Previewing the 2A, 1A and 8-man football championship games

(Pam Wagner)

Faith Christian will play at Platte Valley for the 2A championship. (Pam Wagner)

Class 2A

No. 4 Faith Christian (10-2) at No. 3 Platte Valley (10-1)
1 p.m. Saturday at Platte Valley HS

Faith Christian, mind you, started the 2013 season 2-2. Yes, it was a tough schedule -- three of those four teams made the postseason in their respective classifications. The fourth just missed the field.

Still, Faith wasn't exactly championship-game material four games into the season. Now, following eight-straight wins, the Eagles are. Saturday, they will play in the title game for the fifth time in school history. Faith Christian has won in each of the four previous trips (2009, 2006, 2004 and 1998).

Faith got to this point largely on the back of junior Daniel Langewisch, who has rushed for 1,557 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. Sophomore Adam Buchmann has 821 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, while senior Jonas Spitzer has 535 and eight.

Defensively, senior lineman Connor McCain has a team-high 80 tackles, nine tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks.

McCain and his teammates will have to deal with Platte Valley quarterback Logan Sitzman, who has thrown for 10 touchdowns and 1,478 yards while rushing for 16 scores and 1,056 yards.

"They've got a different style of offense, that's for sure, so we've got a lot of late nights ahead of us to try and prepare to stop them," Faith Christian coach Blair Hubbard told's Scoreboard Show on Saturday.

Platte Valley has also won eight games in a row. The Broncos have been to the championship game three times before, including a loss to Kent Denver last season. Platte Valley also won in 2007 and lost in 2006.

"I think their record may have been a little deceiving to some, because their two losses were to Holy Family to Kent Denver -- a playoff team in 3A, and a playoff team in 2A," Platte Valley coach Troy Hoffman told the Scoreboard Show of Faith Christian. "I think they had to kind of learn their offense and get going. They're doing what we've been doing: they're peaking at the right time. It's going to be a lot of fun up in Kersey.

"That's a program that consistently wins every year. We want to match with that. That's what we want to be," Hoffman added. "But I'm very proud -- Platte Valley's been in the finals now four times in the last eight years. I think we have a program that's reaching some of that respect, as well."

Class 1A

No. 3 Centauri (11-1) at No. 4 Paonia (11-1)
1 p.m. Saturday at Paonia Town Park

Paonia was last in a championship game in 1962. It hasn't won a championship since capturing what was then Class A in 1959. Centauri has never even appeared in a title game. The school opened in Jan. 1965.

So some sort of  history will be made in the 1A title game on Saturday.

The game will be a rematch of Centauri's 27-14 win on Sept. 14. That's Paonia's only loss this season.

"It's like a storybook, really," Paonia coach Brent McRae told the Scoreboard Show. "It's a rematch, and (Centauri) coach (Kyle) Forster is going to have his kids ready, because he's a great coach and Centauri's a great team. It's going to be a fun day."

Sophomore Taylor Walters leads Paonia's rushing attack with 24 touchdowns and 1,813 yards. Senior Will Austin has 1,376 yards and seven touchdowns.

Centauri is led by the trio of Jason Buhr, Jareb Aziz and KC Jarvies. Buhr, a senior, has 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns rushing and 562 yards and six touchdowns receiving. Aziz, a junior, has 15 total touchdowns. Jarvies, the team's quarterback, has thrown for 1,725 yards and 19 touchdowns.

"We're ready to play this," Forster told the Scoreboard Show. "This was a goal we had, shoot, 14 weeks ago. It's come true. Now, we're just going to have to go in and play our best, because Paonia is playing their best football of the year right now, too. It's going to be a real big dog fight."

Of the rematch, Forster said they wouldn't take much away from the earlier win and added, "We're going to have to really step up our game. Like I said, they're playing some of the best football across the state."


No. 2 Dayspring Christian (12-0) at No. 5 Caliche (11-1)
1 p.m. Saturday at Caliche HS

Dayspring Christian beat Caliche 38-15 on Oct. 18.  But, "You know what?" Dayspring coach Mick Holmes told the Scoreboard Show on Saturday. "That doesn't mean anything."

"They actually did not play a really good game against us the first time," Holmes said. "The pressure's on us: It's harder to beat somebody twice than it is the first time. It's just difficult. Plus, I know their head coach (Paul Zink), and he'll have them ready. It should be a good game."

Still, Holmes' Eagles will be the favorite on Saturday, if for no other reason than the fact that they are still unbeaten.

Junior quarterback Kylar Mai is a do-everything guy for Daypsring. He has 19 passing touchdowns -- and 35 on the ground. He's thrown for 1,311 yards and rushed for 2,013. His 3,343 total yards (including 19 receiving) are second in the state, regardless of classification.

He's had help, though: Senior Ty Eichman has 923 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing, and also 566 yards and seven scores receiving.

Caliche is led by senior Mitch Davidson, who has rushed for 15 touchdowns. Austin Yahn, Chase Debus and Austin Zink each have five rushing scores.