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Prep notebook: Doherty finds out it can play with best teams in Colorado; Mesa Ridge, Harrison and Cheyenne Mountain on upswing

September 10, 2017 Updated: September 11, 2017 at 12:32 pm
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Catching up after a weekend of sports in the Colorado Springs area:

Doherty shows its potential in slim loss to Cherry Creek

The Spartans' first loss of the season comes with a stark realization.

"We know we have the ability to match up with anybody in the state," said Doherty coach Jeff Krumlauf, whose team's upset bid of 5A gargantuan Cherry Creek came up just short in a 33-27 loss on Friday night.

Doherty (1-1) recovered an onside kick with less than 8 minutes remaining when Gage Vanaman jumped on the ball after Scott Sellers II delivered a crushing hit on a member of the Cherry Creek hands team. The Spartans then drove down the field before the Bruins (1-1) intercepted a pass in the end zone.

Cherry Creek has played in the 5A semifinals the past three years. It last won the state title in 2014.

Doherty was again led by Julian Cooks, the reigning Gazette Player of the Week. The downward back ran for 216 yards and a touchdown - giving him 519 yards and six rushing TDs on the ground in two games this season.

"It's kind of a standard," Krumlauf said. "If a running back has 200 yards rushing we kind of giggle and say, well, that's what they're supposed to do."

Doherty faces Palmer at Garry Berry Stadium on Thursday.

Mesa Ridge rallies to beat Denver South

A 17-point deficit at half didn't hinder Mesa Ridge.

A quick fumble recovery and it was off to the races.

Faleao Leatiota recovered a loose ball on Denver South's opening drive of the second half and the Grizzlies rallied from there to beat the Rebels 37-34 on Friday night at CA Foster Stadium.

John Hubbard-Johnson put Mesa Ridge (1-1) ahead with a 12-yard run with 3:06 left in the fourth quarter. He finished with 165 yards on the ground and three scores.

"At halftime, the team wasn't down, they weren't dejected, weren't battling each other," Mesa Ridge coach Rob Braaten said. "I could tell they were in a good spot. It was great to see."

Denver South scored 27 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 27-10 lead into halftime. Braaten compared the forgettable quarter to the 1990 "Broncos-49ers Super Bowl", a game in which Denver lost 55-10.

The Grizzlies, though, scored three touchdowns in the fourth to cap the comeback.

Next week, Mesa Ridge travels to Canon City (2-0). The Tigers have scored 103 points in two games.

Harrison goes to 2-0

Maturity has been evident for Harrison early on in 2017.

Last year the Panthers lost to Green Mountain and Centaurus in the opening two weeks of the season.

This year those defeats turned into runaway victories.

Aumiere Shedrick ran for 250 yards and had a total of three touchdowns, Orlando Westbrook threw for two scores and ran for another pair, and Harrison found its groove in the second half to beat Centaurus 42-14 on Friday night.

"Last year we were young," Harrison coach Al Melo said. "Both those games last year were pretty close against Green Mountain and Centaurus, but this year we're a little bit more mature and it's kind of been the difference in the turnaround. Our kids have been really focused and committed."

The Panthers (2-0) scored 28 unanswered points in the second half a week after outscoring Green Mountain 14-0 in Week 1 after the break.

Call it good conditioning for one, Melo said. "But I think it's also because the kids just came out with more focus and executed better."

Harrison travels to Evergreen (2-0) next week.

Cheyenne Mountain thriving under new coach

Long Islander Jay Saravis is settling in his new home just fine. On Saturday, he even spotted a bear while driving with his family.

Even more exciting for the Colorado Springs transplant? His new team's 2-0 record.

Terrance Dishmon had two touchdowns and sprung another score with a big block, Shamauri Rivera also had two TDs, and Cheyenne Mountain beat Sierra 31-0 on Friday night.

"A lot of the credit goes to the seniors on the team, the senior leadership," said a jovial Saravis, whose been a high football school coach for 23 years. "It's a really good start for us and we're looking to get better every day, every week."

Saravis took over for Willie Roberts, who went 6-4 last season after he was 4-26 in his prior three years at the helm.

The Indians travel to Widefield (2-0) on Friday.

Another chapter of Palmer Ridge-Lewis-Palmer football rivalry coming soon

Arkansas-commit Ty Evans threw three touchdowns in the first half as Palmer Ridge beat Liberty 51-13 on Friday night.

Next up for the Bears: Not-liked-too-much rival Lewis-Palmer. First, though, those memories of the Bears 51-9 defeat to the Rangers in 2016.

"They walloped us pretty good," Palmer Ridge coach Tom Pulford said.

Palmer Ridge (2-0) and L-P (0-2) will meet at Don Breese Stadium on Friday night. The two have split the last four meetings.

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