A season ends for one team, while a new season will begin for another Friday night.
The Fort Collins High School football team crosses Interstate 25 to face Windsor in what will be the final game of 2016 for the Lambkins.
Fort Collins is 2-7 (1-3 Northern Conference) and out of playoff contention. Windsor (6-3, 3-1 NC) is almost surely playoff bound and its playoff season will start next week as the Wizards defend their 2015 Class 4A state title.
Windsor, ranked No. 9 in 4A in the CHSAANow.com coaches and media poll, is fourth in 4A’s RPI standings. A win Friday will likely allow the Wizards to host a first-round playoff game.
Here are keys to Friday’s 7 p.m. game at Windsor, the final regular-season game of 2016.
To win, Fort Collins must: Feed Leone. The Lambkins have a lot of offensive weapons, but the most dangerous, by far, is tight end Jake Leone. The junior has 827 receiving yards (third in 4A) and 11 touchdowns (second in 4A).
He’s a mismatch for any defense. He’s fast like a receiver, big and strong like a tight end and can win any jump ball. He’ll need to have a big game for Fort Collins to pull off the upset.
To win, Windsor must: Run wild. Not that the Wizards would deviate from their usual running plan, but they have to be itching to face the Lambkins.
Fort Collins has struggled in run defense all year, allowing nine different runners to have at least 100 yards on the ground. That includes three 200-yard and one 300-yard individual performances. Fort Collins has allowed 26 rushing touchdowns this season.
Windsor thrives on the ground with the option attack. Quarterback Brad Peeples has 608 rush yards and 10 touchdowns. Brandon Ramirez has 582 and six touchdowns. Both will get a heavy dose of carries in order to boost Windsor to a win.
Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle.
Fort Collins at No. 9 Windsor, 7 p.m. Friday
Twitter updates: @Kevin_Lytle