Finishing with .500 record goal for Fruita

Fruita Monument hoped to be preparing for a playoff game this week, but the Wildcats had to settle for a final non-qualifier game instead.

The Wildcats, though, have several things to play for against Heritage at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Stocker Stadium.

“The first thing we want is to finish on a good note and to show appreciation for the seniors and the work they’ve done,” Fruita coach Sean Mulvey said. “The playoff thing is what it is. We still feel like we have something to prove. We need to play a good, solid football game.”

It will not only be the final game for 18 seniors, the game will be a chance for Fruita Monument (4-5) to finish .500 for the first time since the 2004 season. The Wildcats finished 5-5 that year.

“We’re excited about that,” Mulvey said. “We’re not as far along as we’d like to be, but we’ve still got a lot to prove.

“This is not the circumstance you’d like, but we get one more opportunity to play. It could be the last time for the seniors to step in the stadium in a playing mode.”

Quarterback Zach Thorpe is one of those seniors hoping to play against Heritage (3-6).

Thorpe is questionable with a concussion sustained two weeks ago. Mulvey said Thorpe will be a game-day decision.

Heritage (3-6) defeated a common opponent, Cherokee Trail 21-20 one week after the Cougars defeated Fruita 28-19.

Fruita Monument finished 33rd in the CHSAA wildcard points standings, one spot out of qualifying for the playoffs.

Central at Hinkley, 4 p.m., Thursday: The Warriors will play their season finale against a familiar opponent.

Central (1-8) defeated the Thunderbirds (2-7) 48-23 in the fourth week of the season.

“It’s different,” Central coach Vern McGee said. “It’s weird for us. We look totally different because of injuries.

“It’s not going to be easy, that’s for sure. We’ll try to win our second game of the season. They have everybody that played the first time around.”

Quarterback Taylor Sanchez separated his shoulder last week against Lakewood and is out. Chris Holman, Chance Sidebottom, Chris West, Connor Williamson, Josh Vig and Kasey Payan are out with injuries.

Fullback Noah Sanchez is replacing Taylor Sanchez at QB.

“I had a parent ask my why we’re playing this game,” McGee said. “It’s a chance to compete. If you’re a senior, you want a chance to finish with a win.”

Palisade at Delta, 7 p.m., Friday: The No. 9 Bulldogs (7-2) look to regain momentum for the playoffs after a loss to Rifle.

The Panthers (4-5) can finish .500 with a victory over a league rival in their home finale.

Durango at Montrose, 7 p.m., Friday: The No. 5 Indians (8-1) could use a victory to assure themselves of a Class 4A first-round home playoff game.

The Demons (4-5) are 16th in the wildcard points and need a win to stay in playoff contention.

Glenwood Springs at Rifle, 7 p.m., Friday: The No. 5 Bears (9-0) can clinch their first outright conference title with a victory, but will have to do it against the rival Demons (5-4), who are eager to prove they are better than their record shows.

Olathe at Gunnison, 7 p.m., Friday: The Pirates (6-3) have played their way back into playoff contention. Now, they look to build some momentum with a win over the Cowboys (4-5).

Cedaredge at Basalt, 7 p.m., Friday: The Bruins (4-5) can finish .500 for the first time in more than seven years with a victory.

Grand Valley at Coal Ridge, 7 p.m., Friday: The Titans (4-5) look to finish a rollercoaster season with a victory against league rival Grand Valley (3-6).


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