2023 Colorado high school football tour: Games to watch each week

A look at top games each week of the Colorado high school football season. All games are on Friday unless otherwise noted.

Week 0 — Aug. 18

Ralston Valley at Mountain Vista, 7 p.m., Halftime Help Stadium: Two preseason title favorites clash in the start of a stacked schedule for senior QB Logan Madden and the Mustangs. Golden Eagles junior QB Austyn Modrzewski can sling it with the best of them. Both secondaries better buckle up.

Honorable mention: Fossil Ridge at Pine Creek, 6 p.m., D20 Stadium; Taylorsville (Utah) at Chatfield, 7 p.m., Jeffco Stadium

Week 1 — Aug. 25

Columbine at Mullen, 7 p.m., De La Salle Stadium: While the Mustangs continue establishing an identity under fourth-year head coach Jeremy Bennett, coach Andy Lowry and the Rebels’ smashmouth ways remain unchanged. Columbine features senior RB Josh Snyder, who averaged 124.9 rushing yards per game last year.

Honorable mention: Fossil Ridge at Loveland, 7 p.m., Ray Patterson Stadium; Ralston Valley at Cherry Creek, 7 p.m., Stutler Bowl; Valor Christian at Regis Jesuit, 7 p.m. Saturday, Lou Kellogg Stadium

Week 2 — Sept. 1

Valor Christian at Pine Creek, 7 p.m., D20 Stadium: While the Eagles are led by senior QB Asher Weiner and hungry to get back to the state title game for a fourth straight year, Pine Creek has established itself as a legit Class 5A title contender after falling to Cherry Creek in the semifinals last year.

Honorable mention: Heritage at Arapahoe, 7 p.m., LPS Stadium; Broomfield at Holy Family, 7 p.m., Mike G. Gabriel Athletic Stadium

Week 3 — Sept. 8

Vista PEAK Prep at Broomfield, 7 p.m., Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium: The Bison went through growing pains with a young team last year, but coach DaVaughn Thornton has athletes, and could give defending Class 4A champion Broomfield a test. The Eagles are headlined by Nebraska commit Landen Davidson on the offensive line.

Honorable mention: Grandview at Ralston Valley, 7:30 p.m., NAAC; Cherry Creek at Chatfield, 7 p.m., Jeffco Stadium; Pine Creek at Vista Ridge, 1 p.m. Saturday, Vista Ridge Stadium

Week 4 — Sept. 15

Ponderosa at Legend, 7 p.m., EchoPark Stadium: The cross-classification Parker rivalry returns as the 4A Mustangs and 5A Titans have split their last two games, with Legend winning by blowout in 2021 and Ponderosa triumphing in a 21-14 game last year.

Honorable mention: Castle View at Douglas County, 6 p.m., Douglas County Stadium; Littleton at Englewood, 7 p.m., Randy Penn Stadium; Broomfield at Erie, 1 p.m. Saturday, Tiger Stadium

Week 5 — Sept. 22

Valor Christian at Ralston Valley, 7 p.m. Thursday, NAAC: It’s a rematch of last season’s instant-classic, double-overtime victory by the Eagles — a 42-41 thriller in the 5A semifinals. This time, the Mustangs are the home team — Valor also beat RV, 27-23, in Week 5 in Highlands Ranch — and they’ve no doubt been thinking about revenge all offseason.

Honorable mention: Cherry Creek at Regis Jesuit, 6:30 p.m., Lou Kellogg Stadium; Chatfield at Dakota Ridge, 7 p.m. Jeffco Stadium

Week 6 — Sept. 29

Eaglecrest at Grandview, 7 p.m., Legacy Stadium: The Centennial League rivals square off in a series where Grandview’s posted two decisive victories in a row. The Wolves feature dynamic senior MLB Preston Emken; Eaglecrest is headlined by do-all senior DB Cam Chapa.

Honorable mention: Columbine at Pomona, 6 p.m. Thursday, NAAC; Mountain Vista at ThunderRidge, 7 p.m., Halftime Help Stadium; Fort Collins at Rocky Mountain, 7 p.m., French Field

Week 7 — Oct. 6

Pine Creek at Regis Jesuit, 6:30 p.m., Lou Kellogg Stadium: In a midseason litmus test for both programs, coach Todd Miller’s Eagles will need to contain Raiders star senior RB Albert Medina in front of the red-clad rowdies in Aurora.

Honorable mention: Boulder at Fairview, 5:30 p.m., Recht Field; Columbine at Ralston Valley, 7:30 p.m., NAAC; Mountain Vista at Rock Canyon, 1 p.m. Saturday, EchoPark Stadium; Pueblo Central at Pueblo Centennial, 7 p.m., Dutch Clark Stadium (Bell Game)

Week 8 — Oct. 13

Dakota Ridge at Golden, 7:30 p.m., Jeffco Stadium: The 4A Jeffco foes face off in a game that will likely determine the 4A Mountain West League title. Dakota Ridge is led by senior QB Blake Palladino, while Demons’ second-year coach Matt McDougal looks to build off last year’s 8-4 campaign.

Honorable mention: Pueblo South at Lewis-Palmer, 7 p.m., Don Breese Stadium; Cherry Creek at Eaglecrest, 7 p.m., Legacy Stadium

Week 9 — Oct. 20

Far Northeast at Denver South, 1 p.m. Saturday, All-City Stadium: Coach Tony Lindsay Sr.’s family-themed staff (four other Lindsay are FNE coaches) take their underdog Warriors into this Denver Public Schools matchup against Denver South, which has been the strongest DPS program as of late. Ravens senior RB Chevelle Early is one of the state’s most dynamic runners.

Honorable mention: Regis Jesuit at Legend, 7 p.m. Thursday, EchoPark Stadium; Windsor at Loveland, 7 p.m., Ray Patterson Stadium; Grandview at Cherokee Trail, 7 p.m., Legacy Stadium

Week 10 — Oct. 27

Cherry Creek at Grandview, 7 p.m., Legacy Stadium: Grandview boss Tom Doherty was the longtime defensive coordinator for Cherry Creek coach Dave Logan, so there are no secrets between these Centennial League rivals. The Wolves dealt the Bruins their lone in-state loss last year in a 24-21 thriller in Greenwood Village.

Honorable mention: Vista Ridge at Palmer Ridge, 7 p.m., Don Breese Stadium; Chatfield at Columbine, 7 p.m., Jeffco Stadium; Mountain Vista at Valor Christian, 7 p.m., Valor Stadium

Week 11 — Nov. 3

Fort Morgan at Lutheran, 7 p.m., Lutheran Stadium: This Class 3A clash pits always-physical Fort Morgan against one of the state’s title contenders, as the Lions made the quarterfinals, semifinals and then finals (lost to Roosevelt) over the past three seasons.

Honorable mention: Pueblo Central at Pueblo South, 7 p.m., Dutch Clark Stadium; Pueblo East at Pueblo County, 7 p.m., ThunderBowl


The opening round of the playoffs for all classes except 3A is the first week of November; 3A playoffs begin the second week of November. Six-man and eight-man championship games are Nov. 24; Class 1A and 2A title games Nov. 25; Class 3A, 4A and 5A championship games Dec. 2, with 3A at CSU Pueblo and 4A and 5A at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins.

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