Football postseason preview: 2A, 1A, 8-man and 6-man first round games

CSU-Pueblo ThunderBowl Stadium

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

The state football playoffs are underway this week. Each bracket consists of eight teams with quarterfinals taking place this week before semifinals are played next week, ahead of the state championship games, all of which will be played at Colorado State University Pueblo.

With four games in all seven classifications, here is a breakdown of this week's small-school matchups:

Class 2A

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(8) Moffat County at (1) Resurrection Christian

(Photo: Jeremy Whitlock)

Date and time: Nov. 21, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: Scoring on Resurrection Christian (5-0) this year has been tougher than difficult. It's been impossible. The Cougars have allowed zero points all season and scored at least 32 in each game. Will Schrotenboer has been solid under center, tossing 11 touchdown passes this year.

Despite stumbling in its season opener, Moffat County (4-1) has played solid football and rattled off four straight wins to end the regular season. Caleb Frink is responsible for 753 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns.

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(5) Eaton at (4) Pagosa Springs

(@PagosaAthletics/Twitter)

Date and time: Nov. 21, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: A traditionally strong slate of 2A opponents didn't stop Pagosa Springs (5-0) from ending the regular season undefeated. Dylan Tressler averaged over 200 rushing yards per game to end with a total of 1,052. Grant Aucoin led the team with eight rushing touchdowns.

Eaton (4-2) suffered a couple of losses, but both were to 2A playoff teams. The team showed a diverse rushing attack as three players have rushed for over 400 yards and scored at least six touchdowns each.

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(7) Lamar at (2) Sterling

Elizabeth Lamar football

(Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)

Date and time: Nov. 21, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: Sterling (5-0) begins its state championship defense after an undefeated regular season. The Tigers have been tough on defense, totaling 13 turnovers in their five games.

Lamar (5-1) had high expectations coming into the 2020 season and making the playoffs was a big part of that. Zane Rankin leads a balanced offense where he has thrown for 1,178 yards and 13 touchdowns while rushing for 417 yards and six scores.

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(6) Delta at (3) Platte Valley

(Barry Smith)

Date and time: Nov. 21, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: Platte Valley (5-1) missed out on the 2020 state title game after getting there back in 2019. The Broncos have looked strong this year with their only loss coming at the hands of Sterling. Kade McDaniel has thrown for 890 yards and eight touchdowns while rushing for 600 yards and eight touchdowns.

Delta (4-1) was last year's runner-up, but the Panthers lost star quarterback Nolan Bynum three weeks ago. Nathan Scharnhorst, previously a receiver, has completed 14 of 23 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns in the past two games, while also rushing for three scores. Timothy Horn (436 yards rushing, two touchdowns) is also a focal point of the offense.

Class 1A

1A football playoff bracket

• • •

(8) Holyoke at (1) Limon

(Courtesy of Limon HS)

Date and time: Nov. 21, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: Same story, different year for the Badgers (4-0), who are looking for a third straight title. Kory Tacha and Jeremiah Leeper have been a force for Limon, combining for 1,006 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.

Holyoke (5-1) will head into the game with some revenge on its mind. The Dragons lost to Limon 15-7 in last year's semifinals. Miles Sprague ended the season rushing for 10 touchdowns and throwing for four more.

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(5) Hotchkiss at (4) Wray

(Photo: Matt Hall)

Date and time: Nov. 21, 12 p.m.

Breakdown: There was a lot of diversity on the schedule this year for Wray (5-1). The Eagles beat Niwot but lost to Platte Valley. They also went undefeated against the 1A teams they played. Tyler Collins threw for over 1,000 yards and nearly added 1,000 rushing yards to his offensive effort this season.

Hotchkiss (6-0) put together a list of impressive wins en route to ending the regular season undefeated. The Bulldogs average over 300 rushing yards per game as a team and Mordecai White carries the bulk of that load, averaging 102.8 yards per game. He has also scored 10 rushing touchdowns this year.

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(7) Meeker at (2) Strasburg

Strasburg Jefferson football

(Austin Hogan-McCool)

Date and time: Nov. 20, 7 p.m.

Breakdown: Perhaps no one was better defensively as a team than Strasburg (6-0). Through six games, Strasburg allowed a total of zero points. The team wasn't bad offensively either as Cam Russell threw 13 touchdown passes through the course of the season.

A lot of lopsided wins defined Meeker's (5-1) season. The Cowboys' lone loss was a 14-8 nailbiter against Hotchkiss. Jeremy Woodward and Kelton Turner each ran for over 500 yards and scored at least seven rushing touchdowns apiece.

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(6) Centauri at (3) Florence

(Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)

Date and time: Nov. 21, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: With a ground heavy attack, Florence (5-0) looks like it could make some noise in the 1A field. Owen Busetti and Jacob Kennedy have combined for over 800 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.

Centauri (6-0) ran the table in the regular season and shouldn't be counted out of any game until the buzzer sounds. Mason Claunch has rushed for 870 yards and a staggering 21 touchdowns.

8-man

8-man football playoff bracket

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(8) Crowley County at (1) Sedgwick County

Date and time: Nov. 21, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: Sedgwick County (6-0) begins its hunt for a sixth straight state title. The Cougars have been sound on both sides of the ball, outscoring their opponents 296-50 this year.

Crowley County (3-1) started the season off with three big wins before running into Flower the last game of the regular season. Senior Adam Schultz has averaged 205 rushing yards per game this year and has scored nine touchdowns.

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(5) Rangely at (4) Dove Creek

Date and time: Nov. 21, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: A promising run through the regular season has made Dove Creek (4-1) a team that shouldn't be ignored. Gage Bailey leads the Bulldogs in rushing yards (716) while Gauge Thompson leads them in rushing touchdowns (8).

Rangely (6-0) also looked impressive this year, giving up no more than 12 points in any game. Zane Varner's 920 total rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns have been a big reason for the Panthers success on offense.

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(7) Mancos at (2) Sanford

Date and time: Nov. 21, 1:30 p.m.

Breakdown: Of the five games on Sanford's (5-0) schedule this year, only Dove Creek made the playoffs. Still, Sanford won the game 36-12, giving every indication it is ready for a state title run.

Mancos (3-1) also played Dove Creek earlier this year, but the 18-14 loss to the Bulldogs was the lone game in which the Bluejays didn't score 50 points. Chase Moore has carried the ball 72 times for 791 yards and 14 touchdowns this season.

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(6) Merino at (3) Fowler

Date and time: Nov. 21, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: After reaching the state title game in 2019, Fowler (6-0) is anxious to make another run. Both Damian Romero and Jackson Bates have rushed for at least 400 yards and five touchdowns each.

Each of Merino's (5-1) wins this season came by at least two scores. The Rams played their regular season finale on Nov. 6 and lost to Sedgwick County 32-0.

6-man

6-man football playoff bracket

• • •

(8) Kit Carson at (1) Fleming

Date and time: Nov. 21, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: Fleming (5-0) has been a wrecking ball for most of the season. The team had surrendered fewer than 20 points each game this season, at least until they had to grind out a 49-44 win over Granada last week. Chris Goss, Charles Hobbs and Nolan Japp have combined for 17 rushing touchdowns this year.

Kit Carson (3-1) rebounded from its lone loss of the season on Oct. 24 with a 40-20 win over Hi-Plains last Friday. Kit Carson was the No. 1 seed in last year's tournament, but fell to Fleming 68-52 in the semifinals.

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(5) Eads at (4) Granada

Date and time: Nov. 21, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: Despite closing the regular season with a loss to Fleming, Granada (5-1) had a strong 2020 campaign. Dominic Coleman finished the year throwing for 1,137 yards and 25 touchdowns.

Although Eads (3-2) suffered a couple of losses in the regular season, they came against two of 6-man's top three teams. Damien Barnes leads the Eagles with 801 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.

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(7) Briggsdale at (2) Stratton/Liberty

Date and time: Nov. 21, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: By the time Stratton/Liberty (4-0) takes the field on Saturday, it will have been nearly a month since it saw action on the field. In the first three games of the season, the Knighted Eagles scored at least 62 points and gave up an average of just over 15.

Briggsdale (3-1) has looked solid all year and its only loss of the year was by three points to Prairie. Malik Carlson has been a threat in passing, rushing and receiving and totaled 671 yards of total offense in just three games.

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(6) Prairie at (3) Cheyenne Wells

Date and time: Nov. 20, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: On paper, Cheyenne Wells (5-0) looks like the biggest challenger to Fleming. The Tigers scored at least 42 points each game and surrendered no more than 38 in a single contest.

Prairie (5-1) has put together a solid resumé this season with its only loss coming to Fleming. Andy Long threw for an average of 178.2 yards per game and also threw 19 touchdown passes.