5A - Pomona 56, Eaglecrest 49
4A - Pueblo South 25, Pine Creek 14
3A - Palmer Ridge 46, Erie 21
This is for all the marbles. State Championship Saturday is here in Colorado as we have just one more day of high school football.
In 5A Denver area schools Pomona will host Eaglecrest in the first state title game without Valor Christian Prep in eight years.
But we are locked in with the 4A and the 3A games in Southern Colorado.
4A - #1 PINE CREEK (12-1) vs. #6 PUEBLO SOUTH (12-1): This is the match up southern Colorado fans have been waiting for all season long. Arguably the best offense in the class vs. the best defense. It has the makings of a great state title game. The Colts offense is red hot coming into the game with more than 550 points scored and a ton of players that can an will score. South is very balanced on that side of the ball and it's their strength, no doubt about it. Problem is thy are not coming off their best game of the season, a pedestrian 21-14 win vs. Broomfield, a game they let the Eagles come back on them and scare them in the fourth quarter. Can not have a repeat performance on Saturday at Mile High. Pine Creek's defense is their calling card (although their offense isn't too shabby, either) allowing just one touchdown in the post season. They are an opportunistic bunch and if they smell blood in the water - they will feast. And their defensive strength helps their offense to score and gamble with relative ease, letting senior QB JC Coulter throw nice intermediate passes. And if that doesn't work? Hand it off to sophomore stud running back David Moore III. I actually expect a low scoring affair as both defense (South's is salty as well) units shine in the game that will be a slugfest.
X-Factor: Pueblo South's tight end Jeremy Cody is big strong and very athletic, grabbing several one handed passes for touchdowns this season. With all the weapons that South has in their arsenal, the Eagle Defense could be too preoccupied with them to cover Cody.
Familiar Territory: This is Pine Creek's fourth state title appearance in five games, all played at Mile High Stadium. On the inverse, this is South's first football championship appearance in school history.
3A - #5 ERIE (11-2) vs. #2 PALMER RIDGE (13-0): Even though it's not at home, Falcon Stadium at the Air Force Academy is just ten minutes down the road for Palmer Ridge - and after the program's booster club stepped up to cover the rental fee for the stadium on Saturday - and will serve as the host site for the 3A title game. It's a first for Palmer Ridge as they try and cap off an undefeated season for the first time in school history. Quarterback Ty Evans - recently de-committed from Arkansas looks to cement himself as the best in the state with a title. Averaging 255 yards a game through the air and 39 touchdowns to his name this season, it's the strength of their team. The best thing going for the Bears offense is it's balance. We've all seen them pass all over the field but they can run it too with Anthony Roberson and Raef Ruel. Erie is quite the opposite in that they like to run the ball and that's about all they can do. But they do it well. Noah Roper averages 195 a game on the ground but they Bears defense can isolate him, they'll have a winning formula on their hands.
Check The Forecast: Palmer Ridge has had great weather for all post season long and that's the case for Saturday at Falcon Stadium. It bodes well for Evans and his arm to have a big day.