saw quar­ter­back Colton Warn­er com­plete 13 of 25 pass­es for 422 yards, four TDs and one inter­cep­tion. Receiv­er Jack­son Brush has topped 100 yards receiv­ing 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/where: 7 p.m. Fri­day at Shea Stadium

Last meet­ing: Cas­tle View 42, at Thun­der­Ridge 28, Oct. 17, 2020

ThunderRidge’s bounce back from a dis­ap­point­ing 2020 sea­son (1–5) appears com­plete after the Griz­zlies clinched their third win­ning sea­son in four years with last week’s 35–16 dis­man­tling of Moun­tain Vista. Dual threat QB Seth Frasi­er (1,675 total yards) has been a big part of that renais­sance, as has a Griz­zlies defense that has 10 turnovers and 35 tack­les for loss, includ­ing six apiece from juniors Ethan Hill, Gavin Olshan and Kaden Shouse. A win over Cas­tle View would put them square­ly in the 5A Dou­glas Coun­ty League title conversation.

Class 4A

Chatfield (5–2) vs. No. 7 Golden (7–0)

When/where: 6 p.m. Thurs­day at NACC Stadium

Last meet­ing: Chat­field 36, vs. Gold­en 14, Oct. 30, 2020

Those won­der­ing if the Demons are for real are about to find out. The low­est ranked of 4A’s four unbeat­en teams, Gold­en clos­es out the reg­u­lar sea­son with its three tough­est oppo­nents (Chat­field, Dako­ta Ridge and Bear Creek) in suc­ces­sion. QB Jazel Riley IV (1,530 total yards) is the engine of a Demons offense that aver­ages 35.4 points per game. While the Charg­ers are smart­ing fol­low­ing a 14–10 loss to Bear Creek, they remain a sig­nif­i­cant road block.

No. 6 Loveland (6–1) vs. Longmont (4–3)

When/where: 11 a.m. Sat­ur­day at Ray Pat­ter­son Stadium

Last meet­ing: Love­land 50, at Long­mont 21, Nov. 6, 2020

Ever since a 50–6 hum­bling at the hands of Erie — a game QB Kee­gan Pat­ter­son (2,137 pass­ing yards) missed — the Tro­jans have land­ed noth­ing but hay­mak­ers in pil­ing up 145 points, 1,353 total yards and three dou­ble-dig­it wins. Now comes a chance for Long­mont to prove it has stay­ing pow­er. Love­land hasn’t lost a game to 4A com­pe­ti­tion in 15 games, and the Red Wolves haven’t been scored upon in eight quar­ters. At just 6.3 points allowed per game, Love­land may pos­sess the best defense in 4A. As strength-vs-strength matchups go, this one should be a hoot.

No. 1 Montrose (7–0) vs. No. 10 Vista Ridge (5–1)

When/where: 1:30 p.m. Sat­ur­day at Vista Ridge

Last meet­ing: Mon­trose 28, vs. Vista Ridge 21, Oct. 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 for 1,502 yards, 19 TDs and just three inter­cep­tions over six games. The top-ranked Indi­ans already slowed down one pro­lif­ic offense this fall, hold­ing Palmer Ridge to three touch­downs in a 28–21 win two weeks ago. If their grind­ing run game, led by senior Austin Grif­fin, can con­trol the ball like it often does, Dorman’s oppor­tu­ni­ties will be limited.

Class 3A

No. 7 Holy Family (4–2) vs. No. 5 Frederick (5–0)

When/where: 6:30 p.m. Thurs­day at Frederick

Last meet­ing: Fred­er­ick 52, vs. Holy Fam­i­ly 21, Oct. 17, 2019

The War­riors have passed every test they’ve faced so far this sea­son, outscor­ing oppo­nents by an aver­age mar­gin of 34.6 points in build­ing their per­fect 5–0 record. The three-head­ed run­ning back mon­ster of Park­er Ayres (557 yards, 12 TDs), Cruz Zamu­dio (400, 4) and Riv­er Lakey (348, 3) has been for­mi­da­ble with five 100-yard games com­bined this sea­son. They should expect plen­ty of resis­tance against a Holy Fam­i­ly defense that gave up just one touch­down last week.

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