When the Mancos High School football team takes its home field on Oct. 11, it will do so against a Sanford High School team that has outscored its opponents 210-32 this season while amassing a perfect record of 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the A-8 Mountain League.
Don’t expect the Bluejays to blink, however, given that the blue-and-white clad group from Mancos has dominated every opponent that it has faced this season while rolling to its own perfect record of 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the A-8 Mountain League.
In a game that is likely to determine the league title and will have significant implications for playoff seeding, fans can expect players from both sides to be confident, skilled, well-coached and disciplined.
Below are some of the factors that could determine the outcome of what figures to be one of the most exciting regular season contests this season.
Can Chase Moore be stopped?For every team that has faced Mancos this season, the preeminent question on the minds of coaches and players has been how to contain running back Chase Moore, who has rushed for 1,235 yards and 19 touchdowns this season while averaging 16.9 yards per carry.
With Moore’s rare combination of speed, power and vision, there is no easy answer to stopping the highly regarded running back, who has already put together one of the finest individual seasons in his school’s history.
In the event that the Bluejays’ offensive line is able to open running lanes for their sophomore star, Sanford could be in for a long night. If Sanford’s defense, which ranks among the best in the state, is able to limit Moore, fans could be treated to an exciting contest.
Will Sanford be able to match the Bluejays’ team speed?Although Sanford has faced its fair share of talented opponents this season, it has yet to face an opponent with the team-wide speed that Mancos possesses.
Among the Bluejays’ fastest players is senior running back Anthony Medina, who doubles as a track star and may be the fastest player in 8-man football this season.
Also capable of turning on the jets is Mancos’ senior quarterback Breccen Morelli, who regularly competes in the 400-meter dash during the track season and has amassed 252 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns this season.
In the event that Sanford is able to run with the Bluejays’ track stars, the contest could remain close. Such a scenario is unlikely, however, as fans should expect the Bluejays’ skill players to run wild from start to finish.
Which team’s defense is better?While stars on the offensive side of the ball will dominate headlines heading into this Friday’s contest, Sanford and Mancos both feature solid defenses that rank among the most difficult to score against in the state.
Leading the way for the Mancos defense will be junior linebacker Colt Fury, who has been credited with 97 tackles this season. Junior Christian Cova has also played the role of stopper while amassing 61 total tackles.
Given the Bluejays’ balance on both sides of the ball, it is likely that local fans will have plenty to cheer about while enjoying the accommodations at Mancos High Schools’ newly renovated turf field.
Expect Mancos, which is currently ranked third in www.chsaanow.com’s football poll, to dominate Sanford, which is currently ranked sixth in the same poll, while amassing at least a four-touchdown victory.