Three Pikes Peak-area prep football games to watch

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Every year when college basketball season gets into a cluster of big games, ESPN comes up with a title for those contests that can't be missed, such as "Judgment Week," "Rivalry Week" and "Championship Week," for example.

This week of area prep football could have a name all its own, and there is bound to be drama to match.

In three leagues, teams tied for the top spot with 2-0 records go head to head, meaning the winner will stay perfect and the loser will sink down closer to the pack. Plus, key wins Friday very well could catapult these victors to league titles and a first-round home game in the playoffs.

Thus to say, welcome to Separation Week.

Grandview (5-2) vs. Doherty (5-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Garry Berry Stadium

What to know: Both teams have started 2-0 in Mount Massive league play, much to the credit of powerful offenses. Doherty sports 5A's second-best offense in terms of points (277) at nearly 40 per game. Meanwhile, during its three-game winning streak, the Wolves are scoring nearly 42 points per game. And both teams have players who can make big plays. Doherty is led by senior running back Jamil Cooks, who has 1,126 yards and 15 touchdowns and averages 7.2 yards per carry, and sophomore quarterback Logan Siffert, who has thrown for 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions. The Wolves, who routed Doherty 65-27 in the teams' last meeting in 2016, are led by junior running back Jordan Billingsley (836 yards and seven TDs) and senior quarterback Kyle Smith (503 yards and nine TDs).

Palmer Ridge (7-0) vs. Thomas Jefferson (6-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: All-City Stadium, Denver

What to know: The last two 2-0 teams in the 3A East Metro and top two offenses in all of 3A meet in Denver, and on paper, they look incredibly similar. Palmer Ridge has outscored its opponents 334-61, while Thomas Jefferson owns a 331-69 advantage. Behind all-everything junior quarterback Ty Evans, the Bears haven't been challenged yet, winning all seven games by at least 28 points. While Evans has 25 touchdown passes and 1,897 yards, it's far from a one-man show. The Palmer Ridge running game has averaged nearly 150 yards and is led by sophomore Raef Ruel, who has 10 touchdowns. Nine receivers have caught touchdown passes for Palmer Ridge. Thomas Jefferson has its own dynamic playmakers, led by running back Daveon Hunter, who has rushed for 11 touchdowns and 567 yards. It's been more of a committee for Spartans runners with four runners with more than 200 yards and combined for 21 touchdowns.

Canon City (6-1) vs. Discovery Canyon (4-3)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: District 20 Stadium

What to know: The top spot in the 3A Southern League is up for grabs as these 2-0 teams meet for the fifth time. The series is tied 2-2. Canon City won the first two meetings prior to its move down to 4A, but Discovery Canyon won a pair of thrillers in league play in 2014 and 2016, taking both games by a combined four points. The Thunder, who haven't lost a league contest since 2011 - a streak of 26 games - make it a point to impose their will by running the ball relentlessly. Discovery Canyon is averaging 254 rushing yards with 21 of its 26 offensive touchdowns coming on the ground, led by quarterback Zack Anderson. He has accounted for 15 TDs. (10 rush, five pass). Canon City has a similarly named quarterback in Zac Hanenberg, who has 1,125 yards passing with seven TDs, while running back Kadin Porter is coming off a three-touchdown effort last week against Falcon and has 888 yards and 11 TDs for the season.