Palisade, Silver Creek meet again in 3A battle

Caden Woods and the Palisade Bulldogs play Silver Creek today in the Class 3A playoffs in Longmont.

Memories of a two-point conversion that came up short likely will linger in the minds of Palisade High School players as they take on Silver Creek at 1 p.m. today in a Class 3A state semifinal at Everly Montgomery Stadium in Longmont.

In last season’s first-round state playoff game, Silver Creek defeated Palisade 14-12. The Bulldogs’ two-point conversion failed. So did their onside kick. They even managed to get the ball back, but, heck, time has to run out sometime.

They were two young-and-upcoming teams, which would seem to make them now “old-and-arrived.”

“I think both teams have probably gotten better in some regards,” Palisade coach John Arledge said.

Most notable for No. 3 Silver Creek (11-1) is quarterback Austin Apodaca, son of coach Mike Apodaca.

Austin Apodaca, a senior, is headed to Washington State. He is in 10th place all-time in Colorado’s single-season passing yards with 3,050. But in the Raptors’ 42-20 drubbing of Lewis-Palmer last week, on a windy day in Monument, Apodaca ran for 123 yards and three touchdowns.

“He’s a great kid who can throw the ball accurately,” Arledge said of Apodaca. “And he’s the coach’s kid.”

No. 10 Palisade, which in a 47-7 win last week stonewalled Kennedy’s offense — tops in the state in terms of scoring — has the tradition with six state championships (1958, ‘94, ‘95, ‘96, ‘97, 2003) and three state runners-up (‘55, ‘57, ‘02).

Silver Creek is making its first state semifinal appearance.

But like Palisade, the Raptors come with some tough-guy stubble. Said columnist David Ramsey of the Colorado Springs Gazette after the Raptors’ win over Lewis-Palmer last week: “The Raptors dominated the line of scrimmage in a nasty display of physical football. Alas, it was not a display of precise, classy football. The Raptors’ rude, sometimes crude approach earned them 145 yards in penalties.”

Coupled with Palisade’s bullying win over Kennedy last week, a game in which the Bulldogs left Kennedy beat-up mentally and physically, this one could come down to which bully will back down first.

“They have a great receiver and I think their defensive line is phenomenal,” Arledge said. “I think without a doubt they’re the best team we’ve played this year.”


TODAY: 1 p.m. at Everly Montgomery Stadium in Longmont


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