No. 4 Regis Jesuit (2-2) vs. No. 1 Cherry Creek (3-1)
When where: 7 p.m. Thursday at Stutler Bowl
last meeting: Cherry Creek 28, vs. Regis Jesuit 7, November 19, 2021
For the fourth time in five weeks, Regis Jesuit is facing a team ranked in the CHSAANow.com Top 10. The other week: a visit to California to take on the West Coast mighty Oaks Christian. It goes without saying that the Raiders are battle-tested. And they have another stern test, perhaps the toughest of all, with a visit to the top-ranked Creek. The Bruins just beat Arvada West 62-21 in which the defense scored three touchdowns on its own. Add the running back tandem of Carlson Tann (66 carries, 451 yards) and Jordan Herron (31-267) and Regis will be very busy.
No. 10 Rock Canyon (4-0) vs. Arapahoe (2-2)
When where: 7 p.m. Friday at LPS Stadium
last meeting: Arapahoe 41, at Rock Canyon 35, September 24, 2021
Off to their first 4-0 start since 2015, Rock Canyon is on the rise through the 5A ranks. Now comes an opportunity for the Jaguars to prove that they belong to the elite of the state. Seniors Aidan Duda (74 carries, 657 yards) and Dean Chisolm (49-364) lead a Jaguars running game that is averaging 332 yards per game. The stingy Arapahoe defense, which has allowed two or fewer touchdowns in all but one game, should offer a litmus test as Rock Canyon pursues its first winning season in 10 years.
No. 3 Ralston Valley (3-1) vs. No. 6 Valor Christian (2-2)
When where: 7 p.m. Friday at Valor Stadium
last meeting: Value 45, at Ralston Valley 7, November 6, 2020
Ralston Valley’s rocky non-league schedule heads south as the Mustangs look to defeat a state-ranked team for the third straight week under first-year coach Jared Yannacito. The Mustangs have beaten the second-ranked team in 5A in each of their last two games, first defeating Grandview in Week 3 (33-21), then rallying from 18 points to defeat Regis Jesuit in Week 4 (29). -28). Now comes a date with Valor, who is sore after giving up more than 50 points for the first time in 14 years in a 50-7 loss to Liberty of Peoria, Ariz. Getting it right against RV will be a difficult task.
Legacy (2-2) vs. Legend No. 9 (3-1)
When where: 7 p.m. Friday at EchoPark Stadium
last meeting: N/A
After an 0-2 start, new Legacy head coach Jay Madden has his Lightning going with 72 points scored in the last two weeks. The driving force has been quarterback Kullen Lerma (946 total yards, nine passing/rushing TDs), his favorite target Will Thurston (14 receptions, 294 yards) and an opportunistic defense that has 11 takeoffs and 12 tackles for loss. Prior to last week’s loss to rival Ponderosa, Legend had scored 40-plus points in three straight games, with quarterback Jake Brookhart throwing for multiple touchdowns in each.
No. 4 Fruita Monument (3-1) vs. Bear Creek (4-0)
When where: 6 p.m. Thursday at Stocker Stadium
last meeting: Bear Creek 40, at Fruita Monument 13, September 11, 2009
Fruita Monument proved he could be with anyone last Thursday when he took 5A Power Grandview into overtime in a 38-37 loss. The next step is the visit of the undefeated Bear Creek, who has a passing attack that averages 242.0 yards per game. Quarterback Adrian Rico (968 yards, 11 TDs on 61.4% passing) and receiver Elijah Thomas Jr. (14 receptions, 418 yards) form a dangerous connection. But will they be able to move the ball against a Wildcats defense that has limited 4A opponents to just seven points a game?
No. 1 Ponderosa (4-0) vs. No. 3 Palmer Ridge (4-0)
When where: 7 p.m. Friday at Don Breese Stadium
last meeting: Palmer Ridge 35, at Ponderosa 28, October 8, 2021
What would have been a 1-2 matchup a week ago will instead be No. 1 vs. No. 3 after Palmer Ridge was edged out by Broomfield in the latest CHSAANow.com poll. The Bears will get back into the top two, or maybe even reclaim the top spot, if they can beat a Ponderosa team that has outscored opponents 160-54 in four weeks. Led by dual-threat quarterback Derek Hester (907 total yards) and running backs Orlando Aranda (42 carries, 300 yards) and Nathaniel Robison (38-297), the Bears can score in groups. But can they keep up with Ponderosa and their own QB, Zach Stryker (1,017 total yards)?
No. 9 Denver South (3-1) vs. Cheyenne Mountain (3-1)
When where: 7 p.m. Friday at Cheyenne Mountain
last meeting: N/A
Fresh off a last-second loss at Golden in a 43-42 instant classic, the Ravens head to Springs to take on a Cheyenne Mountain team that has won three in a row. South still has to face a defense capable of stopping his high-octane offense, which is averaging 50.0 points and 429.25 yards per game. QB Joseph Capra topped 275 total yards in all four weeks, while WR Rashad Caldwell (seven TDs) also found the end zone in each game. A tall order for the Red-Tailed Hawks, but their defensive production (38 tackles for loss, nine takeaways) suggests they could be up for the task.
4A No. 8 Montrose (2-2) vs. No. 2 Lutheran (3-1)
When where: 7 p.m. Friday at Lutheran
last meeting: N/A
After scoring 106 points in their last two games, Lutheran steps up in class to face a Montrose team that has recently had an offensive explosion of its own (89 combined points in wins over Erie and Palisade). First-year starting quarterback Ryken Daugaard has found his place in the Lutheran pocket, throwing for 583 yards and eight touchdowns in the past two weeks.
No. 7 Holy Family (2-1) vs. No. 1 Roosevelt (4-0)
When where: 7 pm Friday at Sagrada Familia
last meeting: Roosevelt 51, vs. Holy Family 33, November 20, 2021
Holy Family and Roosevelt meet for the third time in a calendar year, with the Tigers looking to avenge a pair of double-digit losses suffered at the hands of the Roughriders. When running back Chase McNaughton (48 carries, 278 yards) gets going, the Sagrada Familia offense is hard to stop. Against a defense like Roosevelt’s, which has 47 tackles for loss, 10 steals and two shutouts already this season, that’s easier said than done.