Football playoff preview: Class 2A, 1A, 8-man and 6-man semifinals

CSU-Pueblo ThunderBowl Stadium

(Ryan Casey/

After a thrilling week of Colorado playoff football games, teams roll into semifinals this weekend. With upsets in nearly every small-school classification, intriguing matchups have been set as teams prepare to earn a chance to get to the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl in Pueblo to compete for state football championships.

Here is a look at the semifinal games for the small-school games this weekend.

Class 2A

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(1) Resurrection Christian at (5) Eaton

Resurrection Christian Moffat County football

(David Johnson/

Date and time: Nov. 28, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: After five games of not surrendering a point, Resurrection Christian finally allowed a couple of touchdowns to their opponent. The Cougars (6-0) still got a 40-14 win over Moffat County to move on to the 1A semifinals where they'll travel to Eaton.

Will Schrotenboer threw for 281 yards and four touchdowns last weekend and the Cougars still rushed for 177 yards as a team presenting a very dangerous and balanced offense.

Eaton traveled to Pagosa Springs and got a big 41-7 win over the Pirates to earn the right to host its semifinal game. In order to keep that dangerous Rez offense off the field, Eaton (5-2) will have to lean on its rushing attack. That's how the team grabbed its upset win over the Pirates.

Ethan Florez rushed for 121 yards and three scores while Scott Grable added 84 yards and another rushing touchdown.

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(7) Lamar at (6) Delta

Delta Sterling football

(Paul Shepardson)

Date and time: Nov. 28, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: With both teams coming off big upset wins last weekend, the second 2A semifinal brings about an intriguing matchup. Lamar's shifty quarterback Zane Rankin has shown he has the athleticism to lead his team to something like a win over the defending 2A champs. He rushed for 117 and a touchdown as Lamar (6-1) knocked off Sterling 14-6.

Jesus Reyes led Lamar with 123 rushing yards. Rankin threw a total of one pass in the course of the game and it fell incomplete.

Without Nolan Bynum, Delta was able to travel to Platte Valley and get a 38-6 win over the Broncos. Timothy Horn rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns in the effort. The Panthers (5-1) advanced to the 2A title game a year ago but ultimately lost to Sterling.

A win over Lamar would give them another shot to claim that elusive state championship.

Class 1A

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(4) Wray at (1) Limon

(Paul Soriano)

Date and time: Nov. 28, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: Limon's quest for a third straight state title is alive after a big 41-15 win over Holyoke in the 1A quarterfinals. Trey Hines completed four of his five passing attempts for 89 yards and a touchdown. The Badgers (5-0) were very balanced on the ground as four players rushed for at least 40 yards.

Kory Tacha and Jeremiah Leeper each ran for 63 yards and a touchdown. Tacha caught Hines' touchdown pass.

Wray trailed 7-0 after the first quarter last weekend, but a 24-point second quarter sparked the Eagles (6-1) to a 38-13 win over Hotchkiss.

Tyler Collins was outstanding running the ball as he amassed 203 yards and scored four touchdowns. He'll try to counter Limon's ground game on Saturday.

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(2) Strasburg at (6) Centauri

(Barry Smith)

Date and time: Nov. 28, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: Second-seeded Strasburg received quite the fight from No. 7 Meeker in the 1A quarterfinals. Strasburg (7-0) came out victorious and we have to refocus their efforts on a Centauri team that upset a solid Florence squad.

Trystan Graf led the ground effort for Strasburg by rushing for 94 yards and two touchdowns. The team totaled five rushing touchdowns in the win over Meeker.

While Florence had two standout backs in Owen Busetti and Jacob Kennedy, Mason Claunch was more than up to the task of carrying the offensive load for the Falcons (7-0). Centauri came away with the 20-17 lead which now earns them a home game in the 1A semifinals.

The Falcons have outscored their opponents 368-32 this year and can certainly claim their second upset win in a row this weekend.


8-man football playoff bracket

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(4) Dove Creek at (1) Sedgwick County

Date and time: Nov. 28, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: Sedgwick County liked right at home in its playoff opener. The Cougars (7-0) have not lost a playoff game since Nov. 1, 2014 and are playing like they intend to keep that streak going into 2021.

The Cougars have won consecutive games, the most in the state. They, of course, are seeking a sixth-straight state title — something done only once before, by Limon, from 1963-68.

Dove Creek got off a strong star in its playoff opener against Rangely and rode it to a 30-12 win to advance to the semifinals. In order to take down Sedgwick County the Bulldogs (5-1) will have to lean on the combined rushing attack of Chorbin Cressler and Gage Bailey.

The duo each rushed for at least 120 yards and a touchdown in the win over Rangely and will try to carry that momentum into the semifinals.

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(2) Sanford at (6) Merino

Date and time: Nov. 28, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: Sanford (6-0) opened the playoffs with a 36-28 win over Mancos, a game that was probably a bit closer than it had hoped for. The 28 points for Mancos was the most points Sanford has given up all year so the defense will look to clamp down as it hits the road this week.

Merino pulled off the stunner of the week when it knocked off Fowler, last year's state runner-up. The 22-6 win over the Grizzlies was the lone upset in the 8-man bracket and adjust the home game slate as the Rams (6-1) will play host to Sanford on Saturday.


6-man football playoff bracket

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(4) Granada at (1) Fleming

Date and time: Nov. 28, 1 p.m.

This game will be live on the NFHS Network

Breakdown: Following a big 58-14 win over Kit Carson, the defending 6-man champions are back into the state semifinals. Kade Comstock completed just three passes for 88 yards, but two of them went for touchdowns. Chris Goss and Charles Hobbs each went for over 100 rushing yards and they both scored two touchdowns for the Wildcats.

It was a much better game than what the tandem did against Granada in the final regular season. They combined for 166 rushing yards, although they did each score two touchdowns in the 49-44 win.

Granada had a bit more trouble with Eads than Fleming did with Kit Carson. The Bobcats got the 44-35 win thanks in big part to a 22-point second quarter. They'll get another crack at Fleming after having one of the best overall performances against the defending champions.

Dominic Coleman threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns while John Hainer ran for a blistering 219 yards and four scores.

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(3) Cheyenne Wells at (2) Stratton/Liberty

Date and time: Nov. 28, 1 p.m.

Breakdown: Stratton/Liberty returns to the semifinals following a comfortable 59-38 win over Briggsdale. Sophomore Alex Cruz ran for 108 yards and a touchdown while catching three passes for 51 yards and a touchdown.

He'll be key for the Knighted Eagles (5-0) if they plan on returning to the 6-man state title game.

Cheyenne Wells took full advantage of playing at home, getting a 43-22 win over Prairie in the quarterfinals. The Tigers (6-0) are a run-heavy team that will rely on Evan Worely who has averaged over nine yards per carry for the bulk of the year.

They're also averaging 53 points per game making them one of the top offensive units left on the bracket.