This weekend the southern end of the valley will be heating up with some quality football matchups in the 1A and 8 Man classifications. In 1A No. 6 Centauri will be hosting No. 4 Florence. And in 8-man No. 3 Sanford will be taking on recently ousted Dove Creek. Both matchups have the potential to be competitive.
Friday night, the Centauri Falcons will be tested. The Falcons (6-1) enter their game with fourth-ranked Florence amid a softer part of their schedule. The game with the Huskies is surrounded by four opponents who carry a combined 6-21 record. This isn’t the first time this season that Centauri has had to prove themselves against a fellow top-ten ranked opponent.
Ahead of Centauri’s game with Buena Vista on September 27th, The Falcons and Demons were ranked seventh and eighth respectively. The Falcons shined in the high stakes game, trouncing the host Demons 37-0. Centauri will be looking for a similar game when the Huskies come to town.
Florence’s offense subsists on getting junior Owen Busetti the ball. Busetti has received 36 percent of all recorded offensive touches and accounts for 136 of the Huskies 265 points thus far this season. While the Huskies passing game has gone for 236 yards on 15 receptions and three touchdowns, the primary focus has to be Busetti and his 1,130 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground.
Part of the reason why the passing game is so marginal is Florence quarterback Josh Martinez’s turnover problem. The Huskies have 9 giveaways and 5 of those were caused by Martinez. The Florence defense has been good and lucky. With 16 takeaways, they more than make up for their mistake-prone offense. That said the Huskies have also been the beneficiary of unforced errors, recovering 11 fumbles to 6 forced. The top ten matchup in La Jara takes place on Friday at 7 p.m.
Sanford (7-0) has been good about winning games where they are favored taking last week’s meeting with Del Norte (2-5) by a 48-0 shutout. Sanford is no stranger to high stakes games either. Ahead of the faithful game with Mancos the Blue Jays were ranked 3rd in the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) coaches’ poll to Sanford’s 7th. Not only did Sanford win, but they dominated posting a 52-24 win. Now with the season winding down, Sanford will take on two of their more talented opponents. Dove Creek (5-2) was holding the No. 10 spot in the CHSAA coaches’ poll last week, until they were felled by Sanford’s final regular-season opponent, Sargent (5-2).
Dove Creek’s offense focuses on the success of sophomore Chorbin Cressler. From the quarterback position, Cressler is a dual-threat accounting for 607 yards passing and 1,016 yards rushing. Cressler also combines for 25 touchdowns passing and rushing the majority of those coming on the ground. The Bulldogs also boast an opportunistic defense logging 11 interceptions and 2 fumbles recovered to total 13 takeaways against 6 giveaways. Sanford looks to stay undefeated Friday night against Dove Creek, kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.
Also home Friday night will be Monte Vista and Sargent.
Monte Vista (2-5) will be looking to better their position when they host Center (3-4) Friday night. Despite records, Monte Vista figures to be favored as they sit five spots above Center in the Ratings Percentage Index Rankings (RPI) rankings and have won every meeting between the two for the past decade. Monte Vista welcomes Center Friday at 7 p.m.
Sargent will also be playing a league game when they welcome Del Norte on Friday night. By RPI the Farmers hold the No. 11 spot in 8 Man Football to Del Norte’s 28th placing. History also leans in favor of Sargent as Del Norte’s last win in the series came in 2014. Sargent and Del Norte kickoff at 7 p.m. on Friday.