If you think this week’s regular season finale has a playoff feel to it, you’re not alone. No. 1-ranked Buena Vista (4-0) travels to No. 3 Estes Park (4-1) for a noon kickoff Saturday.
The weirdness of spring football and its necessitated cozy scheduling suddenly has a sense of electricity, the kind urgency brings – an urgency borne of playoff seedings on the line.
“We are treating this game as a playoff game,” says Demons coach Matt Flavin. “It will be a big reason with the seeding process the following week.”
Maybe not everybody hears ol’ Hank Jr. belting out “Are You Ready For Some Football?” – but it’ll sure be worth the road trip north.
Estes Park Air Service has delivered yardage by the cargo plane, averaging 355 yards a game over the Bobcats five games and with it 16 passing touchdowns this season.
Air Bobcat QB Collin Reetz leads an offense that has thrown for 1,774 yards by completing 59 percent of the 233 passes thrown.
“It is a team that has some athletes,” Flavin says. “They want to throw the ball (a lot). One game they threw it 65 times.
“It will be something that we haven’t experienced,” he said. “I think it will be a good matchup for us.”
The Demons have thrown for 432 yards and 6 TDs on 47 percent passing.
The 165 air yards complement the 269 yards rushing per game BV’s balanced backfield attack produces.
Buena Vista has taken better care of the ball passing. While Estes Park has been picked off 9 times, the Demons have not.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bobcats try to live up to their namesake by bringing it fast, furious and a lot of it.
Think the Air Raid passing mentality but with a ferocity converted to defensive pressure snarling with strength in numbers, sending two and three blitzers at a time into the fray.
Estes Park reports that 25 of its 115 team tackles have been for losses.
“Their defense loves to put pressure and get us out of our game plan,” Flavin said. “We need to stick the course and let them get a few big plays if it happens and stay the course.
“I think if we stick to our plan, and not get stirred up because they tackle us for a loss here or there, we will be fine.”
Both teams have put up big numbers on the field and the scoreboard. The Demons average 43.3 points per game, Estes Park 37.6.
There’s a bit more of a spread on defense, where the Bobcats have allowed 11.8 points a game, most of it in a 27-26 season-opening loss to Flatirons Academy.
The swarming Demons defense has allowed just 3.25 points per game by picking off 6 passes and busting up 9 others while causing 3 fumbles and recovering 6.
The Bobcat defense has produced similar numbers, intercepting 7 passes with 1 defense, causing 5 fumbles and recovering 7.
They matchup well scoring, too. Estes Park has scored 15 times receiving and 10 rushing. Buena Vista has rushed for 16 touchdowns and thrown for 6.
“It definitely is exciting, but we need to just play football and play it the way we have played it all year.”