Week 3: Football games to watch (and statistical leaders)

BRENT BRIGGEMAN Published: September 14, 2011

Everything you need to prepare for the biggest games of the week:

SPOTLIGHT GAME
Liberty (1-1) at Cheyenne Mountain (2-0)

7 p.m. Friday

The basics: Liberty had a short week to recover from a devastating loss, coughing up a 37-9 third-quarter lead Saturday to Mesa Ridge. "I wish it was even quicker," Lancers coach Jaron Cohen said. "You know, that's the great thing about football is there's another game this week." Another stout test awaits Liberty, as Cheyenne Mountain has averaged 41.5 points in a 2-0 start.

Key for Cheyenne Mountain: Quarterback Bret Helton has been adept at using the talent around him. Junior tight end Donivan Harville has 187 receiving yards and junior running back James Michael Sullivan has been as good as advertised (182 yards on 30 carries, three TDs), as new coach Brian Sherman said to "expect big numbers out of him" before the season. The Indians also have more size than usual and might have an advantage on Liberty in team speed. Still, it comes down to the 6-foot-4 Helton, a three-year starter and multisport standout who is off to a hot start with 347 passing yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. But the success so far has come against Air Academy and Doherty, it should be harder to come by against Liberty.

Key for Liberty: The emotional rollercoaster aside, Liberty has to figure out how to cope with an ever-changing roster. Running back Justin Richardson was lost to a torn ACL after scoring two touchdowns in the opener and kicker Derek Albaugh's season ended with a broken fibula in the second half against Mesa Ridge. Already this season Albaugh had booted three field goals (45, 42, 37) and put 11-of-12 kickoffs into the end zone to help with field position. "I know there's a lot of good kickers in the city, but I'd put him up there with anybody," Cohen said. Quarterback Tyler Carr showed he could shoulder the majority of the burden, throwing for 231 yards and a touchdown and running for 97 and four scores against Mesa Ridge; but he's going to need some help to sustain that pace.

Quotable: "There's no use bemoaning the loss and there's no use bemoaning the injuries," Cohen said. "Those things happen. You move on. Hopefully the lesson that we take as a team is we've got to stay focus and compete at a high level for 48 minutes no matter what the score is."

 

Palmer (0-2) vs. Pine Creek (2-0)

7 p.m. Thursday at D-20 Stadium

The basics: New Palmer coach Doug Miolen never made any reference to a timetable for his plan to turn the Terrors into the kind of program he envisions -- but a good showing against the area's best team would certainly hasten that process and build confidence in his direction. Even a solid showing is probably a long shot. Palmer gave up more than 300 rushing yards to Sand Creek in Week 1 and watched Arapahoe gain nearly 7 yards per carry in a 41-0 thrashing in Week 2. No team can exploit a weakness like Pine Creek, which has outrushed its opponents 747-127 and outscored them 90-14. Josh Beacham (314 rushing yards) and Shomari Cousar (220 yards) are averaging more than 10 yards per carry for coach Todd Miller's Eagles.

 

Vista Ridge (2-0) at Sand Creek (1-1)

7 p.m. Friday

The basics: With 450 rushing yards and nearly 100 more through the air, Sand Creek quarterback Micheal DeCarmo has produced nine times more offense than Vista Ridge has allowed through two dominant games. The Wolves held Falcon to 24 yards and Sierra to 32 in two shutouts -- and those were programs that averaged more than 30 points per game last year. Vista Ridge is led defensively by Quintin Riley (18 total tackles, one blocked punt), Brandon Clang (three sacks) and Josh Johnson (one interception, two passes broken up); though singling out anyone on the defense seems silly as there's usually four or five defenders around the ball carrier. Sand Creek came off the emotional high of an opening victory over Palmer with a lopsided loss to Lewis-Palmer last week. "We were probably too high and needed it to get our feet back on the ground," coach Rod Baker said.

 

 

Widefield (1-1) at Harrison (1-1)

7 p.m. Friday

The basics: Somewhere between a 23-point opening loss to powerful Canon City and a 52-2 destruction of Mitchell in Week 2 lies the real Widefield -- and Harrison should be the perfect middle-of-the-road opponent to reveal it. That's not to say Harrison is a pushover. The Panthers led in the final minutes against Palmer Ridge before a pair of late touchdowns and racked up nearly 300 total yards (202 rushing, 97 passing) in a 19-3 win over Coronado. Widefield is likely a notch better behind impact players in junior running back Marquis Coddington (247 yards, five touchdowns), senior quarterback Kevin Stringer (13-of-20, 223 yards, three TD, no interceptions) and senior linebacker Brandon Mansfield (21 tackles and three sacks). Widefield is 0-2 under coach Fred Marjerrison when its leading rusher fails to reach 100 yards and 9-2 when a back clears 100. Harrison held Widefield's leader to 107 last year as the Gladiators won 28-0.

 

 

Florence (3-0) at Kent Denver (2-0)

1 p.m. Saturday

The basics: A couple of 2A powers with state aspirations will tangle, both having already taken out 3A teams that went deep into last year's playoffs. Florence opened with a win at defending 3A champion Elizabeth and has since added a victory over defending 2A runner-up Olathe. Kent Denver took out Silver Creek and its Washington State-bound quarterback Austin Apodaca in a 36-35 thriller in Week 1 -- though Apodaca did throw for 396 yards. It's no secret that Florence likes to run with a three-pronged attack featuring quarterback Cody Nichols, fullback Tyler Faoro and tailback Johnnie Krien.

 

AREA FOOTBALL LEADERS

 

Passing

Name                                               G .... C .... A  .... Pct. .... Yds .... TD .... INT .... YPG

Jack Norris, sr., Calhan ............... 2 .... 35 .... 65 .... .538 .... 484 .... 4 .... 3 .... 242.0

Jacob Censner, jr. Woodland Park . 2 .... 42 .... 63 .... .667 .... 446 .... 6 .... 1 .... 223.0

Nate Conner, jr., Lewis-Palmer ..... 2 .... 28 .... 38 .... .737 .... 434 .... 4 .... 1 .... 217.0

Logan Floyd, sr., TCA ................. 2 .... 30 .... 65 .... .462 .... 366 .... 2 .... 1 .... 183.0

Bret Helton, sr., Cheyenne Mtn. ... 2 .... 25 .... 41 .... .610 .... 347 .... 4 .... 0 .... 173.5

Richie Perea, jr., Wasson ............ 2 .... 25 .... 41 .... .610 .... 338 .... 7 .... 1 .... 169.0

Kevin Kimbrow, jr., Air Academy ... 2 .... 20 .... 47 .... .426 .... 265 .... 2 .... 2 .... 132.5

Tyler Carr, sr., Liberty ................ 2 .... 18 .... 36 .... .500 .... 253 .... 2 .... 2 .... 126.5

Kiel Osterman, sr., Palmer Ridge ... 2 .... 14 .... 30 .... .467 .... 237 .... 1 .... 3 .... 118.5

Thomas Newman, sr., Vista Ridge . 2 .... 8 .... 11 .... .727 .... 223 .... 3 .... 0 .... 111.5

Kevin Stringer, sr., Widefield ........ 2 .... 13 .... 20 .... .650 .... 184 .... 3 .... 1 .... 92.0

 

 

Rushing

Name                                                       G .... Att. .... Yds. .... Y/A .... TD .... YPG

Devante Johnson, sr., Mesa Ridge ...... 2 .... 41 .... 549 .... 13.4 .... 7 .... 274.5

Micheal DeCarmo, soph., Sand Creek .. 2 .... 55 .... 450 .... 8.18 .... 5 .... 225.0

Trae Bankston, jr., Fountain-Ft. Carson  2 .... 46 .... 344 .... 7.48 .... 3 .... 172.0

Josh Beacham, sr., Pine Creek ........... 2 .... 23 .... 314 .... 13.7 .... 4 .... 157.0

Wade Crews, soph., P.P. Christian ...... 2 .... 15 .... 281 .... 18.73 .... 5 .... 140.5

Tyree Walker, sr., Vista Ridge ............ 2 .... 28 .... 249 .... 8.89 .... 2 .... 124.5

Marquis Coddington, jr., Widefield ....... 2 .... 30 .... 247 .... 8.23 .... 5 .... 124.5

Jim Kenney, jr., CSCS ...................... 3 .... 33 .... 368 .... 11.15 .... 2 .... 122.7

Theron Brandt, jr., Wasson ............... 2 .... 38 .... 223 .... 5.87 .... 0 .... 111.5

Shomari Cousar, sr., Pine Creek ......... 2 .... 27 .... 220 .... 8.1 .... 3 .... 110.0

KC Quarry, jr., Manitou Springs .......... 2 .... 22 .... 210 .... 9.55 .... 3 .... 105.0

Tyler Carr, sr., Liberty ..................... 2 .... 36 .... 207 .... 5.75 .... 4 .... 103.5

Jason Schmidt, sr., Coronado ............ 2 .... 32 .... 204 .... 6.38 .... 2 .... 102.0

Hunter Gunnison, sr., Woodland Park ... 2 .... 39 .... 194 .... 4.97 .... 1 .... 97.0

R.J. Stainbrook, jr., Canon City .......... 2 .... 33 .... 194 .... 5.88 .... 5 .... 97.0

J.M. Sullivan, jr., Cheyenne Mountain .. 2 .... 30 .... 182 .... 6.07 .... 3 .... 91.0

 

Receiving

Name                                             G .... Rec. .... Yds .... Y/C .... TD .... YPG

D.J. Hanes, jr., Wasson ............ 1 .... 6 .... 140 .... 23.33 .... 2 .... 140.0

Louie Neil, sr., Woodland Park .... 2 .... 10 .... 198 .... 19.8 .... 3 .... 99.0

Donivan Harville, jr., Cheyenne Mtn.  2 .... 9 .... 187 .... 20.78 .... 2 .... 93.5

Mason Woish, sr., Lewis-Palmer .. 2 .... 11 .... 177 .... 16.09 .... 2 .... 88.5

Ryan Cook, sr., Rampart ............ 2 .... 10 .... 154 .... 15.4 .... 2 .... 77.0

Brandon Teetor, sr., Calhan ....... 2 .... 13 .... 148 .... 11.39 .... 2 .... 74.0

Tyler Meyers, soph., Calhan ....... 2 .... 8 .... 128 .... 16.0 .... 1 .... 64.0

Hunter Gunnison, sr., W. Park ..... 2 .... 12 .... 112 .... 9.33 .... 1 .... 56.0

Justin Miller, jr., TCA .................. 2 .... 4 .... 111 .... 27.75 .... 1 .... 55.5

Aaron Johnson, jr., Vista Ridge .... 2 .... 2 .... 106 .... 53.0 .... 1 .... 53.0

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