Playoffs decide the week 11 football schedule but it’s also the final week of regular season competition in Classes 3A and 4A and there’s plenty to decide. It began on Thursday with Broomfield (4A) and Discovery Canyon (3A) both clinching league titles and automatic playoff berths with victories over Longmont and Palmer Ridge respectively.
Broomfield became the first team in Class 4A to secure a league title and the remaining six will be determined on Friday. Three of the games involve unbeaten league leaders colliding with the result determining both first and second. Those games are listed below. Of the six, Rampart may have the most to play for as they sit 24th in RPI and may not make the playoffs unless they win the Pikes Peak title.
- Pueblo West vs Rampart (Pikes Peak)
- Loveland vs Skyline (Longs Peak)
- Vista Peak vs Fruita Monument (Pioneer)
In three other cases, one team sits alone in first place and can wrap up a conference title with wins over second place teams. Losses by the leaders though likely create a three-way tie where tiebreakers would be used to determine the champion and automatic qualifier.
- South: Pine Creek clinches the title by beating Vista Ridge but the Wolves create a three-way tie with Pine Creek and GJ Central if they upset the Eagles. Central has a tough test at Mesa Ridge and a loss by the Warriors leaves the winner of Pine Creek-Vista Ridge is league champ
- Metro: Coming off the big win at Montrose last week, Ponderosa is atop the conference and gains the crown by beating Heritage. The opposite result leaves all three teams tied for first providing the Indians get by Aurora Central as expected.
- Jeffco: Dakota Ridge in sole possession of the conference lead and clinches the title by beating Golden. The Demons share second place with Chatfield and all three will share the top spot if they get the win.
Discovery Canyon became the fifth conference winner in Class 3A joining Conifer (Mt Metro), Pueblo South (South Central), Harrison (South) and Palisade (Western Slope). The Thunder may have worked the hardest to earn their hardware as they play in a league that will likely send four and possibly five teams to the playoffs.
The last two league winners will be determined with excellent matchups set for Friday. Mead meets Frederick for the North Metro title and both teams enter that game at 9-0 for the season. A win likely gives the Mavericks the overall top playoff seed when the bracket is released on Sunday. Frederick is a bit farther down the polls but a victory will shoot them up the rankings and they too would be involved in the #1 seed.
The second game features Fort Morgan at Erie as the winner takes the North Valley title. With a combined five losses, neither team will be a top four playoff seed but the winner should move up far enough to host a first round contest. Both are in the RPI top 11 and each should in the playoffs regardless of the result.
Friday also brings a total of seven playoff games including six in the state’s biggest class.
- #9 Cherokee Trail vs #24 Fountain Fort Carson
- #13 Highlands Ranch vs #20 Doherty
- #15 Arapahoe vs #18 Castle View
- #10 Eaglecrest vs #23 Legacy
- #14 Mullen vs #19 Mountain Vista
- #11 Smoky Hill vs #22 Overland
#16 ThunderRidge advanced to round two by beating Lakewood 17-6 on Thursday. Saturday has one game as #12 Legend plays host to #21 Rocky Mountain.
The only other playoff game tonight is found in six man where #5 Prairie meets #4 Fleming in a state quarterfinal. The clubs finished 1-2 in the North this year with Fleming winning the first game 60-20. A win gets Fleming to the semifinals for the first time since 2016. Prairie last made the final four in 2013.
Our radio coverage expands this week as we provide our regular program from 9:30-11:00pm on Friday night and we’ll talk with most of the coaches that grab league titles and playoff wins. Our playoff coverage opens in full on Saturday from 3:30-5:00pm with a focus on 2A, 1A, 8man and 6man action. 27 of the 28 playoff games in those brackets are on Saturday and we’ll recap those results and interview many coaches as well.