Last-second field goals have decided the last two games between Fossil Ridge and Rocky Mountain, and todaoy’s 7 p.m. match-up at French Field should be just as close.
Rocky enters the game with the momentum of picking up its first win last week, 29-22, against Poudre.
“It’s about getting better in practice every day and hopefully they saw some improvements in the week,” Rocky coach Mark Brook said. “We’re hoping it gives a little fuel for practice this week to focus on the detail of our game.”
Brook continued to focus on the details and specifics of the game in practice this week because his team isn’t as sharp as it could be.
“Our ball security isn’t where it needs to be, we still have blown assignments,” he said. “But the main thing that the kids did last week is play with a lot of energy. You can’t coach that and it’s to their credit.”
Passion should be in full supply for both the SaberCats and Lobos due to it being a city game so hotly contested in recent years.
“Whenever you see kids walking around town you can tell it just means more,” Fossil Ridge coach Steve Vecchio said. “It’s been that way ever since I played in these games.”
But passion alone doesn’t win football games. Fossil Ridge will have to deal with Rocky’s offensive and defensive lines and option attack.
“If the other team’s best player is a skill-position player, you can do things to take them away, if their strength is their lines, you can’t neutralize that,” Vecchio said. “And with the option, there’s no stopping it. If you stop the dive, there’s the quarterback, if you stop the quarterback, there’s the pitch. There’s always an answer.”
In order to slow down the Lobos, Fossil Ridge will need to play disciplined football.
“We need to do our jobs. Everybody needs to follow their assignment and not try to do anyone else’s job,” Fossil Ridge senior Colin Peter said.
For Rocky, the team will have to try and corral a dangerous big-play offense for the second consecutive week.
“In previous games, our kids have gotten beat on big plays, so the big thing for us is the routine discipline of play your assignment, not anybody else’s, and that’s a challenge for anybody,” Brook said.
Fossil Ridge’s offense spreads the field laterally, which Vecchio is confident could help counteract Rocky’s size inside.
The fact that Rocky picked up its first win of the season and Fossil Ridge is 0-5 won’t have any bearing on the game, according to Brook.
“We’re not really looking at records and I can’t imagine they are either,” he said. “In these city games, you can toss all that stuff out.”
The game will come down to whichever team forces their opponent to play their style of game.
“Football is a battle of wills,” Vecchio said. “And whoever imposes their will is going to win.”