It is only the third game of the season, but the Yuma High School football has a big opportunity awaiting it Friday night.

The Indians are 1-1 after winning its home opener 12-7 last Saturday afternoon against Cornerstone Christian, which came into the game ranked No. 10 in Class 1A (CHSAANow.com polls).

Now the Crowley County Chargers come to town with a 2-1 record. The boys from Ordway remain ranked No. 7 in 1A despite getting drilled 40-6 last Saturday at No. 2 Limon, who is looking every bit a state title contender early in the season. The Chargers opened the season with blowout wins over Ridge View Academy and Rye, and have been regular playoff participants the past several seasons.

Yuma has one more non-league game after Friday, traveling to winless Lyons next Friday. The Lions have been blown out in each of their games this season.

Jacob Long brings down a Cornerstone Christian ballcarrier as teammates Diego Gordo (30) and Cayden Lynch (47) move in to help, last Saturday. (Jake Rayl)

“This Crowley County game is is huge for our RPI,” head coach Kelly Seward, referencing the Rating Percentage Index that will be used to help determine the seed the 16-team playoff field. Cornerstone Christian and Crowley probably will both win their leagues, so wins over both of them would be big for us.”

Saturday’s victory was the first as head coach for Yuma native and YHS alum.

“It was huge because we had to get that one,” Seward said. “This week’s not going to be easy. If we can somehow get one against Crowley, we should have a three-game winning streak going into league.”

Crowley County lost several of its key players from recent years to graduation. Still, the Chargers were looking pretty good until they ran into Limon last Saturday, but the Badgers will do that to a lot of teams this season.

Seward said they will run an I-formation option offense.

“We’ll just have to wait and see,” he said. “They’ll want to run the ball, and right now that’s our strength.”

Yuma has allowed a total of 106 rushing hards through the first two games, limiting both Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, and Cornerstone to 53 yards on the ground.

Cayden Lynch runs for some of his 192 yards, last Saturday against Cornerstone Christian. (Jake Rayl)

“I’m excited they’ve got to come to us,” Seward said. “Otherwise every hard game we have, besides Cornerstone, would have been on the road.”

Four North Central Conference teams are ranked this week in 1A, with Limon at No. 2, Burlington No. 3, Wray No. 6 and Holyoke No. 8. Yuma is right outside the standings as the top team in the “Others Receiving Votes” category, essentially putting five of the NCC’s six teams in the top 11 in 1A.

Besides Limon’s blowout win over Crowley County, Burlington bounced back from its loss to top-ranked Strasburg with a 52-0 win over Ellicott last weekend, while Wray improved to 2-0 with a 48-0 win over Sheridan. Holyoke is 3-0 after a 35-6 win over Bridgeport, Nebraska. Wiggins is the only winless NCC team, sitting at 0-2 after a 12-0 loss at Platte Canyon.

Wiggins has a shot at a win Friday as the Tigers play at Lyons. Wray is at Cornerstone Christian, while Limon hosts Meeker, and Burlington hosts Lamar. Holyoke has the week off. All games this week are on Friday.

League play begins the last weekend in September.