Bulldogs, Tigers to test focus in playoffs

As with many of the playoff-bound football teams this weekend, Grand Junction and Palisade are scheduling everything from bed checks to movie tickets.

“There’s no dead time,” Palisade coach John Arledge said.

For No. 10 seed Palisade, which plays Evergreen at 11 a.m. Saturday at Trailblazer Stadium in Lakewood in the Class 3A playoffs, teaching day was Monday.

Arledge told his team what to expect from Evergreen.

For example, he noted from video the Cougars’ top players are “No. 3 and No. 15.” That would be running back Quinn O’Neill and quarterback Noah Ansley, respectively.

“I don’t pay attention to names,” Arledge said.

Today through Thursday are “work” days for the Bulldogs. That means a lot of helmet-popping.

The team leaves Friday. Before then, places to practice, eat and sleep will be arranged.

“The bottom line is, we can’t afford to lose because of a lack of preparation,” Arledge said. “We figure out how much money we’ll spend, when we check in, when we leave, what’s for breakfast.”

For No. 2 Grand Junction, headed to Sports Authority Stadium in Parker to play No. 18 Chaparral at 7 p.m. Friday, preparation hardly changes.

“For us, with daylight savings time it gets darker at night, so we change up our practices a little,” Tigers coach Robbie Owens said. “But I definitely think there’s more focus, probably by everyone this week.”

On Monday, Grand Junction covered what it plans to do against Chaparral.

Like Palisade’s schedule, today through Thursday are work days for the Tigers.

As usual, Owens will be up game-planning until after midnight every night.

“I try to keep everything the same,” Owens said. “On Thursday, it’s us finalizing our game plan, just making sure everything is clear in our minds.”

Game times were set Monday for all area playoff games.

Class 4A: No. 15 Durango at No. 2 Monarch, 7 p.m. Friday; No. 11 Greeley West at No. 6 Montrose, 11 a.m. Saturday.

Class 3A: No. 3 Roosevelt at No. Rifle, 1 p.m. Saturday; No. 9 Battle Mountain at No. 8 D’Evelyn, 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Class 2A: No. 9 The Academy at No. 8 Olathe, 1 p.m. Saturday; No. 12 Aspen at No. 5 Eaton, 1 p.m. Saturday.

Class 1A: No. 2 Hotchkiss at No. 10 Resurrection Christian, 1 p.m. Saturday.

Class A-8 man: No. 5 Walsh at No. 4 Norwood, 1 p.m. Saturday.


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