Three prep football games to watch in Week 9

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Photo - The Mitchell Marauders hosted the Harrison Panthers in boys' football on Friday, October 30, 2015 at Garry Berry Stadium. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing
The Mitchell Marauders hosted the Harrison Panthers in boys' football on Friday, October 30, 2015 at Garry Berry Stadium. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing

Fun weekend on tap.

In the games we've got our eyes on this week, two league titles remain up for grabs, plus a big game for one area team when it comes to the 5A RPI rankings.

The postseason is right around the corner, as 6-man playoffs start this week, more kick off next week and still more the week after.

Obviously, it's a big week with some important matchups.

Harrison (6-2) vs. Pueblo East (7-1)

When: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Where: At Dutch Clark Stadium, Pueblo

What to know: A huge game for both teams, this one will go a long way toward determining the 3A South Central League champion. If East wins, the back-to-back 3A state champs are league champs again. If the Panthers win, they'll have to win again next week. But the Panthers' RPI rating also will increase just by the fact they are playing East, ranked No. 2 in 3A. The Panthers are No. 25, nine spots out of a playoff spot. Harrison is going to have to score when it can. The Eagles have held opponents to 14 points per game. Harrison has been nearly as good, keeping its opponents to 16.9 ppg. Aumiere Shedrick leads the Panthers with 11 rushing TDs.

Fountain-Fort Carson (3-5) vs. Lakewood (5-3)

When: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Where: At Jeffco Stadium, Lakewood

What to know: The interesting thing about this is that F-FC might not need to win its last two games and still get into the playoffs if it goes 3-7. The Trojans are sitting at No. 14 in the 5A RPI rankings. (Top 16 qualify for the postseason.) Lakewood isn't far behind at No. 19. The Trojans finish the regular season next week against No. 1 Valor Christian. Fifty percent of the RPI is devoted to opponents' winning percentage. Lakewood could win its finale; and win or lose against Valor, F-FC should be in good shape. The Tigers' QB duo of Ezekiel Sundberg and Pierce Holley have combined for 1,599 yards and 13 touchdowns through the air. Running back Rudy Maestas has run for another nine TDs. The Trojans will need to score, which has been their problem so far. They are averaging 10.5 points.

CSCS (5-3) vs. Peyton (8-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: At Peyton

What to know: Colorado Springs Christian School is the last hurdle for Peyton to clear on the way to a perfect league run and its hoped-for 1A Tri-Peaks League crown. That would get the Panthers, No. 9 in RPI, a guaranteed playoff berth. CSCS is ranked No. 26. A win over Peyton could force a three-way split in the league title. The Lions will again rely on quarterback Justin Engesser, coming off a week where he accounted for five TDs - three through the air. Peyton's defense, led by Wyatt Lee, is holding opponents to fewer than eight points per game. Lee has also rushed for eight TDs, second on the team to Trystan Hanks' 10.