Four Southern Colorado schools will battle for a spot in their respective state championship games Saturday.
In a season that has been truly unprecedented, Palmer Ridge, Fountain-Fort Carson, Pueblo South, and Lamar have all withstood the difficulties relating to the COVID-19 pandemic to move within a victory of their ultimate goal.
"We can't afford to lose," Bears senior wide receiver Kaden Dudley said. "We tell each other seven more days, I think that's the best thing we say. We're not worried about next week or the things we've done in the past, we're worried about seven more days knowing it's the week that we're in."
From a previously postponed season to having to quarantine, a shortened football campaign, and an eight-team postseason, the fact these programs are still standing says as much as their ability to come together off the field as what they've been able to do on it.
"All the effort we put in in the off-season, it's a great feeling knowing that we're in the semifinals and have another chance to play a football game," Colts junior quarterback Jace Bellah said.
All three games kickoff at 1 p.m. Saturday with the winners moving on to next week's title games at CSU-Pueblo's Thunderbowl.