ARVADA — Arvada West wanted to use the matchup against Ralston Valley as a measuring stick but it turns out they are still a few inches short.
And in a meeting between cross-town rivals the Mustangs beat the Wildcats 41-14 Thursday at North Area Athletic Complex.
A-West went toe-to-toe with Ralston Valley early in the game, tying the action 14-14 at one point early in the second quarter.
However, the Mustangs showed why they are still one of the perennial powers in 5A football scoring 22 second quarter points, taking a 28-14 lead into halftime.
“We wanted to come out tonight and see where we stacked up against the best,” A-West coach Greg Whisler said. “And at the beginning we were their equals. We just couldn’t keep up.”
Ralston Valley running back Kyle Rush had a huge two touchdown day on just a handful of touches. The sophomore had 183 rushing yards on just six carries — one of those a 77-yard touchdown run that left defenders in the dust.
The Mustangs improved to 5-3 and 2-2 in 5A North Metro with the victory. Ralston Valley had lost three of its previous five games, but all too very good teams.
“If you look at the teams we lost to two of them were undefeated and the other was a one loss team,” Ralston Valley coach Matt Loyd said. “We lost a lot from last year but we are still a pretty good team.”
Two of the three losses the Mustangs suffered this season were to then undefeated teams in ThunderRidge and Fairview, and their other loss came by one-loss Pomona.
The Wildcats (4-4, 2-2) are wildly improved themselves, already winning more games than they did in the past two seasons.
Whisler took over a team that had only two wins two seasons ago and he has already brought them back to respectability.
“We are gotten a lot better, you can tell by looking at us. But we want to be right there with Ralston Valley and Pomona. We still have some work to do,” Whisler said. Arvada West will play Pomona Friday at 7 p.m. at North Area Athletic Complex.
Ralston Valley will play Legacy Friday at 7 p.m. at North Stadium.