The second season is here. Time to wipe the slate clean.
Coaches like to break the year down into three parts. The nonconference schedule, conference play and then playoffs.
The Fort Collins High School football team had a trying nonconference slate, going 2-3 with losses to two of the top three teams in Class 4A.
But at 7 p.m. Friday at French Field, Northern Conference play begins as Fort Collins begins its title defense against Greeley Central (2-3). Here are keys to the game.
To win, Greeley Central must: Compress the game. Despite the teams having the same record, Greeley Central is the underdog after a 42-17 loss to the Lambkins last year. To make a run at the upset, the Wildcats need to keep the ball on the ground and use up clock. The fewer possessions Fort Collins has to figure out its offense, the better for Greeley Central.
Senior running back Kody Drake averages just under six yards per carry and 84 yards per game. If he has a big game, chewing up clock and yards, Greeley Central can pull the upset.
To win, Fort Collins must: Create havoc. The numbers lie with the Fort Collins defense. Allowing nearly 28 points per game suggests an over-matched unit. The reality is in a few early games the defense was solid, but had too much of a burden to carry with the offense struggling through injuries and inconsistency.
There’s room for improvement, but the defense can be dynamic. In last week’s win the Lambkins had four sacks and on the season eight players have sacked the quarterback. Getting into the backfield Friday will both stifle the run and disrupt the pass, leading the Lambkins to a conference-opening win.
Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle.
Week 6 Friday football schedule
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