Fossil Ridge and Poudre are streaking, albeit in opposite direction, heading into today’s 7 p.m. match-up at French Field.
The SaberCats (2-5) have won their past two games, while the Impalas (1-6) enter the game losers of four straight.
Winning the turnover battle has been key in all of Fossil Ridge’s wins. The SaberCats had a positive turnover margin in their past two games after giving the ball away more than they were taking it away in the first five.
“Seeing the kids continue to fight after that adversity, and we’ve all been a part of those situations where it’s easy to coast out and be done with it, but I think it speaks greatly to the character of the kids in this program,” Fossil Ridge coach Steve Vecchio said.
Wide receiver Cory Peter has helped provide a spark with five receiving touchdowns in the past two games, including a four-touchdown explosion against Mountain Range last week.
But if teams try to double Peter, Fossil Ridge possesses a stable of secondary wide receivers who can make them pay for it.
Connor Rutledge and Nick Kravic both have more than 100 yards receiving for the season while Mike Reyna and Eric Lanza have both caught touchdown passes.
Poudre plans to keep the SabreCats’ offense in check with a disciplined defensive approach.
“When you look at our coverages, everybody has a role, everybody has a job to do and we have to make sure when we’re in man coverage that everybody fulfills their role,” Poudre coach Dan Reardon said.
The Impalas had a similar plan in their last game against Fort Collins, but the Lambkins jumped out to a 28-7 lead in the first half on their way to a 42-21 win.
“I’m proud of the way we played in the second half, but the reality is that we dug ourselves too deep of a hole,” Reardon said.
Despite Poudre’s record, Reardon has not detected any quit in his team. In practice, he has continued to focus on individual accountability and day-by-day improvement.
One group that has exemplified that spirit is the Impalas’ seniors.
Reardon is proud of the example they have set with their attitude and work ethic in the face of challenging circumstances.
“Regardless of what our final record is, they’re going to be setting a foundation for the future,” he said.
“When you have kids that are trying to do that, you have a lot of positives going forward.”
Fossil Ridge’s season still includes a goal of making the playoffs.
The SaberCats have only one conference loss and finish up with Horizon the last week of the regular season.
“If we want to get to the playoffs, we need to win our conference; everybody knows that,” Peter said. “You can just feel the energy in practice.”
Rocky Mountain vs. Mountain Range
The Lobos (1-6, 1-2) head to Westminster to take on Mountain Range (3-4, 0-3) at 7 p.m. today.