Six-man football can produce some of the most jaw-dropping statistics in the game. With so much open space to work with on the field, the odds are stacked up against the defense time in and time out.

Branson/Kim and La Veta played a contest last Thursday, with direct playoff implications, mirroring a video game. On offense, only three players for Branson/Kim touched the football, but the Bearcats managed to post 586 yards and 80 points. La Veta spread the ball out much more routinely, and the Redhawks also surpassed 500 yards of offense in scoring 54 points.

Jesse Montunnas’ six touchdown passes for La Veta were equaled by Kolter Cranson’s six rushing touchdowns for the Bearcats; Cranson also ran for 314 yards to complement teammate Brock Doherty (191 yards on just 16 carries); and Doherty also had two receiving touchdowns and a kickoff return for a score.

What the outcome means for playoffs, ultimately, is that both teams will likely make the field — but Branson/Kim’s Southwest League championship will put it in position to host early playoff rounds. The Bearcats (7-1) will also be looking to chart a different course from last season, as they lost their final regular-season game and then lost their first-round playoff at Arickaree.

La Veta can improve its seeding this Saturday with a regular-season finale victory over Kiowa, the latter a team not in playoff conversation at this point despite a 4-5 record.

Grizzlies scratching and clawing

For the second straight season, the Fowler Grizzlies have come back from a tough start to put themselves in playoff position by the final weeks. Entering November this year, however, the Grizzlies have the comfort of knowing they will not be denied a postseason spot.

That was earned this past weekend with a league title. The 8-man Six-County League is theirs after getting past Walsenburg, 20-14, on Friday. It may have been the defensive efforts of junior Cael True and senior Trever Ketner who saved the season for Fowler (4-4). The two combined for three interceptions, keeping Walsenburg quarterback Elton Chavez from completely taking over the game.

The Grizzlies started the season 0-4 and could end up on the positive side of .500 with a win this week against Dolores Huerta Prep (2-6). Last season, its first under new head coach Braden Kimsey, Fowler started 0-5 before winning their final four games.

Down to the wire

It’s sure to be a playoff atmosphere this weekend in La Jara and Bailey, where a couple of Class 1A league championships will be determined on the final weekend of regular-season play.

For a second consecutive season, the South Central League will come down to a head-to-head battle between Centauri and Monte Vista, both of which are 6-2 overall and 4-0 in league play. Monte Vista so far has been the more explosive offensive team, while Centauri has been very stingy on defense all season long — including allowing six points or less in four consecutive games. Deven Brady leads CHS with 11 touchdowns, but the Falcons have had 11 different players score touchdowns this season. For Monte Vista, Jacob Pacheco has been a scoring machine averaging 20.7 points per game on his own, while Azariah Hurtado and Kevin Cisneros have each pitched in double-digit touchdowns. Of note, last year’s title went to Centauri as the Falcons scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to rally past MVHS, 28-24.

Strasburg and Platte Canyon will butt heads for the Frontier League title on Saturday afternoon, with the winner taking the league outright. Both teams have been nothing short of spectacular in league games so far, with Platte Canyon allowing just 28 points (7.0 per game) to league foes and Strasburg even more stingy at just 15 points (3.75 per). On offense, Strasburg has shown depth (nine different players have scored touchdowns, led by Thomas Devlin and Landen Martin), while Platte Canyon has had Sam Patterson (16 TDs) and Kamron Skouge (12) lead a group that includes three others who have scored at least four times. Of note, Strasburg has pitched shutouts of Platte Canyon the past three times they’ve met (2022, 2020, 2011).

The rest of the story

Wellington won its first league title in 2A last week by downing Platte Valley, 26-7. The Eagles (8-0) will close out the regular slate looking to remain undefeated as they host Bennett (1-7) on Friday night.

Rye’s Dylan Hurne leads 11-man in rushing still, despite Banning Lewis holding him to just 89 yards on 16 carries. Hurne has 1,893 yards — more than 450 yards better than the state’s second-leading rusher according to MaxPreps.

Senior Rowdy Yates’ 99-yard interception return for a touchdown highlighted Kent Denver’s Colorado League-winning effort against The Classical Academy last week. Kent has allowed just 42 points over its eight games so far and will look to close its perfect regular season Saturday against Englewood.