The Fossil Ridge High School football team hopes one trend ends now.
The SaberCats (4-2, 3-1 Front Range League) enter Thursday’s 6 p.m. game at French Field against Legacy with the same record as this time last year.
Playing the same schedule as 2014, but home and road games flipped, everything is the same. Like last year, Fossil Ridge has wins over Boulder, Mountain Range, Poudre and Monarch. Their losses are to Fort Collins and Rocky Mountain.
Now is where the SaberCats want change. Fossil Ridge lost 52-20 at Legacy last year, the start of a stretch that saw the SaberCats lose three of their final four games, including a first-round playoff exit.
Here is a look at Thursday’s game as Fossil Ridge looks to ditch the trend.
Why it matters: Simply, the winner of Thursday’s game is still in the hunt for a Front Range League title, while the loser is out of the race. Horizon is 4-0 in Front Range League play. Legacy, Fossil Ridge and Fairview are all 3-1. Horizon and Fairview are likely to win this week, playing cellar-dwellers Monarch and Mountain Range, respectively.
Whoever wins between Legacy and Fossil Ridge will stay in a tie for second with two games left in the regular season. Fossil Ridge’s last two games are Fairview and Horizon. The higher the league finish, the better the playoff seeding.
To win, Legacy must: Slow the air attack. Due to injuries and roster changes, Fossil Ridge has had to use a running back by committee approach this season, creating more pressure on its passing game.
Last week the air assault worked well, with quarterback GriffinRoberts finding six different receivers for 269 yards and two touchdowns. AlecMullen and ColeSchilling led the charge, with a touchdown each. If Legacy needs to get to Roberts early and knock Fossil Ridge out of rhythm in order to win on the road.
To win, Fossil Ridge must: Disrupt Lynch. Legacy quarterback MattLynch has received a lot of attention this season. The 6-foot-5 senior is rated a three-star prospect by Rivals and is verbally committed to UCLA. He had pledged to CSU, but changed his mind after Jim McElwain left for Florida.
This season he’s completed 62 percent of his passes for 1,054 yards, 11 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also has six rushing touchdowns.
Fossil Ridge has one of the best defenses in 5A, allowing the third-fewest points at 11 per game. The SaberCats have 18.5 sacks, led by seven from BradyRussell and 4.5 from DillonOsthoff. If Fossil Ridge can keep Lynch uncomfortable in his throws, Fossil Ridge will win.
Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle.
Week 7 local football schedule
Thursday: Legacy at Fossil Ridge, 6 p.m. at French Field. Twitter updates: @Kevin_Lytle. Watch: Coloradoan.com
Thursday: Fort Collins at Mountain View, 7 p.m. at Thompson Valley. Twitter updates: @ColroadoanSpts
Thursday: Windsor at Longmont, 7 p.m. Twitter updates: @QSickafoose
Friday: Poudre at Rocky Mountain, 7 p.m. Twitter updates: @Kevin_Lytle. Watch: Coloradoan.com