Welcome to Week 3 or Week 1 of preps football
Eagle Valley gets to play
The calendar says Week 3, but it is, at last, Week 1 for Eagle Valley football.
After a coronavirus quarantine postponed their games against Battle Mountain and Summit, the Devils are finally starting the season at Green Mountain at Trailblazer Stadium in Lakewood Saturday at noon.
There’s no question that Eagle Valley is rearing to go. The Devils have been ready for football through a COVID-19 summer and the subsequent movement of the football season to the spring and then back to the fall.
The question is: How will the Devils play against a team that’s got two games under their belt? The Rams opened the season with a 21-14 win over Northridge, followed by crushing Conifer, 31-0.
Those results indicate that Green Mountain was a bit rusty in Week 1 against Northridge — a team Eagle Valley was 1-1 against the last two years — before clicking into its game with an impressive Week 2 win.
Can the Devils overcome the inevitable rust against a talented team? Stopping Rams quarterback Darius Padilla would certainly be a start. The senior play-caller is the team’s leading rusher with 89 yards on 13 carries. He’s also completed 24-of-37 passes for 330 yards.
Padilla’s favorite target seems to be Allen Ortiz (11 catches, 120 yards).
The Huskies are back home for Evergreen on Friday night at 7.
The visiting Cougars are a tall order with 24-7 loss to Palisade and a 46-8 thrashing of Thompson Valley.
Yes, the beginning of the schedule — Ralston Valley and Palisade — has been downright ridiculous in degree of difficulty. But the Huskies did do some positive things at Palisade.
The Huskies found some offense — two touchdowns — and didn’t get put on the running clock until midway through the fourth quarter. The latter usually happens a lot earlier against Palisade.
The next step is putting up some points in the first half. As quarterback Kai Haggen said of 5A Ralston Valley, the Huskies are still playing against 16- to 18-year-olds. Evergreen’s good, but they’re still high school kids. The objective on Friday is to be competitive, the longer the better.
By the time of kickoff on Saturday at 7 p.m. up north, Vail Christian will not have played a game in 15 days, while Hayden will be playing its second in five days.
Welcome to the COVID-19 era.
Hayden (0-2) opened the season with losses to Mancos (52-6) and West Grand (44-26). The West Grand game was on Tuesday night as a COVID-19 makeup.
The Saints will likely end up playing a Tuesday game like Hayden because Vail Christian had to postpone with Gilpin County last weekend.
The positive end of two weeks off is that the Saints have had a ton of time to work after a season-opening 52-20 loss at Dove Creek. Although the Tigers have the best uniforms in the Northwestern League, the Saints should be favored in this one.
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Are we seeing more bears because there are more bears on the valley floor, or because we’re all spending more time at home? It could be a bit of both.