Winner take all.
Loser’s season might just be over.
The Fort Collins High School football team hosts Broomfield at 7 p.m. Friday at French Field in a conference title game.
Here’s a look at what it means and what each team must do to win.
Why it matters: Fort Collins (5-3, 3-0) and Broomfield (4-4, 3-0) are both undefeated in Northern Conference play.
The next closest team is 1-2 in conference action, so the winner of Friday’s game will win the conference title. Fort Collins is looking to repeat after it was the same situation last year when the Lambkins won 30-21 at Broomfield.
As important as the conference is what it means in wild card points, which are used to determine the Class 4A 16-team playoff field. Fort Collins is currently 14th and Broomfield is 16th. Friday’s winner is into the playoffs, while the loser is likely to miss the postseason with just one week of play left after Friday.
To win, Broomfield must: Ride Jalon Torres. Broomfield started the season 0-4, before winning its last four games.
In those wins junior running back Jalon Torres is averaging 203 yards per game with 12 rushing touchdowns. In the four losses he averaged 94 yards and only had two touchdowns. There’s a clear connection. If Torres has a big game, Broomfield will win.
To win, Fort Collins must: Stay balanced. Obviously one of the keys is for the defense to stop Torres. But for the Lambkins, another key is for the offense to stay balanced.
After starting the season 1-3, Fort Collins is on a four-game winning streak as the offense has found its rhythm. Jacob Moyer has been strong at quarterback, throwing for nine touchdowns while Kielar Harpham has 796 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
But the Lambkins also have the run game going now. Sam Bostak ran for 158 yards a week ago and is averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Continuing to run the ball well will force the Broomfield defense to not just lock in on Harpham. If Fort Collins balances the air and ground game and use both well, the Lambkins will win the conference title.
Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle.
Local Week 9 Friday football schedule
Friday: Broomfield at Fort Collins, 7 p.m. at French Field. Twitter updates: @Kevin_Lytle. Watch: Coloradoan.com
Friday: Thompson Valley at Windsor, 7 p.m. Twitter updates: @QSickafoose
Friday: Rocky Mountain at Monarch, 7 p.m. Twitter updates: @ColoradoanSpts
Friday: Poudre at Mountain Range, 7 p.m. Twitter updates: @ColoradoanSpts