Football roundup: Smoky Hill wins first playoff game since 1991

Smoky Hill Overland football

More photos. (Jack Eberhard/

Smoky Hill hill stormed through the regular season unbeaten for the second consecutive year. And now, the Buffaloes have their first playoff win since 1991.

Smoky, the No. 11 seed in the Class 5A football playoffs, beat No. 22 Overland 48-6 behind a huge day from star running back Obasanjo Sanni, who had five touchdowns.

"It was just a total team effort, all the way down to our kicker. Our defense played great," said Smoky Hill coach Tom Thenell told the Scoreboard Show. "No. 44 (Sanni) was terrific early. The offensive line kind of knew that if 44 had a chance, some good things were going to happen."

It is Smoky Hill's first postseason win since they beat Denver West in the 1991 6A playoffs.

"It was a lot of fun for the school," Thenell said. "These kids, a year ago we got respect in our own community and respect in our own hallways, and this year they were out to try to get the respect of people on the outside. I think after tonight, we have done that."

Smoky has finished each of the past two seasons 10-0 under Tom Thenell, who is now in his second year at the school.

"People knew that when two years ago we first showed up over here, we were ranked 40th out of 40 in MaxPreps," Thenell said. "And that's no longer the case."

3A: (2) Mead 27, (6) Frederick 20

In perhaps the game of the night which was a battle of unbeaten teams, Mead rallied from down 17-12 at half to get the win and secure the Northern Metro League title.

"That was the No. 1 atmosphere that I've ever been a part of," Mead coach Jason Klatt told the Scoreboard Show. "Just a fun night. Two communities coming together."

Both teams entered 9-0, and 4-0 in the Northern Metro.

The game featured three lead changes in the first half, and then Mead took a 20-17 lead in the third quarter when Brady Veltien found Brayden Keys for a touchdown on fourth down.

Frederick tied the game at 20 with a field goal, but Mead drove down and scored early in the fourth to go ahead for good.

"Just a ton of resolve a group of Mavericks, and I'm proud to be a part of it," Klatt said.

Mead, No. 2 in the coaches poll, is likely to earn the No. 1 seed in the 3A playoffs when the brackets are unveiled on Sunday after this week's No. 1 Palmer Ridge lost Discovery Canyon on Thursday.

"We don't care," Klatt said of seeding. "If they get us in the tourney, we'll take it. We don't care about rankings or any of that stuff. There's a lot of good teams out there, and we're fortunate to be a part of that mix."

5A: (15) Arapahoe 17, (18) Castle View 7

Arapahoe Castle View football

More photos. (Matt Minton)

Arapahoe avenged a loss in the regular season to advance to the second round of the 5A playoffs.

"It was much-improved from where we were earlier this season," Arapahoe coach Rod Sherman told the Scoreboard Show. "We played them earlier, and we gave up 400-plus yards of offense, and our guys have improved. Playing in the gauntlet of the Centennial League exposes your weaknesses and gives you a chance to improve." 

Arapahoe is now 7-4, the program's highest win total since 2015.

"I think we've just grown up a little bit," said Sherman, now in his second year helming the Warriors. "Last year was our first year at Arapahoe. There was some culture change that was necessary. Our kids really bought in last year, but they needed an offseason."

The game was a rematch of a Week 2 meeting between the teams, which Castle View won 23-13.

4A: (3) Vista PEAK 35, Fruita Monument 21

Vista PEAK rallied from down 21-15 at the half to score 20 unanswered points and finish off its first undefeated regular season in school history.

Ja'derris Carr-Kersh led the way with four rushing touchdowns, including a 71-yarder. Monty Hamrick also had rushing score for the Bison as they clinched the Pioneer League title.

"We came out and shut them out the second half, and the offense kind of got rolling," Vista PEAK coach John Sullivan told the Scoreboard Show. "We wore them down a little bit."

Of the rushing attack, Sullivan added: "We have a pretty good trio in the backfield with our No. 1 Ja'derris Carr, who's really fast, and we have a couple of bruisers back there who love to block, and when they get the ball in their hands, they also can do some damage. But it all starts with our hogs up front, that took it to heart that this game was on them — both sides of the ball, actually. Our D-Line, as well."

Vista PEAK, now 10-0, awaits seeding on Sunday.

"Last year, we started a ton of sophomores that were very talented, and we knew that if we had a great summer, and hit the weight room like we did, that we could do some damage in our league for sure," Sullivan said. "It was one of our goals to go 10-0 and win the league, for sure, but I think we can do a little bit more, too."

5A: (13) Highlands Ranch 59, (20) Doherty 7

Highlands Ranch cruised into the second round with a big offensive performance.

"Our kids played exceptionally well," Highlands Ranch coach TJ Rubley told the Scoreboard Show. "It was truly one of those all-cylinder type games on offense for us."

4A: (9) Ponderosa 26, (10) Heritage 14

Heritage Ponderosa football

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Ponderosa won the Metro League title with come-from-behind win where the Mustangs went ahead late in the fourth quarter.

"Tonight was a prime example of we're not going to quit when we get some adversity, and we're just going to keep fighting," coach Jaron Cohen told the Scoreboard Show.

5A: (19) Mountain Vista 24, (14) Mullen 16

Mountain Vista trailed 6-0 early, but after taking a 7-6 lead in the first quarter, didn't trail again.

Grant Shells had an interception return for a touchdown, Jacob Barrett threw a TD to Carter Ortega, and Mountain Vista's defense held firm to pull off the upset.


  • In the 6-man quarterfinals, Fleming rolled to a 66-6 win over Prairie.
  • Skyline beat No. 7 Loveland 20-15 to win the 4A Longs Peak title. "It was a little too close for comfort, but they found a way and played hard," coach Michael Silva told the Scoreboard Show.
  • Thomas Jefferson knocked off 3A No. 9 Lutheran, 27-13.
  • Erie upset 3A No. 10 Fort Morgan, 30-27. "We have talent, we have great coaches, and we were able to figure some stuff out there after a rocky start," coach Chad Cooper told the Scoreboard Show.

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