The season outlooks for two local football teams will head in opposite directions Friday night.
Fossil Ridge High School plays Poudre at 7 p.m. at French Field. Both have one league loss, so the winners will be looking toward the top of the conference while the losers will need to regroup quickly.
Here are keys to the game and why it’s so significant.
Why it matters: Fossil Ridge’s early schedule was favorable, but wins will be much harder to accumulate in the back half of the season. A win Friday allows the SaberCats (2-2, 1-1 Front Range League) to believe a run into the upper tier of the league is possible. A loss could mean a late season scramble to get into the playoffs.
Poudre (3-1, 1-1 FRL) needs a win to contend for a league title with the top three teams in the FRL on the schedule the next three weeks. A loss knocks the Impalas out of contention and makes the tough stretch look even more daunting.
To win, Fossil Ridge must: Diversify the attack. Fossil Ridge has been at its best this season when using its multitude of weapons, with quick-passes inside and outside to receivers ColeSchilling and AlecMullen then passes up the middle to big tight end OwenArkin.
That’s balanced with shifty running backs KordellAtencio and DanteRandoph. If the SaberCats keep Poudre off balance, they’ll pick up the win.
To win, Poudre must: Win the turnover battle. The Impalas have a ball-hawking defense. JasonWooldridge has two interceptions and Poudre has recovered eight fumbles, led by three from AaronDiaz–Prieto.
Until last week the offense had protected the ball well, but it all went awry in a loss to Fairview. The Impalas coughed the ball up five times, dooming them in a three-point loss. If Poudre’s defense continues to force turnovers and the offense executes cleanly without losing the ball, the Impalas will win.
Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle.
Week 5 Friday football schedule
Friday: Fossil Ridge at Poudre, 7 p.m. at French Field. Twitter updates: @Kevin_Lytle. Watch: Coloradoan.com/sports
Friday: Skyline at Windsor, 7 p.m. Twitter updates: @QSickafoose
Friday: Resurrection Christian at Lyons, 7 p.m. Twitter updates: @ColoradoanSpts