The 9-1 Colorado Mesa football team is a step closer to returning to the D-2 playoffs. The Mavs head to Azuza Pacific California this Saturday in their only non-conference game of the season. CMU is sixth in Super Region 4 and a win puts them back in the playoffs. A close loss might only drop them to seventh and still into the playoffs, but a lopsided loss would most likely take them out of the top seven. CMU beat Azuza 33-24 at Stocker last year as David Tann rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown. The 6-4 Cougars have lost by 11 points in two games to the region’s second ranked team in Central Washington. The TEAM/CMU Sports Network will have the game starting Saturday at 6 PM.
Fruita Monument is back in the 4A playoffs and riding a Mountain League title and a 10-0 regular season. The Wildcats lead the 4A ranks again in rushing, averaging 330 yards per game. Running back Braden Graham has scored 22 touchdowns this season for the Cats. Fruita’s defense has become a strength with linebackers Max Belshe and Ryan Ficken leading the way with 97 and 85 tackles respectively. Vista Ridge quarterback Jaylen Thomas has accounted for 18 touchdowns this season. Montrose could face Fruita Monument if both teams win. The Indians take on a talented Pueblo South team that features QB Zach Cozzolino and running back Steve Brock. The Indians went 4-1 in the Pikes Peak and feature the running of Sam Collins and the dual threat of QB Caleb Egbert. The TEAM will have Fruita Monument vs Vista Ridge Saturday at 1 PM with updates Friday night of Montrose at Pueblo South.
In 3A, Palisade has won back to back Western Slope League titles as they host Discovery Canyon Friday night. Quarterback Cameron Tucker has emerged as an efficient passer and leads the team in rushing. Austin Bernal has rushed for over 800 yards on the season for the Dogs. The Thunder has balance with four backs over 300 yards apiece this season. Rifle is on the road to play at Evergreen on Saturday. The Bears’ Tanner Vines is one of the top backs in 3A at over 1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns. Evergreen went 9-1 in the regular season with quarterback Jack Wagner threw for over 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns. Catch Palisade and Discovery Canyon on the TEAM Friday night with pre-game at 6:30 with updates Saturday in Rifle at Evergreen.
Catch all the interviews with the area coaches at the Jim Davis Show podcast location at theteam1340.com.