8 Colorado high school football games to watch in Week 5


Valor Christian (1-3) vs. No. 4 Ralston Valley (3-1)

When/where: 7 p.m. Thursday at NAAC Stadium

Last meeting: Valor Christian 42, vs. Ralston Valley 41 (OT), Nov. 26, 2022

Don’t let Valor’s record fool you. While the Eagles are a 29-point second-half comeback vs. Fairview away from an 0-4 start, all three of their losses have come against top-tier teams on the road: Rabun Gap-Nacoochee in Georgia, No. 2 Pine Creek and No. 6 Regis Jesuit. Things get no easier this week with yet another away matchup against a top-10 team. And this one is out for revenge after Valor beat RV twice in 2022, including an overtime thriller in the 5A state semifinals that ended the Mustangs’ season.

No. 1 Cherry Creek (4-0) vs. No. 6 Regis Jesuit (2-2)

When/where: 6:30 p.m. Friday at Legacy Stadium

Last meeting: Cherry Creek 42, vs. Regis Jesuit 14, Sept. 22, 2022

Speaking of brutal schedules, Regis Jesuit’s string of heavyweight bouts culminates Friday night with a “home” date against the four-time defending 5A champions. Both of the Raiders’ losses this season have come by a touchdown (34-27 at No. 5 Arapahoe and 28-21 at No. 4 Ralston Valley). Meanwhile, Creek has yet to enter a fourth quarter with less than a 19-point lead. Can Regis, losers of four straight vs. Creek, be the one to make the Bruins sweat?

No. 5 Arapahoe (3-1) vs. Rock Canyon (4-0)

When/where: 7 p.m. Friday at EchoPark Stadium

Last meeting: Rock Canyon 28, at Arapahoe 17, Sept. 23, 2022

The Rock Canyon defense has shut down all comers so far this season, allowing just 21 points total through four games. Now comes a chance to prove it’s the genuine article against a fifth-ranked Warriors team that was a stop away from taking down No. 3 Columbine last weekend. A potential matchup to watch: Rock Canyon cornerback Abraham Chitwood (four interceptions) vs. all-everything senior Charlie Eckhardt (16 catches, 314 yards, 3 TDs).


No. 1 Palmer Ridge (4-0) vs. Ponderosa (2-2)

When/where: 6 p.m. Thursday at EchoPark Stadium

Last meeting: Palmer Ridge 48, vs. Ponderosa 34, Sept. 23, 2022

After losses to No. 9 Golden and 5A rival Legend, Ponderosa gets another stiff test with the top-ranked Bears visiting Parker. Palmer Ridge senior Derek Hester is well on his way to 1,000 yards rushing and passing after piling up 957 total yards through four games. He just might have to light up the scoreboard again to match a Pondo aerial attack averaging 252 yards/game with an array of weapons in Max Mervin (25 catches, 396 yards), Dylan Karsteter (18-300) and Carson Keach (13-177).

5A No. 10 Chatfield (3-1) vs. No. 5 Dakota Ridge (3-1)

When/where: 7 p.m. Friday at Jeffco Stadium

Last meeting: Chatfield 43, vs. Dakota Ridge 30, Sept. 23, 2022

A pair of long-standing Littleton rivals meet in a game certain to produce pyrotechnics. Dakota Ridge has won three in a row since dropping its season opener against No. 3 Pueblo West, scoring 40, 39 and 50 points in successive weeks. Chatfield is coming off a 38-point outburst against ThunderRidge that included a 76-yard Niguse Shelp kick return touchdown and 279 yards on the ground.

3A No. 2 Lutheran (4-0) vs. No. 4 Montrose (2-2)

When/where: 7 p.m. Friday at Montrose

Last meeting: Montrose 42, at Lutheran 26, Sept. 23, 2022

An unbeaten Lutheran squad that had to grind out a win over Pueblo East last week goes up in class to face a Montrose team that loves nothing more than to do battle in the trenches. In taking on the 4A Red Hawks, the Lions will look to do what fellow 3A contenders Green Mountain (4A Golden), Roosevelt (5A Highlands Ranch), Thompson Valley (4A Loveland) and Holy Family (4A Broomfield) did before them: Take down a big dawg.


No. 3 Holy Family (3-0) vs. No. 4 Roosevelt (4-0)

When/where: 7 p.m. Friday at Roosevelt

Last meeting: Roosevelt 42, at Holy Family 20, Sept. 23, 2022

It’s a crowded group of contenders at the top of 3A, with this matchup a chance for Holy Family to solidify a new pecking order. Defending 3A champion Roosevelt has shown little slippage from last year’s 14-0 squad, outscoring opponents 187-54 behind senior quarterback Bronco Hartson (199.3 total yards/game) and senior running back Xavier Ramirez (176.3). Holy Family already got a measure of revenge for one blowout loss from last season, upsetting Broomfield 30-29 in Week 2. Now comes a chance to avenge another.

No. 6 Durango (3-1) vs. No. 9 Mead (1-2)

When/where: 7 p.m. Friday at Mead

Last meeting: Durango 42, vs. Mead 14, Sept. 23, 2022

After sitting idle last week, Mead welcomes a Durango team that humbled the Mavericks badly a year ago. Durango has won three straight since a Week 1 loss at Farmington, N.M., scoring 141 points in a string of routs. But Mead brings an explosive offense to this rematch, and it isn’t the ground-and-pound Mavs of recent vintage, either. With junior quarterback Christian Hiner slinging it, Mead is averaging 196.7 pass yards per game. That includes Hiner’s 22-of-36, 235-yard performance in a 35-31 win over Severance in Week 3.

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