The opening round of the six-man playoffs saw two upsets, one major and one minor. This weekend’s quarterfinals will see a pair of regular season rematches, involving both of the teams that won on the road last week.


The top-seeded Knighted Eagles had little trouble dispatching #16 Briggsdale last week, 52-6. Stratton/Liberty led 33-0 after one quarter and 46-6 at the half. Four players combined to complete seven of eight passes for 74 yards and three touchdowns. Tyson Lichty hit on all three of his attempts, gaining 35 yards and accounting for two of the scoring tosses. Jacob McCormick gained 89 yards on three carries, scoring twice, as the team piled up 282 yards on the ground. Phillip Pickard returned a punt for a score and also hauled in a TD pass.
For Otis, they went on the road and won a track meet with #8 Genoa-Hugo, 89-70. The 159 combined points made it the third highest scoring game in state history, right behind a 94-69 victory by Woodlin over Pawnee in 2005. Just like the Bulldogs, the winning team in that game was coached by Paul Griese and Tim Hunt. Bryce Miracle rushed for 309 yards and six TDs and also threw another touchdown, and Tate Goble added 136 yards and two scores rushing. Goble also tallied a receiving TD and two more on kick returns. He had 309 yards on six returns. Otis gave up close to 600 yards of offense to the Pirates, 484 on the ground. Caid Smith recorded 381 those.
This is one of the regular season rematches on the slate this round. Stratton/Liberty took a 63-6 win over the Bulldogs three weeks ago when both were undefeated. The Knighted Eagles led that contest 48-6 at the half and they outgained Otis 307-15 on the ground. McCormick went for 151 yards and four scores on 10 rushing attempts, while Miracle was held to 17 yards and one TD on four carries.


Cheyenne Wells had its fill of Hanover in the first quarter of last week’s opening round, only leading the #13 Hornets 12-6. Over the next 30 minutes, the Tigers had their way, racing to a 58-18 victory. Quade Pelton completed 10 of 14 passes for 165 yards and four touchdowns, and ran for another 104 yards and three scores in the victory. Wyatt Fishler led the team with 126 rushing yards, while also catching five passes for 51 yards. He scored four touchdowns, two rushing and two receiving. The defense forced five turnovers, four of them fumbles.
North Park found itself in first half shootout with #12 Sierra Grande in the opening round. The Wildcats led 47-28 at the half, as the teams combined for 55 second quarter points. North Park would nearly shut out the Panthers in the second half, limiting them to a single tally in the fourth quarter of what would become a 65-34 victory. Blayden Fletcher ran for 228 yards and three scores as the Wildcats outgained the Panthers 314-69 on the ground. Austin Bertron threw for 137 yards and three TDs, two to Bryce Carlstrom and the other to Fletcher. The Wildcats added two touchdowns on special teams, with Fletcher returning a kick-off for one and Nic Martin blocking a punt and recovering it in the end zone for the other.
This will be the second straight year that Cheyenne Wells and North Park play in the postseason. The Tigers won last year’s opening round game in Walden, 53-0. With consecutive home games to open the playoffs, Cheyenne Wells cannot host a semifinal game. The Tigers would be on the road with a win this week. Meanwhile, North Park won the coin flip with both Otis and Stratton/Liberty, giving the Wildcats a home game in the semis if they win this week.

#3 PEETZ (7-1) AT #11 FLEMING (4-5) SATURDAY 1PM

Peetz and Eads have met in four of the last five postseasons, with the Bulldogs making it an even split after downing the Eagles 58-8 last week. Peetz had the mercy clock rolling by half, leading 45-0. They held Eads to 88 yards of offense while gaining 231. All three of Tre Fehringer’s completions went for scores, one apiece to Logan Sircy, Jakob Kurz, and Helmuth Wenneker. Hunter White ran the ball twice and the senior scored on both carries. Defensively, the Bulldogs forced two fumbles and picked off two passes, and Zach Holtz added a special teams TD on a kick return.
According to the seeding, Fleming pulled off the biggest upset of the opening round, knocking off #6 La Veta 52-16. The Wildcats won the game without head coach John King on the sidelines. King missed the game due to health issues, but his team played well in his absence, outrushing the Redskins 283-37. Kolton Dickinson accounted for 222 of those yards and four TDs. The senior has 1838 yards on the season, tops in Colorado 6-man, and second nationally among six-man programs. Kobryn Mann picked off two passes, returning one for a score. As a unit, the Wildcat defense intercepted four passes and recovered a fumble.
Peetz and Fleming met three weeks ago, with the Bulldogs claiming a 39-26 victory. Fleming led 20-8 in the second quarter, but could not hold on for the win. Fehringer tossed three touchdowns, two to Bryson Long, who added 140 rushing yards in the victory. Dickinson led the Wildcats with 226 yards and two touchdowns in the rushing game.


Facing an unfamiliar opponent, Prairie had some struggles with #15 Edison in the early going last week. The Eagles answered a Prairie touchdown in the first quarter, before the hosts got it rolling and built a 51-6 halftime edge. The Mustangs would go on to claim a 51-13 victory. A strong wind virtually negated the passing attack, but Mitch Dollerschell did toss a 35-yard touchdown to James Krist. Coltin Hove and Patrick Thompson each scored two rushing touchdowns, while Walter Jordan and Wyatt Schnug each punched in one score.
Kit Carson faced an early hole in its game with #10 Cotopaxi last week. The Wildcats were stopped on downs on the game’s initial possession and the Pirates immediately took the lead on a 61-yard touchdown run by Owen Voll. Cotopaxi would muster only one first down the rest of the first half. Meanwhile, the Wildcats got the offense rolling and built a 38-6 lead at the intermission. Two more scores in the third quarter pushed the advantage to 46-6 for Kit Carson, and they would win the contest 46-12. TJ Conaway threw for three touchdowns and Jayden McCombs-Farmer added 117 yards and three scores on the ground for Kit Carson.
Regardless of the outcome of either game in this portion of the bracket, the winner of this game will be on the road in the semifinals. Prairie would travel to either of its fellow North Division foes if the Mustangs win due to the difference in home games, while Kit Carson lost the coin flip with both Peetz and Fleming.