Yuma football returns to action in Ault

Two games in, seven to go, the Yuma High School football team resumes its quest to earn a playoff spot in the 2021 season.

The Indians are coming out of their bye week, heading to Ault on Friday to take on the Highland Huskies in a non-conference game. Yuma resumes its season with a 1-1 record, opening with a blowout win at home over Burns, Wyoming, followed by a painful last-minute loss to then third-ranked Strasburg, which is now No. 6 in the Class 1A Top 10 after last Friday’s loss to top-ranked Limon.
Yuma had moved into the Top 10 last week, at No. 10, after its close to Strasburg, but fell out again this week. Highland began the season ranked, fell out, then returned this week at No. 10 after blowing out Platte Canyon 42-6 last Saturday, improving to 2-1 overall.
Highland came to Yuma last fall in Week 2 of the shortened six-game season, handing the Tribe a blowout loss. Yuma improved significantly after that game, but it was Highland that kept winning enough to make the eight-team playoff field, while Yuma finished 4-3 after playing an extra game after not making the playoff field.
The North Central Conference has four teams in the 1A Top 10, with Limon at No. 1, Holyoke No. 4, Wray No. 7 and Wiggins No. 9. (Burlington is 1-1 and currently on a two-week break thanks to having to go into quarantine. However, the Cougars’ bye week is during the current stretch, so they are missing only one game on the schedule. Also, it appears they will play Wray this weekend as Wray’s game with Jefferson was canceled due to quarantine for Jefferson.)
Wiggins is 3-0 after blowing past Olathe, 53-6, last week, and has a bye this week. Limon is 2-0 following its 20-0 win over Strasburg. The Badgers are at Bennett on Friday. Holyoke also is 2-0 after escaping Bridgeport, Nebraska, last Friday with a 27-20 win. The Dragons make the long trip to Florence on Saturday. Wray is 2-1 following a 55-6 blowout of Estes Park in the Eagles’ home opener last Saturday. They were supposed to play Jefferson on Friday prior to their bye week, but Jefferson is quarantine, so Wray will play Burlington, which can come back from its quarantine this weekend, on Saturday.
Friday should prove to be a great test for the Indians. Highland graduated their star running back from last season, but still boast a potent lineup as evidenced during their recent two-game winning streak. The Huskies loss their season opener to Wiggins, but have since beat Bennett and Platte Canyon. They are averaging 168 rushing yards per game, and 141.3 through the air. Quarterback Sam Hzindil has throwing for 424 yards, four touchdowns and just one interception, while also leading the Huskies in rushing with 224 yards and four touchdowns. His four touchdown passes have gone to four different receivers. Senior Chris Polk is the leading receiver with 226 yards, and is the second-leading rusher with 143 yards.