“This is the end…. my only friend, the end.”
Well, this is it kids…. the end of the regular season for 4A and 3A teams. The postseason begins next week so this is THE last chance to get into the playoffs or not.
Game Of The Week – DISCOVERY CANYON (8-1, RPI #4) vs. PALMER RIDGE (7-2, RPI #9): It all comes down to this game Friday night, literally. Winner of this contest wins the 3A Central league and is guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. Good thing for both of these teams is the likelihood of both of these teams advancing is high due to record and RPI (bet DCC is really regretting that loss to LP two weeks ago) so seeding becomes the most important. As for the game itself, the edge has to go to Palmer Ridge on paper: winners of six in a row, top recruited quarterback, offense putting up almost 400 points in nine games and they are playing at home. DCC is going to to need to play excellent on defense to hang with the Bears. But what’s that? The Thunder ply defense well? And score at a solid clip and are statistically similar to Palmer Ridge? You don’t say… Two different offenses for sure but the Thunder’s triple wing rushing attack has only been stopped once this season and it’s hard to wrangle. No matter who wins Friday night, don’t be surprised to see these two again in the playoffs.
RAMPART (7-2, RPI #15) vs. PUEBLO WEST (7-2, RPI #10): Simply said for Rampart – win and you’re in, lose and you better pray for help. As of publishing this, Rampart is sitting 15th in the 4A RPI (16 seed bracket) so if they lose on Friday night, they could drop out of the top 16 and miss the playoffs… easy enough, right? Beat the Cyclones, win the 4A Southern 2 League and secure your spot. Maybe not…. Pueblo West is undefeated at home since dropping their opener back in August and are averaging 47 points scored in league play. Rampart will need every bit of their running attack to stand toe to toe with the Cyclones.
DURANGO (6-3, RPI #6) vs. PUEBLO EAST (7-2, RPI #3): After Pueblo South beat Central on Thursday night, the South Central League could shake out to be veeeeerrry interesting if Pueblo East loses to Durango. The Eagles are currently undefeated in league play, South finished 4-1 and Durango has one loss in league. If Durango beats East, all three teams will finish 4-1 (Durango and East would have the same overall record, too). If that happens, break out the tie breakers! South beat Durango last week on the road, East topped the Colts in the Canon Game, so if Durango were to beat East……. it could get complicated. Everything will come down to if the Demons can stop Kain Medrano and Luc Andrada: do that and no problem. But East has deep reserves in Marvin London, Noah Rivera and Patrick Gonzales. Pick your poison at the Dutch on Friday night.
5A Playoffs – #18 DOHERTY (5-5) vs. #15 HIGHLANDS RANCH (3-7): The Spartans retooling of their non-conference schedule worked out in their favor this time around and they are back in the playoffs. As the 18th seed, not much is expected but that’s the benefit of the lower seeded teams – no one sees them coming. Highlands Ranch is a beatable team for Doherty (lost 3 of their last 4) and only won once at home in 2018. If Doherty plays like they did vs. Fountain-Fort Carson to end the regular season, The Spartans will have a second round match up waiting for them vs. Columbine next week.
1A Playoffs – #13 MONTE VISTA (5-4) vs. #4 COLORADO SPRINGS CHRISTIAN SCHOOL (8-1): The Lions have all the makings of a team that can make a deep run in the playoffs: strong defense, good running game and confidence to back it up. CSCS has won seven in a row entering Friday night (only loss is to undefeated Peyton), undefeated at home and allowed just six points in the final four games. SIX. Incredible. Defense wins championships and the Lions is stingy.
5A Playoffs -#19 Fountain-Fort Carson vs. #14 Castle View
2A Playoffs – #13 Berthoud vs. #4 La Junta
1A Playoffs – #12 Wray vs. #5 Florence
1A Playoffs – #15 Platte Canyon vs. #2 Peyton
4A – Mesa Ridge (5-4, RPI #23) vs. Grand Junction Central (6-3, RPI #11)
4A – Air Academy (6-3, RPI #20) vs. Liberty (0-9, RPI #42)
3A – Mitchell (2-7, RPI #41) vs. Harrison (9-0, RPI #7)
Dakota Ridge 34, Golden 17
George Washington 28, Conifer 22
Lewis-Palmer 50, Littleton 7
Pine Creek 41, Vista Ridge 21
Pueblo South 48, Pueblo Central 12
Standley Lake 55, Centaurus 19