The stage is now set for a crucial battle of the undefeated.
This particular stage is the home football field at Kiowa where the Indians (4-0) will host the Elbert Bulldogs (4-0) in what could well be a Black Forest League, 8-man thriller. Kickoff is slated Friday at 7 p.m.
There was little doubt that Kiowa was not going to overlook Miami-Yoder in the Indians 46-16 victory over the Buffalos last Friday. That's when strange things happen. Fortunately, the game went the way coach Mark Clemmons had hoped.
The wind caused a bit of havoc for both teams as they relied more on their running games. And that was certainly a plus for Kiowa as the Indians were led with a 142-yard effort by Joey Jantz on 18 carries and an additional 132-yards on only eight carries by Lonny Trehal.
The game was out of reach after three quarters with Kiowa leading 40-0. Miami-Yorder closed the gap with 16-fourth quarter points.
"We like to throw, but the wind did cause some trouble," said Clemmons. "We certainly got a good night from our running backs, Joey and Lonny. Joey has rushed for over a 100-yards in all four of our wins. It would be nice to see that continue."
Clemmons points out that the two styles presented on the field by Jantz and Trehal so far this season has been a plus. The pair combined for four touchdowns in the win over Miami-Yoder. And Jantz also came up with a pass interception.
"Lonny likes to cut and Joe likes to concentrate on his speed," Clemmons said. "Their styles have been a plus so far and we certainly hope it continues."
Quarterback Steve Mizak was conservative in the passing game, completing seven of his nine passes for only 85 yards, but two throws went for touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, Connor Wills had a superb game with a team high 15 tackles, Jordan Gabehart had eight, Tyler Daughenbaugh made seven while Joey and Jack Thomas each accounted for six stops. Now, this group hopes to find ways to stop the Elbert running game.
"Elbert has been able to own us and we have to get our confidence up against these guys," Clemmons said. "I think we have the talent to play with them. I don't think our two schools have every played each other when we were both unbeaten, so it should be a fun night for everyone involved."
Elbert had little trouble with Genoa-Hugo as the Bulldogs scrambled their way to a 62-6 victory. And while the offense was on target, the defense was on top of its game, as well, holding the Pirates to 44 yards through the air and 66 on the ground.
"Geona only brought 10 kids so they certainly didn't have the depth," said Elbert coach Shawn Graves. "But they played hard and I think they will be able to win a couple of games. Most of our kids only played in the first half and it was good to get several other of our players into the game.
"Our quarterback, Blake Nicholas, was good rushing for over 100 yards and completing seven of his nine passes," Graves said. "He makes our offense go, but all the kids have been playing hard."
Elbert scored 16 points in the first quarter and then blew the game wide open in the second, scoring 30 points for its 46-0 halftime lead. The Bulldogs tacked on 16 more in the third quarter for their final tally in their Black Forest League opener.
Heading into it's game with Kiowa, Elbert has outscored its opponents this season 218-32 and Graves hopes his Bulldogs can keep the efforts going.
"Kiowa is a big rivalry for us," Graves said. "I think back on the past few years and we've had some fine games against them and should be that way again this week. I think we've been thinking about them for the past few weeks and we're certainly not going to overlook them."
Simla improve to 3-1 as the Cubs defeated Pikes Peak Christian 46-18. The Cubs led 26-6 at the half and were well on their way to the win.
"We played hard, but we still made a few more mental errors than we should have," said coach Shane Zimmerman. "We did what we needed to do to win and we were able to get a lot of kids some playing time. But we had a host of mistakes as three touchdowns were called back."
Damian Bell had another banner game for Simla as he rushed 23 times for 195 yards and scored three touchdowns. It didn't take long for Dustin Campbell to get going toward his 150-yard night on only eight carries. He scored Simla's first touchdown on the Cubs second play of the game via a 41-yard run.
Overall, Simla was able to rush for 405 yards in the game.
And, cudos to the Simla passing game as quarterback Cody Norris completed all six of his passes, three to Jason George, who tallied on a 26-yard reception.
"We didn't throw a lot, as you can see," Zimmerman said. "But Cody was right on the money. He also came up with an interception on defense and scored his touchdown on a 1-yard sneak.”
Zimmerman thought the Cubs could be in for a long night when Pikes Peak Christian's Kaleb Ham returned Simla's kickoff after the Cubs second touchdown for the Eagles first score of the game.
"He's not a young man to overlook, either," Zimmerman said. "He was a tough youngster to bring down and did present our kids with a challenge. That was their first loss and he's been a key for them."
Simla hosts Miami-Yoder Saturday at 1 p.m. in their Black Forest League encounter.
Elizabeth, coached by Chris Cline, finally broke into the win column and now stand 1-3 as the Cardinals defeated Lewis-Palmer 34-27 in their game in Monument.
Elizabeth quarterback Brody Oliver scored on a 9-yard run with 9:54 remaining in the fourth quarter, giving the Cardinals a 34-6 lead. However, Lewis-Palmer would strike for three consecutive touchdowns within the last eight minutes.
Lewis-Palmer took a quick first lead in the game as Tristen Gerk connected on a 27-yard field goal just two minutes into the first quarter. Elizabeth would answer with 11:13 remaining in the second quarter on an 18-yard run by Chase Nicholas. Yet the Rangers would answer the touchdown with Gerk's second field goal of the game from 35-yards out with 4:58 left in the quarter.
It didn't take long for Elizabeth to come back as Stuart Eurich gathered in a 37-yard pass from Oliver that staked the Cardinals to a 14-6 lead with 1:35 remaining before halftime. The Cardinals would stretch their lead to 28-6 heading into the fourth quarter via a 25-yard pass interception by Nicholas. Haden Freisner would scored next for the Cardinals taking in a 65-yard pass from Oliver.
Following Oliver's fourth quarter score, Lewis-Palmer would begin it's comeback.
Sean Grundman would score the first of his two touchdown for Lewis-Palmer, the first on a 19-yard pass from quarterback Nate Conner with 6:31 remaining. The Rangers would strike again as the same duo hooked up for an 80-yard touchdown with 3:39 on the clock. Then, with 3:18 left they tallied again, this time on a 1-yard run by Austin Grantham.
Elizabeth hosts Roosevelt Friday at 7 p.m. in the Cardinals final non-league game of the season. The Rough Riders also came through for their first win of the season, a 35-14 victory against Frederick.
Elizabeth improved to 4-2-1 as the Cardinals defeated Skyview 1-0 last Thursday. And it was good to rebound as the Cardinals were beaten by Fort Lupton 4-1 in last Tuesday's game.
Mitchell Eddy scored the goal against Skyview off an assist from Travis Eddy. And, it was a stellar job in goal by Dave Crawford as he came through with 12 saves.
However, the stats were not as good against Fort Lupton. Nate Morand, assisted by Coby Yannacone, scored the lone goal in the loss to the Blue Devils. Crawford was able to come up with nine saves, but certainly hoped to have at last four more.
Hugo Sanchez led Fort Lupton with two goals and an assist. Ivan Garcia scored one goal and was able to account for three assists in the win. Jacob Posada, with a goal, and Juan Arellano, an assist, completed the scoring for the Blue Devils.
Yet it hasn't been a poor season for Elizabeth. The Cardinals have accounted for 21 goals while only allowing 10 to this date in the season. They hosted Weld Central Sept. 25th and Bennett on Thursday.