Pine Creek vs. Widefield highlights three football games to watch this weekend

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Photo - Widefield senior Evan Jones thanks fans after defeating Air Academy at Widefield on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017. Widefield won 28-24.

(The Gazette, Nadav Soroker)
Widefield senior Evan Jones thanks fans after defeating Air Academy at Widefield on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017. Widefield won 28-24. (The Gazette, Nadav Soroker)

Suddenly, the regular season is winding down. For 1A and 2A schools, this week is it, one last chance to make a postseason push or make a statement heading into the offseason.

For the rest of the state, Week 9 action around the Pikes Peak region offers a pre-Halloween offering of thrills, chills — lows in the mid 20s in the forecast for the season’s first subfreezing Friday night — and chances for a few schools to exorcise a few demons.

And as Vincent Price once opined: “Your body starts to shiver. For no mere mortal can resist. The evil of the thriller. Can you dig it?”

Stay warm, and safe, my friends.

Pine Creek (7-1) at Widefield (6-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: C.A. Foster Stadium

What to know: Pine Creek, on its MaxPreps game history page going back to 2004, has an undefeated record against 20 teams. 20! High on the list is a 7-0 mark against Widefield, the first six of those taking place from 2004-09 before this rivalry resumed last season with the Eagles taking a 41-7 victory. On Friday, two of the area’s premier athletes will go head-to-head. Pine Creek sophomore RB David Moore III enters the game with 999 yards and 14 touchdowns, while Widefield do-it-all QB senior TJ Davis has 611 rushing yards and 12 TDs to go with 1,317 yards and 15 TDs through the air. Pine Creek might not have to pass much, but when it does, its line will need to pay particular attention to John Underwood, who has been credited with 11 sacks, tied for sixth in the state, regardless of classification. The Eagles have won 27 consecutive league games dating back to the 2012 season and are looking to clinch a fifth straight conference and ninth in the past 10 seasons.

Pueblo East (3-5) at Harrison (8-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Harrison Memorial Stadium

What to know: Don’t let the 3-5 record deceive you. Pueblo East is, like Harrison, 3-0 in 3A South Central League play and heating up for another postseason run. The three-time and reigning state champs have played in too many big games to count. Harrison hasn’t, but it did give the Eagles all they could handle in a 27-21 road loss last year. Now one year stronger and more experienced, the Panthers, on paper, have what it takes to finally knock off the champs and break a four-game losing streak in the series that dates back to 2008. Harrison has quite the 1-2 punch in junior QB Orlando Westbrook (1,456 passing yards to go with 398 on the ground with eight TDs) and junior RB Aumiere Shedrick (1,124 yards and 13 scoring runs). He missed last week’s game resting an ankle injury suffered the week before against Pueblo Central. Pueblo East, aside from winning the past three South Central titles, has claimed 19 consecutive league wins going back to 2013. Junior QB Luc Andrada has nine TD passes and six on the ground but has thrown 15 interceptions. WR Kain Medrano has seven of the team’s 10 touchdown receptions.

Mesa Ridge (5-3) at Air Academy (4-4)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Air Academy High School

What to know: Air Academy has dropped three straight and faces a Mesa Ridge team that has won five of last six in the series. The Kadets last beat the Grizzlies in 2011. The Kadets have a budding star in junior RB Zach Martin, who leads the team with 800 yards and eight touchdowns. Mesa Ridge, a playoff team in 2016, enters the game sitting a precarious No. 15 in the RPI and fell to 2-1 in league play after a home 47-23 loss to Pueblo West last week. Mesa Ridge can stay one game behind leader Pine Creek with a win Friday heading into a Week 10 road showdown with the Eagles at D20 Stadium. The Grizzlies have a double-threat trio featuring QB D.J. King (14 TD passes), RB John Hubbard-Johnson (10 rushing TDs) and Ju-wan Edgerton (10 receiving TDs). And on defense, Mesa Ridge has league leaders in tackles (Jeremiah Doria has 72) and sacks (Dominic Fini with 11).