With so many fantastic settings, rivalries and individual matchups, there’s a good option every Friday night with Colorado prep football. Here’s our attempt to pick one for every week of the regular season:
Time/date: 7 p.m. Friday
Top 10 matchups like No. 1 Valor at No. 6 Regis Jesuit are fun, but this meeting of Parker rivals at EchoPark Stadium is always a Week 1 treat. The past two games have been decided by a touchdown or less.
Honorable mention: Valor Christian at Regis Jesuit
Roosevelt at Holy Family
Time/date: 7 p.m. Sept. 3
An early meeting of 3A powers may very well be a sneak peek at this year’s championship. The fourth-ranked Tigers reached the state semifinals a year ago, while the Roughriders lost a heartbreaker in the title game.
Honorable mention: Thomas Jefferson at Dakota Ridge
Eastside Catholic (Wash.) at Valor Christian
Time/date: 7 p.m. Sept. 10
A week after traveling to California to take on SoCal power Oaks Christian, the Eagles host one of Washington state’s top programs. Matchup to watch: Valor tackle Jake Maikkula vs. three-star D-lineman Peter Taoipu.
Honorable mention: Strasburg at Limon
Grand Junction at Grand Junction Central
Time/date: 6 p.m. Sept. 17
Give us an excuse to take in a Friday night at Stocker Stadium, and we’ll take it. This also gives us a chance to take a detour to Platte Valley’s home field for a Saturday showdown with Eaton on the way back.
Honorable mention: Ralston Valley at Grandview
Cherry Creek at Regis Jesuit
Time/date: 7 p.m. Sept. 24
So many tasty matchups to choose from, but we go with Creek-Regis with the hope we get to see Raiders defensive lineman Nunie Tuitele (Cal recruit) face off against Bruins tackle George Fitzpatrick (Ohio State).
Honorable mention: Columbine at Valor Christian
Fairview at Legacy
Time/date: 7 p.m. Oct. 1
Last year’s 43-32 barn-burner was good fun. The Knights pulled away and have a 19-game winning streak in league play coming into the 2021 season.
Honorable mention: Montrose at Palmer Ridge
Loveland at Skyline
Time/date: 1 p.m. Oct. 9
An argument could be made last year’s 4A state title was decided when Loveland beat Skyline in an OT thriller in both team’s regular-season finale. Skyline missed the abbreviated playoff bracket, and the Red Wolves won out.
Honorable mention: Pomona at Ralston Valley
Grandview at Eaglecrest
Time/date: 7 p.m. Oct. 15
Among the best high school football rivalries in the Denver metro, this annual Centennial League showdown always delivers. Last year was no different, as the Raptors eked one out, 43-42.
Honorable mention: George Washington at Thomas Jefferson
Pueblo South at Pueblo East
Time/date: 7 p.m. Oct. 22
The Bell Game (Central vs. Centennial) may be the longest high school rivalry west of the Mississippi River, but the Cannon Game (South vs. East) is the Pueblo rivalry that’s made the most noise recently.
Honorable mention: Eaglecrest at Cherry Creek
Columbine at Pomona
Time/date: 4 p.m. Oct. 28
There’s a reason they save this Jeffco rivalry for the last week of the 5A regular season. It’s rarely a blowout and it often decides the league title. That could be the case again.
Honorable mention: Chatfield at Dakota Ridge
Lutheran at Green Mountain
Time/date: 6:30 p.m. Nov. 5
With only the 3A regular season remaining, we turn to a matchup that could decide a league championship. The Rams struggled during last year’s shortened season, but made the playoffs the two previous seasons. The Lions appear to be a program on the rise.
Honorable mention: Kennedy at Lincoln
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