Week 1 of the small school playoffs presented little in the way of upsets, and most of the high seeds rolled their way to victory as 20 teams scored at least 38 points. Will things tighten up this week? That remains to be seen.
Several good matchups are in store this weekend, and some players are riding some hot stretches in helping their teams march on. Here are some notes surrounding Week 2 battles.

Class 2A

Top billing: No. 15 Eaton vs. No. 10 Pagosa Springs

Among the 16 remaining contests from 2A down to 6-man, this is the only true battle of the underdogs where both lower seeds won in Week 1. Eaton showed its vintage playoff prowess in upending Kent Denver, 31-28, last week. The Reds advanced to the second round for the fourth straight season. Pagosa, meanwhile, secured a 14-7 win over La Junta to win a playoff game for the first time since 2008. Senior running back Gavin Lindahl was back to being a workhorse for the Pirates again last week and he’ll need a big week again. For Eaton, junior quarterback Connor Davey had arguably his best game of the year last week, giving the Reds a balanced look that makes them as dangerous a team as they’ve been, right at the right time.

Who’s hot:

No. 1 Delta vs. No. 9 TCA: The Delta defense has forced 10 turnovers in the past three games alone while outscoring teams 146-14. For TCA, senior Michael Wu has logged double-digit tackles each of the past three contests.

No. 4 Berthoud vs. No. 12 Moffat County: Berthoud senior Darin Davidson has 90 pass attempts this season without throwing a single interception (he has almost 1,000 yards and 14 TDs). Moffat County QB Evan Beaver has thrown three touchdowns in each of the past two games.

No. 6 University vs. No. 3 Rifle: The Bulldogs have gone to the air with much more frequency the past four games, as QB Coel Croissant has thrown for 203 yards per game over that span with 13 TD passes (three total TD passes the prior six games). The Rifle defense has an astounding 20 interceptions this season.

Class 1A

Top billing: No. 7 Wray vs. No. 2 Holyoke

Going back 20 years or so, this matchup has been a nightmare for Holyoke, but the Dragons are looking to back up a Sept. 29 win over the Eagles by pushing past them in the second round, too. Holyoke has posted 40-plus points in three straight games, while Wray has posted 50-plus in two of the past three weeks. In a 59-27 first-round win, junior Casey Midcap threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more. Sam Meisner notched four rushing TDs, too. Wray will have to be as disciplined as ever on defense in order to pull off the upset.

Who’s hot:

No. 8 Banning Lewis vs. No. 1 Limon: The Limon ground attack has garnered 300 yards or more in three straight games. For BLA, it continues to be the red-zone monsters Joseph Bjegovich and Chase Riehle who now have 18 TDs apiece for the high-scoring Stallions.

No. 5 Buena Vista vs. No. 4 Meeker: Buena Vista’s Tray Cardwell carried the rock 30 times last week (for 204 yards) after not having a game with more than 17 touches prior. Meeker’s Clay Crawford matched Cardwell with 30 totes last week, scoring twice and gaining 129 yards.

No. 6 Strasburg vs. No. 3 Gunnison: Strasburg’s defense has posted three shutouts the past four weeks. Gunnison senior Royce Uhrig had 13 tackles last week, 10 the week prior.


Top billing: No. 5 Dove Creek vs. No. 4 Lyons

There’s something intimidating about playing the defending champions, but Lyons appears ready after posting a lopsided victory last week. The Lions have hung 60-plus on the scoreboard four straight weeks, and last week’s win over Akron was balanced (four passing touchdowns, five rushing scores). The Bulldogs’ Colten Fury wrecked Vail Christian to the tune of 354 total yards and five scores (three pass, two rush). It’s a long drive for Dove Creek, but one that it’ll be happy to take knowing it still has a chance to make a run like last year.

Who’s hot:

No. 1 Mancos vs. No. 9 Sedgwick County: Make it four consecutive shutouts for the Bluejays after last week’s 52-0 win against Fowler. Sedgwick County’s Jaxon Carlson helped the team post a season-high for points against West Grand, notching six total scores (two pass, four rush) and a shade under 400 total yards.

No. 6 Byers vs. No. 3 Haxtun: Byers’ Kaleb Willoughby was all over the place last week, notching 158 total yards, two touchdowns and 13 total tackles. Haxtun’s Zach Statz padded his stats with his first multi-TD game of his career, in fact scoring three rushing TDs in the Bulldogs’ big win.

No. 2 Simla vs. No. 7 Merino: Merino’s simply been clutch when it counts the past three weeks with three real close wins. The Cubs, meanwhile, have gone six straight games without a turnover to its name.


Top billing: No. 5 Walsh vs. No. 4 Idalia

Having not had a winning record since 2014, Walsh is quietly putting together a fantastic season and a quarterfinals appearance is certainly commendable. The Eagles want more, though, and a lot might be riding on how much Leyton Jones (1,316 total yards, 29 TDs) can get going against a Wolves defense that has allowed about 25 points a game on average. For Idalia, senior Kagen Hoyda has quite a unique stretch going — six of his eight receptions over the past three games have gone for touchdowns.

Who’s hot:

No. 8 Sierra Grande vs. No. 1 Stratton: Stratton’s defense has posted at least 10 tackles for loss in seven of its 10 games. In addition to posting 16 tackles last week, Sierra Grande senior Tyler Kester had a 79-yard interception return for a touchdown.

No. 6 Cheyenne Wells vs. No. 3 Granada: The Tigers have averaged about 10 yards per play during a current three-game win streak. Granada snuck past Genoa-Hugo last week to make it four straight years with at least one playoff win.

No. 7 Branson/Kim vs. No. 2 Otis: Branson/Kim senior Brock Doherty has six games this season with rush yards, pass yards and receiving yards all in the same game. He had 54 rushing, 94 passing and 115 receiving in the team’s round one win. Otis is 29 points away from surpassing 600 points scored this season, the most in the state.