9 Colorado high school football games to watch in Week 7


Class 5A

Fairview (5-1) vs. Poudre (5-1)

When/where: 7 p.m. Thursday at French Field

Last meeting: Fairview 36, vs. Poudre 24, Oct. 22, 2021

Off to its best start in 12 years, Poudre can put itself in the driver’s seat of the northern 5A league with a win over Fairview. Since falling to Rock Canyon, 40-8, in Week 1, the Impalas defense has allowed just 23 points total over five straight wins. Outside linebacker Brody VanCleave has been a force with four sacks and nine tackles for loss, while senior defensive back Jordan Niesent has six interceptions. The Impalas will need more of the same against a Fairview offense led by junior QB Rowan Risner (1,405 yards, 13 TDs passing) and sophomore WR Jordan Rechel (921 total yards) that’s averaging 34.2 points/game.

No. 5 Ralston Valley (4-2) vs. No. 2 Columbine (6-0)

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

Last meeting: Ralston Valley 35, at Columbine 14, Oct. 22, 2021

For the fifth time in seven weeks, Ralston Valley faces a team ranked in the CHSAANow.com 5A Top 10. And this matchup could very well determine the 5A Jeffco League champion. Columbine ripped through its nonconference slate and league opener (50-21 over Pomona), with a nary an opponent able to stay within 21 points. The degree of difficulty goes up a notch against the Mustangs, who would be 4-1 against the current 5A top six if not for 16-point fourth-quarter comeback from Valor Christian in Week 5.

No. 9 Rock Canyon (6-0) vs. Mountain Vista (4-2)

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

Last meeting: Rock Canyon 21, vs. Mountain Vista 14, Oct. 14, 2021

Off to its best start in program history, Rock Canyon gets a Mountain Vista team looking to atone for a missed opportunity last week against ThunderRidge. The Golden Eagles raced out to a 21-point lead only to see T-Ridge rally and eventually overtake them in a double overtime thriller. Now comes a matchup with the Jaguars and senior running back Aidan Duda, who’s topped 100 yards rushing in each of the Jaguars’ first six games. If he does so again Friday, Duda will clinch his second consecutive 1,000-yard season.

No. 6 Regis Jesuit (3-3) vs. No. 8 Pine Creek (5-1)

When/where: 1 p.m. Saturday at District 20 Stadium

Last meeting: Regis Jesuit 24, vs. Pine Creek 14, Oct. 22, 2021

A brutal schedule for Regis gets no easier with a league date against Pine Creek in the Springs. Regis got right last week with a 42-7 drubbing of Douglas County, but will face a stiff test against a sturdy Pine Creek defense led by junior cornerback Ramon Pacheco (five interceptions) and senior linebacker Brett Alvey (28 tackles for loss since 2021). Challenge No. 1 for the Eagles: Keeping an eye on Raiders senior receiver D’Andre Barnes, who is a big play waiting to happen.

Class 4A

No. 1 Palmer Ridge (6-0) vs. Pueblo West (4-2)

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

Last meeting: Palmer Ridge 28, at Pueblo West 27, Nov. 13, 2021

The last time these two teams met, the Cyclones gave Palmer Ridge everything it could handle in a Round of 16 playoff game. Now the Bears are as hot as anyone at the 4A level with six straight wins, the last four of which have been by an average margin of 33 points/game. Can Pueblo West, which is fresh off a 21-14 upset loss at Mesa Ridge, make the Bears sweat going into the fourth quarter?

No. 8 Vista Ridge (4-2) vs. Air Academy (5-1)

When/where: 7 p.m. Friday at Air Academy

Last meeting: Vista Ridge 48, at Air Academy 0, Oct. 8, 2021

The state’s most productive runner (Air Academy’s Sam Beers) goes up against the state’s most productive passer (Vista Ridge’s Brayden Dorman) in an intriguing clash of styles. Beers has already clinched the third 1,000-yard season of his career, with the senior fresh off back-to-back games of 300-plus rush yards. He should get plenty of resistance from a Vista Ridge defense that’s allowed just 14 points/game during its current three-game win streak. The offense, piloted by Dorman, has topped 45 points in each of those victories.

Class 3A

No. 3 Green Mountain (5-0) vs. No. 8 Evergreen (4-1)

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

Last meeting: Green Mountain 31, vs. Evergreen 16, Oct. 15, 2021

How dominant has Green Mountain been so far this fall? Through five weeks, opponents have reached the end zone just two times total. And one of those TDs came at the end of a 43-7 win. The Rams average 6 tackles for loss/game, with junior linebacker Austin Contreras the leader at 8.5 for the season, and have 13 takeaways. Keep that sort of production up against Evergreen, which averages 42.8 points/game with senior QB Tommy Poholsky (1,010 yards, 12 TDs passing) at the helm, and the Rams might get a first more No. 1 votes.

No. 7 Summit (5-0) vs. No. 2 Durango (4-1)

When/where: 6 p.m. Friday at DHS Stadium


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