Stratton/Liberty was clinging to a 14-12 lead over Kit Carson in the waning moments of the first half.
Then Kit Carson scored just as the second quarter ended to take a 18-14 lead at the break. And they kept scoring, going up 40-14 after three quarters, and eventually securing a 48-14 win.
The Wildcats scored 38 unanswered points, including a 30-0 margin in the second half.
"The first half, we had a lot of mental lapses," Kit Carson coach Curt Connelley told the Colorado Preps Scoreboard Show. "We had, it seemed like, about 10 penalties. The second half we put things together and had a great run."
Jayden McCombs-Farmer helped lead the way for Kit Carson with 155 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and a defensive effort that had him all over the field. Sullivan Farmer also threw three touchdown passes, and Peter Hornung had a receiving score.
It means the second-ranked Wildcats will likely take over atop the polls for preseason No. 1 Stratton/Liberty. It also means Kit Carson got some measure of revenge for last year's 6-man championship game, which Stratton/Liberty won by defeating the Wildcats.
"It was one of the main things we kept talking about: Last time were were at Stratton, we got our butts whipped a little bit," Connelley said.
Jarret Lichty, Stratton/Liberty's top offensive weapon and the returning player of the year in 6-man, missed the game with an MCL sprain.
In the loss, Trevor Frank had a rushing score and a receiving touchdown for Stratton/Liberty.
4A: (8) Pueblo South 49, (9) Holy Family 25
Pueblo South has grown into a more experienced team this season, and it showed in their opener.
The Colts, who started the 2018 campaign 0-4 with a young roster, began 2019 with a huge top-10 win. Jackson Dickerson had two receiving scores, and returned a punt for a touchdown, and Logan Petit threw three touchdown passes for the Colts.
"Just really proud of the way our kids played, such good effort," Pueblo South coach Ryan Goddard told the Scoreboard Show. "We turned them over a few times, which was key for us defensively. Our kids on the defensive side played really well."
Of his offense, Goddard said, "We played pretty efficiently on offense. We had a little trouble getting going on the ground game, but having an experienced quarterback was helpful for us. ... We spread the ball around and had some success through the air, then got the running game going."
4A: (8) Pueblo West 35, (10) Fruita Monument 14
Pueblo West got a huge statement win to open the season, on the road, no less — and they started early.
The Cyclones scored on their first two plays from scrimmage, built a 35-0 lead, and then rolled to a top-10 win.
"We really challenged our kids to start fast, and they did that," Pueblo West coach Clint Buderus told the Scoreboard Show. "It was a good way to start. The kids have put in a lot of work in the offseason, and they were ready to go."
Chandler Mason had four total touchdowns for Pueblo West, including a 65-yard rushing touchdown on the team's opening play from scrimmage, and a 93-yard passing touchdown on their second.
Dawson Menegatti had two scores, one receiving and another on a fumble recovery.
5A: (6) Eaglecrest 30, Highlands Ranch 20
It was a great debut for new coach Shawn Marsh and his son, Max, Eaglecrest's starting quarterback.
Max Marsh, who transferred over from Grand Junction Central when his dad was hired in the offseason, accounted for three touchdowns — two rushing and one passing — as Eaglecrest broke open a 13-13 tie in the second half and start off its season 1-0.
"He had a couple of big runs, and made some plays," Shawn Marsh said on the Scoreboard Show. "It ended up being a good night."
Eaglecrest built a 13-7 lead at halftime, and then Highlands Ranch tied it at 13-13 following their opening drive of the second half when Jake Rubley threw his second touchdown of the day. Both went to Konor Lathrop.
Madj Barakat gave Eaglecrest the lead, this time for good, later in the third quarter when he stripped Rubley of the ball at the 30-yard-line and returned the fumble for a score.
Eaglecrest sealed the game with a screen play on 4th-and-5 from the Highlands Ranch 28 that brought the ball inside the 10 with two minutes to play.
- A number of games in the Denver metro area endured multiple lightning delays, causing some games to not finish up until after 11 p.m.
- Adams City snapped a 17-game losing streak on Friday with a 17-9 win over Skyview. The Eagles hadn't won since Sept. 2017.
- In 2A, Sterling knocked off No. 4 Resurrection Christian 13-7 in overtime. The game was scoreless through three quarters, before Sterling grabbed a 7-0 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Resurrection Christian tied the game with 1:55 to play, and then Sterling won in OT after recovering a fumble on their defensive possession. "It was a lot of fun tonight," Sterling coach Rob Busmente told the Scoreboard Show. "Both teams were in it and had there moments. It was kinda going back and forth ... and we battled to the end."
- Roosevelt knocked off No. 2 Pueblo East in 3A, 38-21.
- An upset in 1A, where Highland beat Wray 14-6.
- 8-man's third-ranked team, Merino, beat No. 7 Pikes Peak Christian 18-6.
- In 6-man, No. 3 Fleming topped No. 7 Idalia 65-12.
- Another top-10 matchup in 6-man, where No. 5 Flagler/Hi-Plains held off No. 9 Briggsdale 40-39.
- Sedgwick County is seeking a fifth-straight 8-man championship, and the Cougars beat Simla 46-0 to being their 2019 campaign.
- Defending 5A champion Valor Christian opened its season with a 56-6 win over Charlotte (N.C.) Christian. Gavin Sawchuk rushed for two touchdowns, and Cole Bott found Kaiden Keefe for two passing scores. And the Eagles got a visit from alum Christian McCaffrey:
— Boogie Brown Media (@boogiebrown7) August 31, 2019
- Broomfield won its rivalry game against Legacy [BoCoPreps.com]
- Rocky Mountain captured its rivalry contest vs. Fort Collins [Coloradoan.com]
- In 5A, No. 9 Regis Jesuit stunned No. 5 Pomona. A photo gallery of the game is also available.
- Jeffco Stadium celebrated its 60th anniversary with an old-school rivalry game. Photos from that game are here.
- Thornton beat rival Northglenn for the first time in 14 years.
- Montrose football began the year with a win over Grand Junction Central.
- Ralston Valley beat Mountain Vista in 5A [Photos]
- Cherry Creek is 1-0 following its win over Doherty [Photos]
- Douglas County beat Mountain Range 12-2 [Photos]
- Bayfield dropped its opener to San Juan of Utah [Photos]
- An updated top-10 football scoreboard after Friday's games, and Saturday's top-10 slate.
- All scores from Friday, and Saturday's full schedule.
- Re-live the night through our live coverage.