QB

There were lots of match-ups featuring ranked opponents, all across the sporting spectrum last week. While most were the hotly contested clashes that were expected, a few failed to live up to the hype.

The Kit Carson volleyball squad had two of those matches last week, and both went five sets. The Wildcats took a 3-2 victory over a ranked 2A Limon program, winning the match 25-23, 13-25, 25-14, 27-29, and 15-7 on Thursday. They would turn around and drop a five-setter on the road to La Veta in what was a match between the top two 1A teams at the time. Kit Carson dropped the first set, 23-25, and then came back to take the next two, 25-21 and 25-20. The hosts closed out the contest by taking the final two sets, 25-18 and 15-6.

Merino had a very nice weekend on the court, claiming the title of the Northeastern Spectacular. The Rams were unbeaten in pool play, as was their opponent in the championship match, Otis. Merino took a 3-0 sweep over the Bulldogs, who had been ranked fifth at the time. Heading into this week, Merino’s only loss was against a highly-ranked Briggsdale squad, who took a 3-1 victory over Fleming on Thursday. That was #3 vs #4 at the time, with the Falcons pulling off the mild upset.

Going back to Limon, the despite the loss to Kit Carson, it was a good week for the Badgers. They swept Deer Trail last Tuesday in their opener, allowing a total of 16 points in the match. Limon would rebound from the loss to Kit Carson to take a 3-0 victory over a ranked Hoehne team on Saturday. During the week, Trista Marx (25 kills) and Sidney Hines (24) combined for 49 kills. After being unranked to start the season, the Farmers climbed to a #8 ranking last week, only to drop all three matches and fall to 3-3 on the season.

Yuma suffered its first league loss in the LPAA since 2013 when the Indians were upended by Sedgwick County last Tuesday. The Cougars took the match 3-0, closing it out with a 26-24 third set. Yuma bounced back on Friday, sweeping the #1 team in Wyoming, Pine Bluffs. All three sets went 25-22.

Thursday’s schedule includes interesting clashes between Brush and Yuma, Springfield and Kit Carson, Genoa-Hugo and Limon, Hoehne and Centauri. The highlight on Friday is the fight between Briggsdale and Prairie, as the winner takes sole possession of first place in the North Central League. Saturday’s slate is littered with tournaments, including one in Brush that will see a number of ranked teams competing, as Prairie, Weldon Valley, and Wiggins will be in the field. Once again, Fleming will participate in the big event at Bishop Machebeuf, and despite being the smallest school in the field, the Wildcats have won the tournament several times in the past. Outside of tournament action, keep an eye on Lamar and James Irwin, as they square off in a key 3A Tri-Peaks match on Saturday.

For the second straight week, small school football saw a championship game rematch. And, for the second straight week, it wasn’t close. After 6-man’s rematch had Kit Carson downing Stratton/Liberty 48-14 in week one, 8-man’s top two teams, Sedgwick County and Hoehne, went at it last Friday. Following a delay of more than an hour, the Cougars rolled 34-0 on the road, making it three wins over Hoehne in just over 12 months. Friday’s game was only 6-0 at the half, but Sedgwick County put 22 points on the board in the third frame to take control. They have outscored opponents 80-0 in two games this season.

In last week’s other big 8-man game, Caliche went on the road and scored a 60-36 victory over a highly-ranked West Grand team on Saturday. The Buffs trailed 14-6 after one quarter, but got on top 26-14 at the half. Caliche turned it into a lopsided affair by outscoring the Mustangs 26-14 in the fourth quarter. The Buffs are off this week after scoring 60 or more points in each of their first two games.

The top games this weekend in 8-man look to be Merino and Mancos squaring off at a neutral site in Fairplay on Friday afternoon, Swink visiting Sanford on Friday night, Fowler on the road at Akron on Friday night, and Hoehne traveling to Dayspring Christian on Saturday. The series between Hoehne and Dayspring Christian is even at three wins apiece, with the Farmers having won the last three. Almost every one of the six contests has been filled with dramatic events.

In 6-man, Stratton/Liberty played its second straight game against a ranked opponent last week, as the Knighted Eagles visited Prairie last Friday. They got their top runner from last year, Jaret Lichty, back from injury and he helped the team roll to a 60-34 win over the Mustangs. Lichty finished with 168 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, while Trevor Frank topped the squad with 230 yards and five scores. Both of those teams now stand at 1-1 on the season.

In a game that showed the unpredictable nature of 6-man, Flagler/Hi-Plains beat Walsh 62-52 last Saturday. The Thunder trailed at half 28-27, before scoring 35 third quarter points and grabbing what looked like a comfortable 62-36 lead over the Walsh team that had only seven players. Just when it looked like the Eagles were ready to succumb to fatigue, they rallied in the fourth, but when they could not recover an onside kick with under one minute remaining, the rally came up short. Zayd Banks had a hand in all nine touchdowns for Flagler/Hi-Plains, rushing for five, throwing two, catching one and returning an interception for one. He had another interception and nearly scored on a fumble recovery.

Eads is off to a 2-0 start, thanks to the running of Damian Barnes. Through two games, the junior has rushed for 633 yards and 13 touchdowns. The next team tasked with trying to slow him down is Granada, as the Bobcats will host Eads on Friday. Granada is also 2-0 after beating Idalia 53-38 last week.

A number of 1A teams made noise last week, with No. 1 Limon earning a 36-27 victory on the road over a good 2A Lamar squad behind the running of Kory Tacha and Jeremiah Leeper, who combined for 283 yards and three touchdowns. Keeping pace, Strasburg earned a 19-6 road win over Burlington in a hard-hitting affair. Limon and Strasburg are trying to get back to the title game for a second straight year. Holyoke might have something to say about that, as the Dragons upset previously second-ranked Colorado Springs Christian 21-6 last Friday. Holyoke will play Limon in the regular season finale.

La Junta opened defense of its 2A state championship with a 19-7 victory over Pagosa Springs. The Tigers will host a tough Alamosa team on Friday, ahead on next week’s big clash with Kent Denver. Speaking of Tigers, the ones from Sterling are off to a 2-0 start, with the defense having allowed a total of 7 points in those two contests. The offense has done just enough in each game, putting up 13 in the OT win over Resurrection Christian two weeks ago, and posting the only score in last week’s 7-0 shutout of Eaton.

Finally, Brush held a 7-0 halftime lead over Fort Morgan last week, only to see the Mustangs score 20 unanswered points in the second half to claim the victory in the Morgan County rivalry. The Beetdiggers only managed 146 yards of offense, and Fort Morgan’s defense also came up with a pair of interceptions. Brush has this week off, while Fort Morgan hosts Lutheran on Thursday.

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