8 Colorado high school football games to watch in Week 8

A look at the best high school football matchups across Colorado in Week 8 of the 2021 season.

8 Colorado high school football games to watch in Week 8

Class 5A

No. 2 Cherry Creek (6-1) vs. No. 8 Arapahoe (6-1)

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

Last meeting: Cherry Creek 49, at Arapahoe 7, Nov. 6, 2020

Arapahoe is off to its best start in six years, and now faces its biggest test of the season. The Bruins are fresh off a down-to-the-wire 21-13 victory over Grandview last week. That win marked the first time a Colorado team came within single digits of Creek since its 5A state semifinal win over Pomona in November 2019. The Warriors have an explosive offense (36.4 points per game), but can they light up the scoreboard against junior OLB Blake Purchase (11.0 sacks) and the dominating Creek defense (10.7 points allowed per game)?

No. 6 Arvada West (6-1) vs. Pomona (4-3)

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

Last meeting: Pomona 33, at Arvada West 14, Oct. 31, 2020

After an 0-2 start, Pomona has found its footing under new coach Nate Johnson with four wins in five weeks. That included a 17-3 upset of Ralston Valley last Thursday that might’ve been the Panthers’ best defensive performance of the season. Now comes a date with A-West, 6-1 for the first time since 2009 and looking to end a nine-game losing skid against their cross-town rivals. Wildcats QB Ethan Cook has gone atomic, throwing for 907 yards and eight TDs over the past three weeks (all wins). In the Pomona defense — 10 points allowed total the past two weeks — he will find a worthy adversary.

No. 3 Legend (6-1) vs. Douglas County (6-1)

When/where: 6 p.m. Friday at Douglas County Stadium

Last meeting: Legend 42, at Douglas County 14, Nov. 14, 2020

Douglas County’s run as 5A’s Cinderella upstart took a detour last weekend with a humbling 35-7 loss at Pine Creek. Things don’t get any easier this week with red-hot Legend on the docket. The Titans have won five in a row since losing to Mullen in Week 2, culminating with last week’s 42-41 shootout win over Regis Jesuit that saw quarterback Colton Warner complete 13 of 25 passes for 422 yards, four TDs and one interception. Receiver Jackson Brush has topped 100 yards receiving with two TDs in back-to-back games. Can he make it three in a row?

Castle View (5-2) vs. No. 10 ThunderRidge (6-1)

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

Last meeting: Castle View 42, at ThunderRidge 28, Oct. 17, 2020

ThunderRidge’s bounce back from a disappointing 2020 season (1-5) appears complete after the Grizzlies clinched their third winning season in four years with last week’s 35-16 dismantling of Mountain Vista. Dual threat QB Seth Frasier (1,675 total yards) has been a big part of that renaissance, as has a Grizzlies defense that has 10 turnovers and 35 tackles for loss, including six apiece from juniors Ethan Hill, Gavin Olshan and Kaden Shouse. A win over Castle View would put them squarely in the 5A Douglas County League title conversation.

Class 4A

Chatfield (5-2) vs. No. 7 Golden (7-0)

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

Last meeting: Chatfield 36, vs. Golden 14, Oct. 30, 2020

Those wondering if the Demons are for real are about to find out. The lowest ranked of 4A’s four unbeaten teams, Golden closes out the regular season with its three toughest opponents (Chatfield, Dakota Ridge and Bear Creek) in succession. QB Jazel Riley IV (1,530 total yards) is the engine of a Demons offense that averages 35.4 points per game. While the Chargers are smarting following a 14-10 loss to Bear Creek, they remain a significant road block.

No. 6 Loveland (6-1) vs. Longmont (4-3)

When/where: 11 a.m. Saturday at Ray Patterson Stadium

Last meeting: Loveland 50, at Longmont 21, Nov. 6, 2020

Ever since a 50-6 humbling at the hands of Erie — a game QB Keegan Patterson (2,137 passing yards) missed — the Trojans have landed nothing but haymakers in piling up 145 points, 1,353 total yards and three double-digit wins. Now comes a chance for Longmont to prove it has staying power. Loveland hasn’t lost a game to 4A competition in 15 games, and the Red Wolves haven’t been scored upon in eight quarters. At just 6.3 points allowed per game, Loveland may possess the best defense in 4A. As strength-vs-strength matchups go, this one should be a hoot.

No. 1 Montrose (7-0) vs. No. 10 Vista Ridge (5-1)

When/where: 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Vista Ridge

Last meeting: Montrose 28, vs. Vista Ridge 21, Oct. 6, 2017

Vista Ridge junior Brayden Dorman, Colorado’s most sought-after quarterback recruit, has lived up to his top billing so far this fall, throwing for 1,502 yards, 19 TDs and just three interceptions over six games. The top-ranked Indians already slowed down one prolific offense this fall, holding Palmer Ridge to three touchdowns in a 28-21 win two weeks ago. If their grinding run game, led by senior Austin Griffin, can control the ball like it often does, Dorman’s opportunities will be limited.

Class 3A

No. 7 Holy Family (4-2) vs. No. 5 Frederick (5-0)

When/where: 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Frederick

Last meeting: Frederick 52, vs. Holy Family 21, Oct. 17, 2019

The Warriors have passed every test they’ve faced so far this season, outscoring opponents by an average margin of 34.6 points in building their perfect 5-0 record. The three-headed running back monster of Parker Ayres (557 yards, 12 TDs), Cruz Zamudio (400, 4) and River Lakey (348, 3) has been formidable with five 100-yard games combined this season. They should expect plenty of resistance against a Holy Family defense that gave up just one touchdown last week.