In 5A action: No. 31 Castle View (4-5) at No. 2 Ralston Valley (8-1), Friday at 4 p.m. at North Area Athletic Complex * Game plan: The juggernaut …
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No. 31 Castle View (4-5) at No. 2 Ralston Valley (8-1), Friday at 4 p.m. at North Area Athletic Complex
* Game plan: The juggernaut that is Ralston Valley looks to make quick work of a Castle View team that finished third in 5A Pioneer league. After an early season 29-25 loss to ThunderRidge the Mustangs rolled through the rest of their schedule - including a 28-23 victory over top ranked Pomona - solidifying themselves as one of the best teams in the state. Keep your eyes on senior Spencer Svejcar, a two way threat who is not only one of Ralston Valley’s best offensive weapons but he also averages over eight tackles per game.
* Extra point: One of the most complete and most balanced teams in the state, Ralston Valley averages 429.4 total offensive yards per game (238.4 passing, 191 rushing). Anything less than a run to the final four would be a disappointment for a Ralston Valley team that has big aspirations.
No. 18 Lakewood (5-4) at No. 15 Fort Collins (6-3), Friday at 7 p.m. at French Field
* Game plan: Fort Collins in the higher seed and has the better overall record but Lakewood goes into this game believing they can beat anyone coming off a 31-28 victory over Columbine on Oct.19 (last year’s state champion). Watch out for Lakewood running back Sean Pinson who is one of the best running backs in 5A averaging 94 yards on the ground per game. The sophomore also has 10 touchdowns this season.
* Extra point: Last year’s surprising state runner up, Lakewood is looking to make another run and prove their football program belongs with the elite 5A programs. But watch out for this Fort Collins’ team that after losing their first three games has currently won six straight games.
No. 26 Mountain Vista (4-5) at No. 7 Pomona (7-2), Saturday at 1 p.m. at NAAC
* Game plan: Mountain Vista will have to have to be hitting on all cylinders to beat a Pomona team that has been one of the best programs in 5A all season. Pomona uses a balance of run and pass that they use to keep their opposition off balance. Mountain Vista will have their hands full trying to slow down senior receiver Mitch Colin who averages over 94 yards per game receiving. And if Colin doesn’t beat you running back’s Konnor Burns and Chris Marquez will. The dynamic pair has combined for 20 rushing touchdowns this season.
* Extra point: Pomona has shown a certain grittiness this season that on their best day will allow them to beat any team in the state. But they are also their own worst enemy. Pomona’s one knock is that they are very turnover prone and that is a problem that could catch up with them later in the playoffs.
No. 11 Bennett (7-2) at No. 6 Faith Christian (7-2), Friday at 7 p.m. at Faith Christian High School
* Game plan: Faith Christian hardly throws the ball averaging 66 passing yards per game. But why throw it when you run the ball so well? The Eagles rush the ball for an incredible average of 236 yards per game, led by senior Deven Tyler who has eight touchdowns on the season and who also gains an average of 9.28 yards per game. But Tyler isn’t the only talented runner on the team. Faith Christian has nine other players who have scored a rushing touchdown this season. But do be careful with this Bennett team that just put a 73-0 beat down on Sheridan.
* Extra point: Both teams are pretty evenly stacked and this game could be a thriller. Faith Christian coach Blair Hubbard likes his team but isn’t sure if they are as good as some of his recent state championship teams.
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