Top-ranked Wheat Ridge proves to be too much for Central

LAKEWOOD — Timing, the saying goes, is everything.

Saturday, the Central High School football team happened to catch Wheat Ridge at a bad time.

The Farmers, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A since the start of the season, were coming off a 17-0 upset loss the previous week to Denver South.

Wheat Ridge wanted to get healthy again quickly. It did it against the winless Warriors, taking a 49-0 victory at Jeffco Stadium.

The writing was on the wall from the opening kickoff, which the Farmers’ Jordan Jones returned 90 yards for a touchdown.

“Special teams killed us,” said Central coach Vern McGee, whose team also had three punts blocked.

Central’s offense struggled the entire afternoon to figure out Wheat Ridge’s blitzing pattern.

“They just brought a bunch of people,” Warriors quarterback Mike Price said. “It’s hard to block eight (defenders) when you’ve got six blocking.”

Central had its chances early as the Warriors’ defense forced fumbles on the Farmers’ first two offensive series, but the offense couldn’t move against Wheat Ridge’s constant stunts, seemingly from all angles.

“They put a lot of pressure on us,” McGee said, both in the running and passing game.

Central had only 92 yards total offense in the first half and finished with 155.

The Farmers scored on a 12-yard pass barely a minute into the second quarter. Wheat Ridge finally figured out how to attack the Central defense as the Farmers broke an 88-yard touchdown run on a toss play to Tanner Weakland midway through the second quarter.

As in the first half, Wheat Ridge wasted little time getting on the board in the second half, scoring on its second offensive play as consecutive runs by Weakland netted 29 yards and a score.

Then Central succumbed to the big play again, giving up an 87-yard touchdown on a screen pass.

The Farmers added two more scores to close out the game with a running clock.

“In the first half we were playing well,” McGee said. “The defense kept us in the game.”

As for Wheat Ridge, “They brought it from everywhere,” said Price, who completed 13 of 36 pass attempts.

Central (0-8) has two games left, the most immediate concern being crosstown rival Grand Junction on Friday.

“It feels like every game we get some momentum and it goes away,” Price said in hopes his team can maintain that momentum for four quarters against the Tigers.


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