AURORA | A few weeks ago, a prep football season in the fall didn’t even seem plausible to many.
Now, the teams that have chosen to play now instead of wait until the spring are about to reach the midway point of their respective seasons.
Week 3 of the six-game regular season — a product of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — begins Thursday with Grandview (1-1 overall, 1-1 in Centennial League play) taking on Cherry Creek (2-0, 2-0) in a key league matchup. The Wolves visit the Bruins at 7 p.m. at Stutler Bowl.
It will be a tough turnaround for coach John Schultz’s Grandview team, which is coming off a one-point loss to rival Eaglecrest in a thriller a week ago at Legacy Stadium. The Wolves made big plays right and left and had a chance to win the game on the final play before a field goal try went wide.
Grandview has averaged better than 40 points per game on the young season and have scored in a variety of ways. The Wolves have touchdowns via interception return (two, from juniors Kahden Rullo and Malique Singleton), fumble return (Rullo) and kickoff return (junior Evan Johnson).
The offense has again found success with its ground game, despite Noah Schmidt’s departure to Arizona. Junior Moosah Alsaffar has taken the lead role in the backfield for Grandview and has rushed for 230 yards and three touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Jacob Burr threw his first touchdown pass of the year against Eaglecrest when he found senior fullback Spencer Schwartz and he has rushed for a score as well, as has backup Jonathan Broadus.
The Grandview offense comes up against a Cherry Creek defense that didn’t allow a point to Cherokee Trail in a 49-7 victory Oct. 16. The Bruins, who only ceded points with their offense on the field, have given up just two touchdowns (both to Smoky Hill) in eight quarters thus far.
Cherry Creek — which won last season’s matchup with Grandview 44-21 — has averaged 40-plus points per game, keyed by an aerial attack under the direction of senior quarterback Julian Hammond. Hammond has 469 yards passing and nine touchdowns (against just one interception) in two games, during which he has completed nearly 80 percent of his passes.
Senior wide receiver Chase Penry (200 yards receiving, 3 touchdowns) and 6-foot-6 tight end Gunner Helm (who has three touchdowns among his seven catches) are favorite targets, while senior James Walker II has rushed for 236 yards and scored both rushing and receiving.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or email@example.com. Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports