After the first round of the Class 2A playoffs, the number of teams chasing a state championship was cut in half. Now into the quarterfinals, the final eight squads will battle it out to move on to next week’s semifinals.

With a few teams scoring upsets last week, there are a couple of top seeds that will have to hit the road for their games. Eaton and Delta have been solid at home and on the road this year, so it may not matter in the end, but teams like Elizabeth and University will try and take advantage of playing at home.

Here is a quick rundown of all four 2A playoff games contested this weekend.



#1 Eaton (10-0) at #9 Elizabeth (8-2) 

As the top seed, Eaton still has to travel to Elizabeth for its 2A quarterfinals showdown. The two programs have never met in the postseason but they did clash earlier this season with Eaton getting a 31-7 win. Ethan Florez dominated that matchup, rushing for 160 yards and a touchdown. His availability might be in question as he has not played since the Oct. 21 win against Severance. Despite the big 45-6 win over Kent Denver last weekend, his absence in the running game was noticeable. The Reds rushed for just 129 yards with Walker Martin leading the way with 60. Eaton’s defense has been tough to score on all year, but if the Cardinals can slow down the Reds on offense, it could make for a tougher battle than they had hoped for.

Elizabeth’s offensive focus will also be on the ground game. Sophomore Cooper Connelly has had a nice season, leading the team with 656 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. The Cardinals don’t have a true go-to on offense as Jace Perez also has over 600 rushing yards and he has found the end zone nine times this year. The Cardinals beat Bayfield in the first round of the state playoffs and after going on the road last week, the Cardinals get the benefit of playing at home in the quarterfinals.


#4 Delta (9-1) at #12 University (6-4)

Delta is looking to get back to the 2A semifinals for the third straight season. The Panthers rolled to a 45-14 win over Alamosa in the first round of the playoffs. By getting a big lead early, they took a lot of the pressure of freshman quarterback Ty Reed, who threw just seven passing attempts all game. Instead, Delta leaned heavily on running back Timothy Horn, who broke for 165 rushing yards and three touchdowns. That is now Horn’s fifth consecutive 100-plus yard rushing performance and the third time in five games that he has gone over 160. Delta will likely keep feeding him the ball if the continued result is to keep winning.

University came onto the bracket as a tough No. 12 seed. They showed how tough with a 28-14 win over No. 5 Moffat County. Greg Garza completed less than 40 percent of his passes but still threw for 166 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing with 132 yards and one touchdown. Kanon Padilla and Jacob Cruz each recorded interceptions, which is a sign that the Bulldogs are well prepared to defend a potential Reed air attack. The defense also recorded four sacks so they’ll have no problem trying to pressure the freshman when they need to.


#7 Brush (8-2) at #2 Resurrection Christian (8-1)

Both Brush and Resurrection Christian are coming off big wins in the first round of the 2A playoffs. For Brush, it was its first playoff win wince 2015 when it beat Moffat County 48-27. The Beetdiggers got off to a fast start against the Longhorns, taking a 23-3 lead at halftime. Alejandro Maltos-Garcia completed just five passes for 126 yards and three touchdowns. Cesar Hinojos paced the ground game with 108 yards and a touchdown. Ty Griffith rushed for two scores, making the offensive attack well-balanced and effective. The Beetdiggers also forced two turnovers last week which will be crucial if they went to get a win over the Cougars.

The 2A state championship has eluded Resurrection Christian since the program moved up back in 2016. The Cougars have reached the semifinals four years in a row but have yet to reach the state championship game. If last week’s win over La Junta is any indication, the Cougars are on a bit of a mission. They rushed for over 400 yards on offense with Cade Dunlap and Eddie Lemos each going for over 100 yards and two touchdowns apiece. Lemos also had perhaps his best passing performance of the season, complete all five of his passing attempts for 122 yards and three touchdowns. The postseason season clash between Brush an Rez Christian will be the first playoff game between the two programs. 


#6 Severance (8-2) at #3 Classical Academy (9-0)

In just its second year as a program, Severance not only advanced to the playoffs, but won its first-ever playoff game. The Silver Knights took down Platte Valley 35-7. They had beaten the Broncos 17-14 earlier in the year. Nolan Hertzke had a steady game with 119 passing yards and a touchdown. Jake Shorb rushed for 130 yards and two scores. The offense was good, but the where the Silver Knights really shined was on the defensive side of the ball. They recorded nine sacks and Trevin Hull and Alex Rolf each picked off a pass. Overall the defense caused four turnovers which is an effective way to win playoff games. 

TCA is another team that has been unable to get its hands on a state football title. In the last three appearances in the 2A postseason, the Titans have failed to advance past the quarterfinals making this week a very important game for the program. In last week’s win over Northfield, Cade Palmer rushed for 102 yards. The team scored two rushing touchdowns and Sam Guilez threw for one. Chase Keller stepped up defensively to grab a pick-six. The Titans have been one of the most dominant 2A programs this season and last week’s win just showed they intend to be just as dominant in the playoffs. Considering this is Severance’s first postseason appearance, this is the first time the two programs will meet in the playoffs. It will actually be the first time the two programs have ever played each other at all.