With 65 percent of Class 5A making the football playoffs, it’s impossible to call a game must-win for a 3-2 team.
So the Rocky Mountain High School football team doesn’t have to beat Fairview when the teams play at 7 p.m. Thursday night.
The Lobos (3-2, 1-2 Front Range League) still have the FRL’s weakest teams left on the schedule to help make the playoffs. But if Rocky Mountain wants to be in the upper tier of 5A like it was last year, a win over No. 9 Fairview (4-1, 2-1 FRL) would be a good place to start.
Why it matters: Fairview is one of a group of teams sitting at 2-1 in Front Range League play behind 3-0 Horizon. To have any hope of taking the league title, the Knights almost have to win out.
Rocky Mountain already has two league losses. A third loss would see hopes for a good playoff seed drop significantly.
To win, Fairview must: Protect the football. The Knights offense is good — averaging 26 points per game — but its not as deadly as in previous years. The main reason is in Fairview’s struggles taking care of the football.
Quarterback Thomas Creese throws for nearly 300 yards a game, but has 10 interceptions in five games. Rocky Mountain can create problems by getting a good pass rush and forcing bad throws. To win on the road, Fairview needs to limit mistakes that put the Lobos in good positions to score.
To win, Rocky Mountain must: Get the run game going early. Rocky Mountain thrives with the rushing attack, it fuels everything else. In last week’s 14-7 loss the Lobos late touchdown drive was the only time the offense really clicked.
A strong first-quarter rushing attack Thursday will keep Fairview’s vaunted offense off the field and out of rhythm, helping set the stage for an upset..
Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle.
Week 6 local football schedule
Thursday: Fossil Ridge at Monarch, 6:30 p.m. Twitter updates: @ColoradoanSpts
Thursday: Fairview at Rocky Mountain, 7 p.m. Twitter updates: @Kevin_Lytle. Watch: Coloradoan.com/sports
Friday: Greeley Central at Fort Collins, 7 p.m. at French Field. Twitter updates: @Kevin_Lytle. Watch: Coloradoan.com/sports
Friday: Poudre at Legacy, 7 p.m. Twitter updates: @ColoradoanSpts
Friday: Greeley West at Windsor, 7 p.m. Twitter updates: @QSickafoose
Friday: Clear Creek at Res. Christian, 7 p.m. at Loveland Sports Park. Twitter updates: @ColoradoanSpts