San Luis Valley high school teams continue to work their way into and through the fall playoffs. Our Colorado Preps Weekly report on the region recaps the past week of the postseason.
PHOTO BY BILLIE CARLSON
Alamosa had a tough draw taking on the Delta Panthers in the opening round of the 2021 2A state playoffs, and played well, but in the second half saw the home town Panthers pull away for a 45-14 victory.
The Panthers only led 21-7 at the half, but put the throttle down in the second half to pull away, extending their lead to four scores at one point. Kasey Jones helped to keep Alamosa in it with his passing, throwing for over 200 yards and a pair of scores, but two interceptions would come back to haunt him and the Mean Moose. That and the inability to run the ball, only amassing 47 yards on the ground, with 36 coming from Jones. Meanwhile, Delta ran the ball for 359 yards and senior Timothy Horn had three touchdowns.
Centauri entered the postseason as the second seed in 1A, and they proved their worth, handling the Peyton Panthers easily in their 45-6 romp to open the playoffs. The Falcons led early and didn’t look back, building their lead to 26-0 by the start of the second quarter alone.
The 9-0 Falcons kept the Panther running game in check, only allowing for 34 yards on the ground, and the passing attack didn’t manage much either, with only 147 yards through the air. Up next, Centauri will travel to face the Yuma Indians who upset seventh ranked Strasburg 35-20 in their opening round game.
Monte Vista put up a fight in their matchup with fourth seeded Florence, as the Huskies found themselves in the defensive affair with the Pirates. After only putting up six points between the two teams in the first half, Florence would eventually use the fourth quarter to pull out a 23-0 victory to end the Pirates years.
Colton Mellott struggled throwing the football, giving Florence three picks, one of which was returned for a touchdown, and only managing 80 yards through the air. The running game which has been so strong this year for the Pirates was also stifled, with a end total of 17 yards as a team.
Sanford went into their rematch with sixth ranked Sedgwick County as a big underdog after falling to the Cougars 42-0 earlier in the season, but pulled off the upset with a dominant first half on their way to a 36-18 victory on the road.
Quarterback Josh Holman left the game in the second half with a injury, but not before throwing for a pair of touchdowns which would be combined with three Kelton Gartrell touchdown runs. Defensively, the Indians worked to slow down the Cougars game, and while they ran more than 60 plays and outgained the Indians, Sedgwick couldn’t finish drives until it was too late.
Sanford will return home this weekend for another rematch with a regular season foe they lost to, hosting the third seed as Vail Christian comes to the San Luis Valley after defeating Pikes Peak Christian 46-14.
Sierra Grande’s rematch in the opening round with Branson/Kim was closer than many anticipated after the Panthers easily won the regular season battle. The Bearcats were able to overcome an early deficit to give themselves a chance late but fell to the Panthers 39-36.
Round two will see the Panthers again as the host team, this time with the Granada Bobcats heading to the San Luis Valley for their quarterfinal game Saturday at 1 pm.
Mountain Valley’s playoff run was cut short on the road at the top seeded Cheyenne Wells Tigers. The Indians couldn’t find a way to slow down the offense for the home town cats, and fell 73-14, giving up eight rushing touchdowns.
The Alamosa Mean Moose had to survive a five set thriller with the Manitou Springs Mustangs in their regional championship, but took home the Region 11 title thanks to a gritty defense that slowed down Mustang junior Avah Armour who talled 34 kills to lead Manitou’s comeback bid. Malia Tuioti-Mariner led the Mean Moose with 15 kills and Avery Mobbley added another 12, but it would be the 11 team blocks that made the biggest difference in the match.
The Mean Moose now head to the state championships in Colorado Springs, kicking things off on Thursday at 11 AM against the Sterling Tigers, who enter as the six seed.
Centauri was able to take down The Vanguard School in the opening match for their regional round robin, and set up a championship match with the Platte Valley Broncos, but couldn’t finish the dream run to state, as the Falcons were swept by the host squad in the championship. The Falcons finish the year at 14-10.
Sargent also met a disappointing end to their season, as despite a 16-7 season, they are packing up prior to the state finals, falling to Hoehne in their regional championship. The battle of the Farmers started out with Hoehne dominating the opening set, but the next three would all be decided by five points or less, with Sargent dropping the final two 25-22. Sargent did get the win over the Lyons Lions prior, dropping them in four sets.
Sanford’s season also came to a close on the road. The Indians picked up a win over Mancos in straight sets to earn some revenge for a four set loss earlier in the year, but then took on the second seeded Meeker Cowboys and couldn’t get footing as they were swept by the regional host. Sanford didn’t make it easy, taking the Cowboys to 25-23 in the opening set and pushing to 27-25 in the final set.
Monte Vista wasn’t able to change the trend for 2A teams from the SLV, falling to regional host Limon to end their season, with the Badgers toppling them in four sets. Monte Vista’s only set win came in the third, when they took it in extra points 26-24. Monte did leave on a bit of a winning note, defeating West Grand in four sets in their final action of the 2021 season.
Sangre de Cristo won’t be making it back to back trips to the state championships after they fell in their regional to both the Merino Rams and the Genoa-Hugo Pirates. Merino made quick work of the Thunderbirds, sweeping them in the opening match, but Sangre would make it interesting in the second match with the Pirates, pushing it to five sets before falling 3-2, including at 33-31 fourth set and a fifth set that went extra points before being decided 17-15.
La Veta was the final valley team to see their season come to a close over the regional weekend. The Fleming Wildcats took it to the Red Hawks in a sweep before the Springfield Longhorns had their chance, also sweeping La Veta to end their year at 14-10.