Tigers climb to No. 2 in Class 5A state football poll

Grand Junction High School football coach Robbie Owens said last week the Tigers were embracing the preseason ranking of No. 4 in the state, but wanted to forge their own identity.

So far, the Tigers’ 2011 identity is this: No. 2 in Class 5A Denver Post Media Poll, as voted on by members of the media across the state who cover high school sports.

The Tigers’ impressive 51-35 rout of then-No. 9 Highlands Ranch on Friday night in a game halted more than an hour by lightning, moved them up from No. 4.

Highlands Ranch dropped out of the top 10, replaced by ThunderRidge. Mullen received all 15 first-place votes and remained No. 1 in the state’s biggest classification.

Palisade’s 24-12 victory over Class 5A Central moved the Bulldogs up in the Class 3A poll from No. 6 to No. 4.

The Bulldogs face No. 7 D’Evelyn at 11 a.m. Saturday at Stocker Stadium in what could be one of the best games of the week in any classification.

Palisade’s hard-nosed running game will go up against the air attack of D’Evelyn, which accounted for 336 of the Jaguars’ 390 yards in last week’s 42-20 win over Conifer.

Palisade ran for 352 of its 406 total yards against Central.

Glenwood Springs remained No. 2 in Class 3A, with Battle Mountain and Rifle receiving votes. Montrose is the top team receiving votes in Class 4A.

Olathe stayed at No. 3 in Class 2A, receiving one first-place vote. Aspen is No. 6 and Coal Ridge No. 10.

Hotchkiss is No. 2 in Class 1A, with Paonia falling out of the poll after starting the season No. 6.

Norwood is No. 4 in 8-man football, with Dove Creek receiving votes.


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