Game of the Week: Palmer Ridge faces another high-powered offense in Cañon City

Photo - Palmer Ridge Head Coach Tom Pulford gives instructions during a practice at Palmer Ridge High School on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Photo by Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette
Palmer Ridge Head Coach Tom Pulford gives instructions during a practice at Palmer Ridge High School on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Photo by Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette

What do you get when you add two undefeated teams with high-performing offenses going head-to-head?

One exciting football game.

And Friday’s nonconference matchup between Cañon City and Palmer Ridge is expected to be nothing less, which is why Friday’s Week 5 showdown at Don Breese D-38 Stadium is The Gazette Preps Game of the Week.

Cañon City and Palmer Ridge both enter Friday’s game 4-0 and have proved they have no trouble finding the end zone thanks to their respective quarterbacks Zach Hanenberg and Ty Evans.

Through four games both teams have scored a combined 347 points, but Palmer Ridge coach Tom Pulford said he expects Friday’s game to be a defensive battle.

“We have very high expectations of our defensive line, and expect them to step up each week,” Pulford said. “We’re just trying to continue the pressure, and get off the blocks.”

Cañon City coach Tom O’Rourke agrees, and hopes his defense steps up to pressure Evans, who is ranked second overall in the state with 1,216 passing yards.

“Both offenses are very powerful and I definitely see some points being put up, we just have to limit that and keep their offense off the field as much as we can,” O’Rourke said. “Their running game is no slouch either, and they will run the ball hard against us.”

Raef Ruel leads the Bears on the ground with 314 yards and five rushing touchdowns.

Cañon City is arguably the toughest competition the Bears will see until the postseason, and Evans said Friday will be a test of his team’s toughness and chemistry.

“We know they are a good team - probably the best they’ve been in a while, so we come in hoping for a solid game because we know they’re going to be tough so we are bringing it,” Evans said. “We work to continue the chemistry we’ve built and try to keep the groove we’ve been in so far this season.”

While Palmer Ridge boasts top-tier talent, Cañon City travels to Monument with some star power as well.

Hanenberg had a successful start to his season with 866 passing yards, while tailback Kadin Porter is the Tigers’ top threat on the ground with 550 yards.

“Zach has led us really well this year,” O’Rourke said. “He keeps defenses off balance with his ability to run and throw. He’s a dual threat for us, and in order to be successful our offense needs to stay on the field this week and keep (Ty Evans) off.”


Game data: Cañon City Tigers vs. Palmer Ridge Bears … Friday at 7 p.m. at Don Breese D-38 Stadium … nonconference game.

Media: Follow @LindseySquints and @HughJohnson707 on Twitter for updates, and follow GazettePreps on Snapchat for exclusive Game of the Week content.

Teams: Cañon City and Palmer Ridge enter Week 5 with a perfect 4-0 record thanks to high-powered quarterback talent. Friday’s matchup will see two of the area’s most productive offenses go head to head. Palmer Ridge has stormed through the competition, outscoring opponents 184-51, while Cañon City also boasts a high-scoring record and averages more than 40 points.

Stat leaders: Both team’s early season success is a result from a fierce competitor under center. The Tigers are led by Zach Hanenberg, who has already racked up 866 passing yards and 10 touchdowns. His top target is Connor Mccain, who averages more than 22 yards per catch and has five touchdowns. On the ground, Kadin Porter is Cañon City’s top running threat with 550 yards rushing through four games. Quarterback Ty Evans boasts an equally impressive stat line for the Bears, ranked second in the state in passing yards with 1,216, averaging more than 300 yards per game. Evans has a host of receivers with more than 100 receiving yards, but the group is led by Anthony Roberson II with 569 yards. Raef Rule leads the Bears’ ground game with 314 yards and five rushing touchdowns.