High School Football Playoff Preview: Fruita, Palisade, and Delta
Several local high school football teams will look to extend their seasons this weekend in the Colorado High School Football playoffs.
Fruita Monument, Palisade, and Delta all hope to be playing again next weekend, but that all depends on what happens this weekend.
#11 Fruita Monument vs # 6 Dakota Ridge
First-round action in the class 4A playoffs includes #11 Fruita Monument on the road to take on #6 Dakota Ridge at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood. Dakota Ridge brings an 8-2 record to the table while the Wildcats are 6-4. It's worth noting that all four of Fruita's losses came against teams that are hosting first-round playoff games including a 1-point loss to Chatfield, and a 21-14 loss to Montrose.
Fruita's offense is strong, scoring 31 points a game with a potent rushing attack averaging over 250 yards a game led by senior Denim Luster's 100 yards a game. Dakota Ridge has a more balanced attack, but they will look to put the ball in the air, averaging more than 150 yards passing per game.
As for common opponents, both teams beat Grand Junction and lost to Vista PEAK. Fruita Monument lost to Chatfield 22-21, while Dakota Ridge beat the Chargers 34-23.
If the Wildcats season is going to continue, they'll have to do what no other team could do this season- beat Dakota Ridge on their home field where they are 5-0. Kickoff is 7:00 pm Friday. Fans can watch the game live on the NFHS Network.
#10 Palisade vs #7 Durango
The class 3A playoffs also get underway this weekend and #10 Palisade will be on the road to face #7 Durango. The Bulldogs are 7-3, winners of 5 in a row while outscoring their opponents during that stretch 220-43. The Demons also come into the game with a record of 7-3.
This will be the second meeting of the year between these teams with Palisade taking the first match up 25-18 back in early September in a game played at Durango.
Both of these teams have had great success on the ground averaging more than 250 yards per game, while Durango has been more of a passing team than Palisade with over 150 yards per game through the air. The Bulldogs are led by senior quarterback Cameron Tucker who's averaging 174 yards of offense per game.
The Bulldogs and Demons have one common opponent, both losing to Montrose.
Kickoff is set for 1:00 Saturday in Durango with live coverage on the NFHS Network.
#4 Delta vs #5 Faith Christian
The class 2A playoffs move into the second round this weekend with #4 Delta hosting #5 Faith Christian Saturday at 1:00pm. Both teams are 9-1 with the Panthers only loss coming against undefeated Rifle. They beat Pagosa Springs in the first round of the playoffs 44-0.
Faith Christian beat Elizabeth 8-0 last week. The Eagles have won 9 in a row since losing to Resurrection Christian on opening night. Both teams have been dominant with Delta outscoring their opponents 429-75, while the Eagles have outscored their opponents 300-96.
The Panthers will have to find a way to stop Eagles' senior running back Erick Granadas who's averaging 194 rushing yards per game. Offensively, Delta will rely heavily on the arm of junior quarterback Nolan Bynum who is averaging 186 yards passing per game.
These teams have one common opponent with Faith Christian beating Bennett 32-12, and the Panthers beating the Tigers 40-0.
Fans who can't make it to the game can watch online on the NFHS Network.
Here's wishing safe travels to all the fans who will be traveling this weekend, and best of luck to the Wildcats, the Bulldogs, and the Panthers. Let's keep the season going!