Tigers vault to top of poll

GJ's dominance, Mullen's loss leads to lofty ranking

The defense played a big role in Grand Junction’s shutout Friday night against Overland, helping the Tigers move to No. 1 in the Class 5A rankings this week.

When his players reported for practice, Grand Junction High School football coach Robbie Owens told them to embrace the state rankings.

This week, the Tigers are embracing the Denver Post Class 5A No. 1 ranking in the media poll.

“When I took over the program, you have visions of what you want to accomplish,” Owens said Monday. “Our kids have been resilient in our approach with competing with the Eastern Slope. We have taken advantage of the opportunities.

“We’ve tried to take on all the expectations. Each week we have to prove those expectations. The No. 1 ranking goes back to last year. Our kids have taken the approach of trying to get better and better, that’s what we’re striving for.”

The Tigers (2-0), who were ranked fifth in the preseason poll and second last week, received nine first-place votes to take over the top ranking after Mullen’s 12-7 loss to Grandview. It was Mullen’s first loss in 34 games, according to the Denver Post. Mullen (1-1) fell to sixth in the rankings, but still had one first-place vote. Five different teams had at least one first-place vote.

Grand Junction hosts Standley Lake at 8 p.m. on Friday at Stocker Stadium.

Palisade (2-0) moved up one spot to No. 3 in the Class 3A poll after its 45-35 victory over D’Evelyn. The Bulldogs received one first-place vote and play at 7 p.m. on Friday at Roaring Fork.

Vista Ridge (2-0) remained No. 1 and Cañon City (2-0) moved up to No. 2. Glenwood Springs (1-1), which lost 42-0 to Montrose, dropped from No. 2 to No. 9.

Montrose (3-0) moved into the top 10 in the Class 4A poll after its victory over Glenwood Springs and Greeley West’s loss. Valor Christian (2-0) has all 14 first-place votes.

Olathe (1-1) fell from No. 3 to No. 5 in the Class 2A poll after losing to top-ranked Florence (3-0) on the road. Aspen (2-0) moved up two spots to No. 4.

Hotchkiss (2-0) remained No. 2 in the Class 1A poll behind Burlington (2-0). Norwood is ranked third in the Class A 8-man poll.

Media members around the state vote in the polls, including The Daily Sentinel.

For the complete listing of the state rankings in all classifications, see page 5B.


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