On the eve of the fifth week of the prep football season, the Montezuma-Cortez High School, Mancos High School, Dove Creek High School and Dolores High School football teams are well aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
Day in and day out, local coaches have done their best to address their teams’ issues while adjusting their schemes with an eye toward putting all their players in positions to succeed.
For two local programs, this weekend’s goal will be to improve, remain competitive and possibly pick up their first wins of the season. For two others, the goal will be to remain hot and move up in the state standings.
M-CHS takes on DeltaWhen members of Montezuma-Cortez High School’s football team take their home field tonight, they will have to be at their very best if they hope to stay close to their opponents from Delta High School.
Currently ranked No. 3 in Class 2A, Delta has been dominant this season, collecting a 42-0 shutout win over Thornton High School in its season opener and defeating Salida High 61-0 on Sept. 13.
Capable of scoring on the ground or in the air, quarterback Nolan Bynum has led the way for Delta this season with 290 passing yards and six passing touchdowns. The junior has also rushed for 80 yards and three touchdowns while leading one of the most effective Class 2A offenses in the state.
While statistics were not available for M-CHS, the Panthers’ early-season struggles are clearly documented in the form of a 50-0 loss to Kirtland Central High School on Aug. 30 and a 54-6 loss to Gateway High on Sept. 7.
In spite of its struggles on both sides of the ball, M-CHS does feature the type of talent needed to be dangerous in the form of junior quarterback Ty Blackmer and senior running back Vallentino Rodriguez.
If the Panthers hope to stay close to Delta, the team’s offensive and defensive lines will have to hold tough while putting pressure on Delta’s backfield and opening holes for M-CHS’s skill players.
Mancos looks to remain unbeatenAmong the top squads in eight-man football this season, the Mancos High School football team will look to improve its overall record to 3-0 with a road victory over Sargent High today.
Among the keys to the Bluejays’ fast start this season has been their ability to run the ball, as senior quarterback Breccen Morelli has rushed for 127 yards and three touchdowns, senior running back Anthony Medina has rushed for 220 yards and three touchdowns, and sophomore running back Chase Moore has amassed 394 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.
When the Mancos defense takes the field against Sargent, its members will need to pay close attention to junior quarterback Kage Pepper, who has passed for 142 yards and four touchdowns and has run for 209 yards and two touchdowns this season.
Sargent’s junior running back, Blake Behil, has also been a force this year, running for 203 yards and two touchdowns during his team’s loss to Fowler High School and win over Springfield High School.
Dove Creek hoping to stay hotStill trying to determine whether it is a contender or a pretender in the A-8 Mountain League, the Dove Creek High School football team will look to take a significant step forward with a road victory over Norwood tonight.
This season, the Bulldogs have looked mostly impressive while picking up victories over Monument Valley and Plateau Valley and suffering their only loss in a hotly contested contest against Rangely.
In order to pick up their third win of the season, Dove Creek will need a big game from sophomore quarterback Chorbin Cressler, who has rushed for 353 yards and seven touchdowns this season and passed for 276 yards and two scores.
Defensive stalwarts Walker Cressler, Gage Bailey, Gauge Thompson and Hayden Gray will also need to be on their games if they hope to contain Norwood quarterback Tyler Wytulka, who has passed for 437 yards and four touchdowns and has run for 317 yards and four touchdowns this year.
Dolores eager for a winAfter playing well throughout much of an 18-6 loss to Whitehorse High School last week, the Dolores High School football team will look to continue its improvements and win its first game of the season when it travels to face Monument Valley today.
Although season statistics are not available for either team, Dolores figures to have a fighting chance for a victory in the event that sophomore quarterback Wyatt Koskie and sophomore running back William Taylor play well.