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The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

High school football takes over Canvas Stadium for 1st time

Fossil+Ridge+High+School+raises+the+Harmony+Cup+after+their+win+against+Fort+Collins+High+School+at+Canvas+Stadium

Collegian | Dylan Heinrich

Fossil Ridge High School football players raise the Harmony Cup after their win against Fort Collins High School at Canvas Stadium Sept. 30.

CTV Channel 11

Dylan Heinrich, Sports Reporter

The Friday night lights shone a bit brighter this past week, as Fort Collins’ four 5A high schools faced off in Canvas Stadium.

This new event, known as the Canvas Community Classic, was set up between Poudre School District, Colorado State University, Scheels and Canvas Credit Union in order to promote a large community event.

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The games were truly a massive spectacle, including multiple dance and cheer performances, appearances from the districts’ unified teams, students from every school in PSD and much more.

Poudre mike linebacker Brady Brown (11) sacks Rocky Mountain quarterback Gage Brook (16) Sept 30.
Poudre mike linebacker Brady Brown (11) sacks Rocky Mountain quarterback Gage Brook (16) Sept 30. The Impalas beat the Lobos 34-7. (Collegian | Gregory James)

The first matchup was a west side showdown between Poudre High School and Rocky Mountain High School. The Poudre Impalas stormed to victory, beating Rocky Mountain 34-7 in their first win against their rivals in four years. 

The team was led by senior safety/wide receiver Jones Thomas. The dual-threat speedster made his impactful play in the second half, returning a fumble to the end zone to put the Impalas up 27-7. Thomas has multiple connections to CSU, as not only did his dad play there but his grandfather is Rams legendary defensive back Earlie Thomas, a member of the Colorado State Athletics Hall of Fame. 

“It means a lot,” Thomas said. “It’s pretty cool to step into this atmosphere and this environment.”

That matchup was followed by the battle of the east side teams, Fossil Ridge High School and Fort Collins High School. The two foes fought over the Harmony Cup, a trophy made out of wood commemorating the rivalry. The Fort Collins Lambkins entered with the trophy, as they defeated the Fossil Ridge Sabercats last year. 

“It was great to play here. To play alongside my teammates in this environment under the lights — it was big,”

— Colton Pawlak - Fossil Ridge Quarterback

Fossil Ridge quarterback Colton Pawlak throws the ball Sept 30.
Fossil Ridge quarterback Colton Pawlak throws the ball Sept 30. Pawlak had six touchdowns in the win over the Fort Collins Lambkins 46-21, four on the ground and two through the air. Fossil Ridge will next take on Boulder on the road. (Collegian | Gregory James)

This year’s matchup was a totally different story, as the Sabercats rolled to a 46-21 victory after a 26-point halftime lead. Fossil’s highest producer was sophomore Colton Pawlak, who contributed on five of the team’s seven touchdowns. After the team’s starting quarterback went down with an injury, Pawlak moved from running back to quarterback. The sophomore has stepped into the role with a near flawless execution.

“It was great to play here,” Pawlak said. “To play alongside my teammates in this environment under the lights — it was big.”

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With one year left on the contract, next year’s Canvas Community Classic appears to be a guarantee. After the success of the inaugural event, people involved are eager to get high school football back at Canvas Stadium.

“I wish that we could make this our home field,” said Jeff Fulton, Fossil Ridge football head coach. “I’d like to be the home team again and play the 7 o’clock game. … (We like to) put on a show for our fans and our families.”

Reach Dylan Heinrich at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @dylanrheinrich.

 

 

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