Prep Notebook: Tigers’ offense fires on all cylinders in playoff victory

Grand Junction scored in bunches in its first-round playoff football game against Northglenn.

The Tigers racked up 680 yards of offense in a 63-26 lopsided victory.

Grand Junction put up 42 points in the first half alone.

“We knew their defense wasn’t the strongest defense we’ve gone against,” Grand Junction running back Andy Willett said. “So Sean’s (Rubalcaba) reads were wide open and we were able to pass and run with success, which allowed us to score a lot.”

Grand Junction’s 63 points were the highest point total by any 5A team in the first round of the playoffs. It also was the most points scored by a 5A team in a playoff game since Douglas County and Arvada West both put up 63 in the first round in 2005.

Douglas County won the state championship that year.

Rubalcaba and Northglenn quarterback Jared Radebaugh’s combined eight touchdown passes (four by each player) ties them for 10th place in the state record history books for touchdown passes by two teams.

The Tigers’ 680 yards of total offense is just outside of the all-time top 10. Revere holds the record with 1,322 total yards in a game. Dayspring Christian is 10th on the list with 699 yards.

Rubalcaba’s six total touchdowns is one shy of 10th place for total touchdowns in a game, as is his 457 yards of total offense.


Winter sports practices begin Friday across Colorado, with boys and girls basketball, wrestling and girls swimming.

All athletes must have their sports physicals completed, as well as other paperwork and participation fees paid before they can practice. Games can begin Dec. 1.

Fruita Monument and Palisade’s practice schedules haven’t been released.

All students must have a current sports physical, and all forms signed and turned into the school’s athletics office prior to practice.

A flip of the coin

Grand Junction will get to host another Class 5A football playoff game next weekend if it can get past Highlands Ranch on Friday. The Tigers would play the winner of No. 2 seed Regis and No. 15 Arapahoe.

Palisade could be home for the Class 3A state quarterfinals next weekend as well if the Bulldogs defeat Silver Creek this weekend, but it would depend on their opponent.

If Palisade advances and plays No. 5 seed Vista Ridge (8-2), the Bulldogs would be home. If Palisade gets No. 12 Evergreen (8-2), the Bulldogs would travel.

The criteria for determining home teams is fewest home games, then higher seed in Class 5A, 4A and 3A. Class 1A and 2A home sites are determined by a coin flip.

Glenwood Springs would host Centaurus but would travel to Lewis-Palmer in Monument.

Olathe will play on the road regardless; Coal Ridge would host its first playoff game if the Titans can upset No. 2 seed Kent Denver in 2A.

Paonia would be home against Wray or Hayden, winning both coin flips in the 1A playoffs. Hotchkiss would host Byers, but travel across the state to face Burlington, 401 miles away.

State Volleyball

The last of the District 51 schools was eliminated from the postseason with Palisade’s 1-2 finish in last weekend’s Region C tournament.

That doesn’t mean the Western Slope isn’t still being represented.

In Class 4A, Southwestern League champion Durango (20-5) is the No. 2 seed in this weekend’s State Volleyball Finals.

Also in the Demons’ pool is Western Slope League champion Eagle Valley.

Eagle Valley plays Durango at 8 a.m. on Saturday.


Snow postponed the Class 3A boys soccer state championship game Tuesday, scheduled to be played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Classical Academy and St. Mary’s, both Colorado Springs schools, will now play at 6 p.m. on Nov. 16 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Tonight’s championship games in Class 4A and 5A will be made this afternoon, based on weather conditions. Broomfield and Air Academy are scheduled to play for the 4A championship at 5 p.m., followed by the 5A championship at 7:30 p.m. between Cherry Creek and Mountain Vista.


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