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By Neil Devlin

Limited to just two days of play in Week 1 because of the holiday weekend, Class 5A football will have the ability to spread its wings a bit in Week 2.

This week’s games will run in the more-traditional Thursday-to-Saturday range, mostly nonleague, save for the Metro 10 group.

Opening week provided few upsets and there were only three shutouts, so big-school offenses are in tune.

Below are a dozen offerings for your viewing pleasure as the annual race to try and unseat the regular powers gets a second try in 2019:

Best bets

Columbine (1-0) vs. Ponderosa (0-1), Thursday, 6 p.m., EchoPark Stadium

The visiting Rebels opened 2019 with a 49-0 whipping of Denver East on the road. … Senior Tanner Hollens scored the season’s first touchdown and added 76 of the Rebel’s 219 yards rushing. He also hauled in a 50-yard catch for a TD. … Senior Jadon Holliday was 6=of-8 passing for 86 yards and two TDs. … These two don’t get together much. The last time they met was in the 2005 opener. Columbine won 30-3. … Ponderosa is fresh from a 28-21 setback to nearby Legend. … The Mustangs were hit for 21 points in the fourth quarter.

Ralston Valley (1-0) vs. Fairview (1-0), Thursday, 7 p.m., Recht Field

Winning by only 14-10 at halftime, Ralston Valley got it together late in a 42-26 decision of host Mountain Vista in its season opener last week. … The Mustangs and the Knights haven’t played since 2014, when RV erupted for a 71-29 spanking. RV also has won four of the previous five meetings. … Fairview continued its dominance of city-rival Boulder last week with a 49-14 bowlout. The Knights have won the past 12 meetings. … Senior QB Aidan Atkinson showed how glad he was to return from injury by throwing for 347 yards and five TDs. Remember, he had been leading the nation in passing yardage … before going down in Week 10.

Regis Jesuit (1-0) vs. Overland (0-1), Thursday, 7 p.m., Stutler Bowl

The Raiders won a spirited 23-13 decision over always god Pomona last week. … Sophomore QB Nicco Marchiol certainly began with big numbers, going 17-0f-26 for 316 yards and a TD, including an 80-yarder. … Senior Jackson Connelly hauled in seven receptions for 149 yards and the score. … Regis Jesuit had dropped three of the previous head-to-head meetings with Pomona. … Overland dropped the debut of new head coach DaVaughn Thornton, the former Denver East star tight end who went on to the University of Colorado. … The Trailblazers had won 11 of the previous meetings with the Buffaloes.

Arapahoe (1-0) vs. Castle View (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m., Douglas County Stadium

It’s a noteworthy meeting between coaches in their second years after having lots of previous success elsewhere. Arapahoe’s Rod Sherman had a great run at Valor Christian and Castle View’s Todd Casebier won at multiple stops, most notably Montrose. … The visiting Warriors had to sweat out a 14-13 squeaker last week at home against Greeley West. … The SaberCats also were taxed last week before taking a 28-27 victory over visiting Fossil Ridge. … They were hit for 349 yards of offense, but junior RB Ian Peirce had two of their three rushing TDs. … Senior RB Jordan Jackson added 95 yards rushing and a third TD on the ground.

Pomona (0-1) vs. Bear Creek (0-1), Friday, 7 p.m., Jefferson County Stadium

Truth is, Pomona just hasn’t been on the south side of .500 very much over recent decades. The Panthers remain consistent. … Last week, the Panthers had an un-Pomona-like 125 yards rushing for the game (against Regis Jesuit) and threw two interceptions. … Junior Ben Cruz rushed for 99 yards and Sanjay Strickland ran for two TDs. … It’s yet another district (Jefferson County) matchup that;s also nonleague and out of class (Pomona is 5A, Bear Creek 4A). … Bear Creek is coming off a back-and-forth 35-27 loss to Lakewood. … Interesting fact of longevity – Bear Creek has had only two head coaches since 1992. Tom Thenell lasted into 2011 and Zach Morris is in his eighth season with the Bears.

Also keep an eye on …

Highlands Ranch (0-1) vs. Grandview (1-0), Thursday, 7 p.m., Legacy Stadium

Count on the host Wolves and Moosah Alsafar (three TDs last week in a 49-7 rolling of Chaparral) – they have been above .500 in every season since 2005.

Mullen (1-0) vs. Doherty (0-1), Thursday, 7 p.m., Garry Berry Stadium

The visiting Mustangs and Notre Dame commit Aidan Keanaaina shut out the FNE Warriors last week, their first blanking in 32 games (they beat Regis Jesuit 17-0 in 2016).

Cedar Grove, Ga. (1-1) at Valor Christian (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m.

In their first appearance without a McCaffrey enrolled at their school, the defending state champion Eagles blasted Charlotte Christian, N.C. 56-6 as Cole Bott threw for three TDs.

Fountain-Fort Carson (1-0) vs. Eaglecrest (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m., Legacy Stadium

The always talented Trojans have a date at the home of the Raptors, who have had four coaches over three seasons, but are 35-4 since the start of 2016.

Mountain Range (0-1) vs. Adams City (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m., George DiTirro Stadium

The host Eagles, who haven’t had a winning record since 2005, snapped a 17-game losing streak last week with a 17-9 victory over Skyview.

Santa Margarita, Calif. (1-1) vs. Cherry Creek (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m., Stutler Bowl

The Eagles probably haven’t forgotten last year’s home loss to the Bruins, the 2018 state runers-up who blew out Doherty 45-6 last week as Julian Hammond III threw for 251 yards and four TDs.

Rangeview (0-1) vs. Smoky Hill (1-0), Saturday, 6 p.m., Stutler Bowl

The host Buffaloes (Obasanjo Sanni had 229 yards and five TDs last week), who hadn’t had a winning record sicne 1990 before 2018-‘s 10-1, now have another streak – they have won 11 regular-season games in a row.


Neil Devlin, contributing to
Neil H. Devlin is in his 40th year covering Colorado high-school sports. He’s currently the Sports Information Director at Mullen High in southwest Denver. Twitter: @neildevlin. Web: