Canon City 32, Mesa Ridge 29
At Canon City: Mesa Ridge senior Elijah Gilbert has never had a game like this.
But it'll be overshadowed by a nail-biting loss. Gilbert had four scores - two kick returns, one rushing and another receiving - and a pick, but Canon City stopped the Grizzlies on downs inside the red zone in the final minute to close the game.
The Tigers had to overcome a lot. And it mostly started and ended with the Mesa Ridge two-way player.
"He was amazing tonight," Mesa Ridge coach Rob Braaten said. "He was just everywhere on the field tonight."
It didn't take long to notice. Gilbert took the opening kickoff 94 yards to make it 7-0 instantly.
But Canon City answered. The Tigers forced a safety and scored two touchdowns with less than 5 minutes left in the first half to take a 15-7 lead into the break. Quarterback Logan Nethercot found Logun Javrenick for the 19-yard strike in the final seconds to make it 15-7.
In the second half, the Tigers just tried to hold on. Gilbert broke for a 64-yard rushing touchdown to make it 18-15 early in the half, then caught a 42-yard pass from TJ Bisgrove to put the Grizzlies up 21-18 before he took another kick back to the house - this one from 70 yards out to make it 32-29 with 4 minutes left.
"We were down by two scores a couple times in the second half, but I'm proud of the guys for bouncing back each time," said Braaten, whose team trailed 18-7 in the third and 32-21 in the fourth. "We never gave up."
Gilbert picked off Nethercot with less than 2 minutes remaining, but Mesa Ridge deferred to kick a 37-yard field goal and turned it over on downs.
Falcon 58, Rampart 32
At Falcon: Kalen Ballage has been nothing but dominating in 2013.
The senior running back ran for scores of 55, 64, 3 and 74 yards to beat Rampart (1-3) and give Falcon (4-0) its fourth win in as many tries.
Ballage pushed the lead to 21-3 with a 55-yard TD late in the second half, before he added onto the lead and finished with a 74-yard knockout punch.
The senior also scored four times in less than 15 minutes last week when the Falcons demolished George Washington 54-0.
"I feel like we're going all the way," he said then.
Doesn't look like anything has changed. Early in the first, the Falcons erased their first deficit of the season when Austin Worbington answered a 32-yard field goal by Tristan Bailey by flinging a 67-yard touchdown to Josiah Hall to put Falcon up 7-3 with 10 minutes left in the first quarter.
Wyatt Aaberg made it 14-3 with a 1-yard dive later in the quarter.
Meanwhile, the Rams were led by quarterback Cameron Hacker, who threw two scores. Including a 7-yard score to make it 28-14 and a 46-yard throw to make it 42-26.
The teams combined for 48 points in the fourth quarter.
Next up, Rampart faces winless Air Academy (0-4) while Falcon travels to Sand Creek (4-0) in the battle of two undefeated programs.
Ponderosa 54, Air Academy 0
At Air Academy: Ponderosa's Dylan Spradling ran all over Air Academy's homecoming celebration.
The Kadets (0-4) let the senior running back run for first-half scores of 20, 18 and 33 yards as the Mustangs didn't take long to push the game out of reach.
Spradling ran seven times for 100 yards in the opening half.
Neither Air Academy's offense nor defense could keep up with the team from Parker. Ponderosa had 19 first downs compared to the Kadets' two; it had 380 total yards to Air Academy's 73; and the Mustangs had a 33-zip lead by half.
The last time the Kadets lost their first four games of the season was in 2010 when they went winless. This time around, they've been outscored 159-17.
Next up, they face Rampart (1-3).
Simla 64, Pikes Peak Christian 0
At Simla: Pikes Peak Christian's first loss of the season was brutal.
The Eagles (3-1 overall, 0-1 Black Forest) gave up 36 first-quarter points, were shut out and gave up more points than their first three games combined.
Simla (4-0, 1-0) was led by quarterback Cody Norris who went a perfect 8-for-8 passing for 176 yards and four touchdowns.
Next up, Pikes Peak Christian faces Kiowa on Oct. 4.
Salida 44, Ellicott 7
At Salida: Ellicott quarterback Javonte' Stewart hit Jacob Crist for a 9-yard touchdown to pull the Thunderhawks (1-3) even in the first quarter.
Salida scored the next 37 points.
Harrison 18, Mitchell 8
At Mitchell: Demetrius Graves scored all three of Harrison's touchdowns, Eric Johnson ran for 112 yards and the Panthers (1-3) grabbed their first win of the season.
Mitchell (0-5) on the other hand was left searching.
For Harrison, Graves rushed for 19 yards, including a score from 7 yards out, and had three receptions for 57 yards with scores of 7 and 38 yards. Meanwhile, Johnson went over the century mark for the first time this season.
Late in the fourth, Mitchell nixed the shutout when T.J. Conklin hit Andre Savoy for a 15-yard score.
Florence 44, Alamosa 20
At Alamosa: Zach Hoxie led the game off with rushing scores of 10 and 94 yards, added a 4-yard TD pass in the second quarter and Florence (3-1) routed Alamosa for its second consecutive one-sided victory in as many weeks.
The Huskies beat St. Mary's 43-7 last week.
Friday, they led 38-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
Woodland Park 29, Sierra 7
At Sierra: Matt Cox rushed for 139 yards and two touchdowns, as Woodland Park (3-1) matched its win total from a year ago.
Sierra (1-3) has lost three in a row since its 58-0 win over Middle Park in the opener.
Custer County 30, Peyton 27
At Peyton: Peyton quarterback Tyler Lashley totaled four scores and the Panthers (2-2) rallied for 13 second-half points to take a 27-24 lead, but Custer County's Conner Rowley ran in for his third score of the day, this one from 7 yards, to seal it for the visitors midway through the fourth quarter.
The Panthers had more rushing yards and passing yards but failed to slow down County's one-two rushing punch of Casey Nordyke and Rowley.
Pueblo West 39, Widefield 21
At Widefield: Kyree Gerstle-Goodman caught both balls thrown his way for scores, but Widefield (0-4) remains winless after a visit from Pueblo West (3-1).
Gerstle-Goodman totaled 95 yards on his two receptions.
Pueblo West led 27-7 at half.