When Cheyenne Mountain coach Jay Saravis heard the Indians’ clash with Widefield was The Gazette Preps Game of the Week, he sighed.
“We like to keep a low profile,” he said.
But after another 2-0 start to the season, Cheyenne Mountain’s hopes of flying below the radar went out the window.
Friday, the Indians travel to Widefield, to meet another 2-0 foe, which like Cheyenne Mountain, has had a lot of experience finding the end zone through the first two weeks.
Last week the Gladiators premiered a no-huddle offense against Mitchell and blanked the Marauders 53-0. However, don’t expect Cheyenne Mountain to be thrown off by an up-tempo offense.
Saravis said the Indians utilize a no-huddle offense and know what to expect, but says the team must key in on stopping the run game.
“They have some very good ball carriers, and I think this game is going to come down to how well we tackle and execute fundamentals,” Saravis said.
Last year the Gladiators squeaked by Cheyenne Mountain 13-10 in Week 3, but Widefield coach Nic Olney said he believes the Indians are a better team this year.
Widefield quarterback TJ Davis anchors the high-tempo offense as a dual threat on the ground and in the air. Last week Davis completed 10 for 17 for 197 yards, and also led the team in rushing yards with 97.
And despite missing their No. 1 running back Frankie Ingraldi due to injury, three other Widefield RBs put up big numbers, all averaging more than 10 yards per carry.
“The last couple of years everyone thought it was just TJ, and he’s good, he’s a great quarterback, but we are not a one-man show,” Olney said. “We had some guys last week step up for us and run the ball hard, and it really shows the ability we have here - and how much our offensive line stepped up.”
Olney said he was not sure if Ingraldi would be back in the lineup, Friday.
Cheyenne Mountain has a handful of threats at its disposal, and Saravis said the pace of Friday’s game will dictate who steps up for the Indians.
“We will go with whatever keeps working,” Saravis said. “In Game 2 it was Terrance Dishmon (123 receiving yards). In Game 1 it was (James) LaCerte (95 yards rushing) and Garry Raymond (131 receiving yards). Shamauri (Rivera) also had some long runs, so you never know who is going to make a difference.”
Despite Cheyenne Mountain’s second consecutive 2-0 start, Saravis said Friday’s game against a “very good team like Widefield” will show the Indians where they stand.
“Our first game (against Air Force Academy) we learned we could deal with adversity,” Saravis said. “Our second game against Sierra, we weren’t perfect, but we proved we could put points on the board. Every game is a different challenge for us, and hopefully this game we will learn we can play with the big boys.”
INDIANS-GLADIATORS AT A GLANCE
Game data: Cheyenne Mountain Indians at Widefield Gladiators ... Friday at 7 p.m. at CA Foster Stadium … Nonconference game.
Media: Follow @LindseySquints on Twitter for updates, and follow GazettePreps on Snapchat for an exclusive sideline snap story, interviews and more.
Teams: Both teams enter Week 3 unbeaten at 2-0. Last week, Widefield blanked Mitchell 53-0 using a no-huddle offense. The Gladiators beat Liberty 20-14 in Week 1. Cheyenne Mountain took down Sierra 31-0 after clinching a three-point overtime victory over Air Academy in Week 1.
Stat leaders: Widefield’s high-tempo offense is anchored by quarterback TJ Davis, who completed 10 for 17 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for an additional 97 yards against Mitchell. Sam Reed led the defense with four tackles, including three for a loss last week. … Cheyenne Mountain is led by quarterback Zach Jones, who threw for 115 yards last week. His top targets are Terrance Dishmon (130 receiving yards) and Garry Raymond (140 receiving yards), while James LaCerte has racked up 107 yards in kick returns.