Did you feel the chill in the air over the last couple weeks?
Fall is coming, you can feel it as the temperature drops every night.
That means it’s time for football. And the high school football season is here.
Without further ado, here is a weekly schedule of the top games to watch for teams in the Coloradoan’s coverage area.
•Zero week: Platte Valley at Resurrection Christian, 7 p.m. Aug. 28
OK, this is cheating a bit because Resurrection Christian is the only local school playing on Zero Week, but it’s still a great game. RCS is ranked No. 3 in Class 1A in the preseason Associated Press media poll. Platte Valley is No. 4 in 2A. RCS went to the 1A semis last year and Platte Valley handed the Cougars their only regular season loss (34-13).
•Week 1: Poudre at Fort Collins (French Field), 7 p.m. Sept. 4
An interesting game on so many levels. Local rivals, Fort Collins a 4A power (ranked No. 5 in the AP preseason poll) while Poudre is looking to regain its footing in 5A. On top of that, Poudre is expected to drop to 4A in 2016, likely to join Fort Collins’ conference. A good early-season litmus test for both teams.
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•Week 2: Fossil Ridge at Fort Collins (French Field), 7 p.m. Sept. 11
When these two schools meet in any sport it’s a big deal. There’s a lot of intensity in each meeting, with both battling for superiority in southern Fort Collins. Fort Collins made the 4A quarterfinals last year after an undefeated regular season and the SaberCats made the 5A playoffs for the first time. This should be a good one.
•Week 3: Fort Collins at Windsor, 7 p.m. Sept. 18
This isn’t just one of the top games in Northern Colorado to watch, it’s one of the best high school football games in Colorado this year. Both schools made the 4A quarterfinals last year and are expected to be top teams again. Fort Collins is No. 5 in the preseason AP poll and Windsor is No. 8. The Lambkins won a physical 13-12 battle last year and the Wizards will look for revenge on their home turf.
•Week 4: Rocky Mountain at Fossil Ridge (French Field), 7 p.m. Sept. 25
The Lobos were dominant last year on defense, allowing 12.5 points per game. Fossil Ridge has tools for a potentially explosive offense in 2015 and seem to be on the upswing under second-year coach Brian Tinker. This will be a good test of how far the SaberCats have come.
•Week 5: Fossil Ridge at Poudre (French Field), 7 p.m. Oct. 2
This could be the last time these two play for some time. Poudre is likely to drop to 4A in 2016 and with new a new RPI format taking place, 5A schools may only get to play one 4A school in nonconference. Fossil Ridge would likely make sure to keep its rivalry with 4A Fort Collins alive, so Poudre and Fossil Ridge may share a city but not a schedule in the near future. Just in case, enjoy this one.
•Week 6: Fairview at Rocky Mountain, 6 p.m. Oct. 8
These schools enter the season as the big dogs in the Front Range League. Fairview is No. 7 in 5A in the preseason AP poll. Last year Rocky Mountain played at Fairview, almost knocking off the Knights to win the FRL, but Fairview took it to win the league. It would be a big surprise to see these two battling for the top of the FRL again when they meet in 2015.
•Week 7: Windsor at Longmont, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 15
Longmont stunned the Wizards in 2014 by scoring 22 unanswered points to win at Windsor and eventually win the Longs Peak Conference. The Trojans made the 4A title game and are ranked No. 2 in the preseason AP poll. Windsor is No. 8 and this game could end up as a conference title bout.
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•Week 8: Fossil Ridge at Fairview, 7 p.m. Oct. 23
Last season’s Fairview-Fossil Ridge game almost produced the shocker of the season. Fairview was in the top-5 and undefeated, Fossil Ridge was battling for a playoff berth. The SaberCats matched Fairview blow-for-blow, only to miss out on forcing overtime when a two-point conversion after a final minute touchdown failed. It was one of the top games of 2014 and should be a good one again in 2015.
•Week 9: Broomfield at Fort Collins (French Field), 7 p.m. Oct. 30
In 2014 Fort Collins outscored Broomfield 20-0 in the second half on the road to clinch the Northern Conference title. The Lambkins are No. 5 in preseason in 4A and Broomfield is No. 7. Once again this late-season match could be determine who wins the conference.
•Week 10: TBA
Check back on this one. 5A playoffs begin this week. Windsor (Adams City) and Fort Collins (Skyline) have non-marquee road games in the final week of 4A’s regular season.
For live coverage of high school football games, follow reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and follow him at facebook.com/KevinSLytle.