Friday marks another day of sparse home Friday night lights in the San Luis Valley. Home on Friday night are Del Norte and Alamosa. Alamosa will face Salida, the Tigers will play host to Sanford; both are league games in their respective classes.
Alamosa (4-2) is back at AHS Field for the last time this season. For the Mean Moose’s final home game, they will be taking on a league rival in the Salida Spartans (0-6). Last year’s meeting with the Spartans didn’t go Alamosa’s way with Salida taking a 28-6 victory.
Alamosa has had something of an up and down season. The Mean Moose gained respect by knocking off a premier opponent in La Junta (4-2). But the Moose followed that big win with back-to-back losses to unranked opponents in Lamar (4-2) and Bayfield (2-4). Alamosa has bounced back last weekend with a shutout victory over Montezuma-Cortez (1-5) and will look to keep their winning streak alive and score a little revenge against the Spartans.
Salida graduated their top three rushers, their top receiver as well as their top five tacklers. As a result, the Spartans have gone from winning by an average margin of 31 points to losing by an average margin of 32 points. The depletion is showing itself in the Spartans record who have yet to win a game this season.
Though Salida’s passing game is stellar, the run game has been struggling to keep pace. Through the air the Salida senior Zayne Walker has 1,046 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 18.7 yards per completion. Eight of those touchdowns have gone to fellow senior Ben Fuller. But on the ground, it’s a whole different story. Salida musters 3.3 yards per carry and has produced just two touchdowns. Walker has taken 41 percent of those rushing snaps and picked up an average of 2 yards per carry.
Salida seems to subsist on an opportunistic defense with 10 takeaways recorded this season for a +2-turnover differential. Salida at Alamosa for Senior night is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Del Norte will be home for their meeting with Sanford. It has been a rocky season for Del Norte. The Tigers (2-4) have yet to get things on track and it won’t get any easier looking forward. Two of the final three opponents Del Norte faces this season weren’t so kind last season. Against Sanford and Sargent in 2018, Del Norte fell by a combined score of 113-26. Then when they close the book on 2019, the Tigers will have to contend with the likes of Centauri and Monte Vista when they move up to the 1A class next year.
Sanford (6-0) has been rolling this season, blowing out opponents left and right. This past weekend, Sanford got their first real test of the season and passed with flying colors. In an undefeated matchup of two top-ten 8 Man football teams, Sanford won and won big – running out in front of host Mancos by four possessions. With the meaningful win in their pocket, Sanford moved up to No. 2 in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) rankings and No. 3 by coaches’ poll on CHSAANow.com. Looking forward Sanford still has a couple of good opportunities to hone their skills against quality opponents back to back home games against RPI’s No. 13 Dove Creek and No. 16 Sargent will close the regular season for Sanford. Del Norte meets Sanford Friday at 7 p.m. in Tiger Stadium.
Also home over the weekend are Sangre de Cristo and Mountain Valley-Moffat. Sangre de Cristo (1-5) can take the next step on Saturday when they host Hoehne (2-4). By RPI the Thunderbirds are ranked 27th, the visiting Farmers are just a little higher at No. 25. If Sangre de Cristo can pull off the upset it will be their first multi-win season since 2016.
Mountain Valley-Moffat (3-3) will also be at home on Saturday playing against Cripple Creek-Victor’s Pioneers (0-6). If the game happens at all it will be a great opportunity for Mtn. Valley to earn a win. Cripple Creek-Victor has forfeited 4 of their 6 losses. If the Pioneers take the field against Mountain Valley-Moffat, Cripple Creek is ranked 30th of 30 teams in 6 Man by RPI