The Playoffs are now in full gear for all the classes – 5A, 4A and 3A – here are some matchups to keep an eye on this weekend as teams try and keep their state championship dreams alive.

Class 5A

No. 10 Legend (8-3) at No. 7 Valor Christian (6-4) (Fri., 7 p.m.)

Valor Christian has had an un-Valor Christian year, posting just six wins in the regular season. Now, the Eagles have a chance they can be a power in this year’s playoffs – starting on Friday night.

Valor ended the season on a roll, winning five-consecutive games, including a 39-34 win over Mountain Vista on Oct. 27.

The Eagles are led by senior QB Asher Weiner (1,533 yards, 12 TDs) and RB Gabe Sawchuk (642 yards rushing and 11 TDs) and receivers – sophomore Cash Spence (33 receptions, 381 yards and 4 TDs) and junior Jace Beal (22 receptions, 342 yards and 2 TDs).

Legend began the playoffs last weekend, trouncing Brighton 51-14. Juniors – QB Nick Farley completed 6-of-7 passes for 107 yards and two TDs and RB Jaden Lawrence (74 yards rushing and three scores) set the pace in the win.

Whichever team has its stars step up will win and the quest for state will continue.

The winner of this game will advance to play the winner of the No. 2 Columbine-No. 18 Fountain-Fort Carson game next Friday.

No. 11 Grandview (7-4) at No. 6 Regis Jesuit (6-4) (Fri., 6:30 p.m.)

Grandview backed into the playoffs with losses to Cherokee Trail (23-21) and Cherry Creek (45-22). However, Grandview bounced back with a 28-21 win over Douglas County to start the postseason.

The Wolves kept their season going, thanks to QB Liam Szarka who completed 18 of 29 passes for 342 yards, and two TDs.

Szarka’s favorite target was junior Xay Neto who caught nine passes for 257 yards and 2 TDs. It was truly a breakout game for Neto who only has 547 yards and five TDs for the season.

Regis, which a bye in round one, had a tough season – initially – before reeling off four wins in its final five regular-season games, including three in a row. The last was a convincing 45-7 victory over Fountain-Fort Carson on Nov. 10.

Regis was considered one of the top teams in 5A. and now it’s time to prove it.

The Regis offense is led by QB Peyton Lindell (1,820 yards passing and 16 TDs) and RB Albert Medina (579 yards rushing and nine TDs). Medina also has a team-high 432 yards receiving and seven TDs).

The winner faces the victor between No. 3 Arapahoe and No. 14 Chatfield next week.

Class 4A

No. 10 Thomas Jefferson (10-1) at Dakota Ridge (7-3), (Fri., 4 p.m.)

Thomas Jefferson has had a magical season, suffering just one loss to Ponderosa (21-6) on Oct. 21. The Spartans opened the playoffs with a 22-14 decision over No. 23 seed Standley Lake last week. In that contest, TJ was saved by its stout rushing attack as Dimitri Haralambopoulos (184 yards rushing and two touchdowns) and Jake Tapia (133 yards) had stellar outings.

If the Spartans can translate that smashmouth attack this week a victory will be within reach, but Dakota Ridge has other ideas.

The Eagles finished the regular season with four straight wins, including a 49-6 decision over common opponent Standley Lake on Oct. 27.

Dakota Ridge’s offense is fueled by QB Blake Palladino. The senior has thrown for 1,514 yards and 15 TDs and ran for another 774 yards and 11 TDs. Sophomore running back Landon Kalsbeck has contributed 740 yards and 10 TDs. Dakota Ridge has a slew of talented receivers led by Alex Arnold who has a team-high 31 receptions for 400 yards and four scores.

The winner of this contest at Jeffco Stadium meets the victor between No. 2 Erie and No. 15 Rampart.

No. 12 Loveland (8-3) at No. 5 Mesa Ridge (7-3), (Fri., 7 p.m.)

During the NCAA men’s basketball March Madness tournament people are always leery of the No. 12 team upsetting the No. 5 seed.

Who knows if that will happen here, but there is reason for concern for the Grizzlies fans.

Loveland was the 4A state runner-up to Broomfield and the Red Wolves are headed in the right direction, coming off a 41-21 victory over No. 21 seed Bear Creek last week by outscoring their playoff opponent 27-0 in the second half.

Loveland’s offense is of the ground and pound variety as the Red Wolves have gained 2,606 yards rushing this season. The leader of the pack is senior Trey Olsen who has 1,207 yards rushing and 16 TDs. Olsen is also the team’s main receiver with 451 yards through the air and six more touchdowns.

Mesa Ridge has junior QB Bryce Riehl leading the controls. He has 1,529 yards passing and has tossed 17 TDs. Fellow senior RB Isaiah Jones has 1,122 yards rushing and 17 TDs. Riehl has 336 yards rushing and nine scores.

The Grizzlies has been improving seemingly every season and a win like this would go a long way in proving that they have become a legitimate program. Now is the time for Mesa Ridge to seize the moment.

The winner of this clash will face the victor between No. 4 Broomfield and No. 13 Fruita-Monument next weekend.

Class 3A

No. 9 Roosevelt (8-2) at No. 8 Riverdale Ridge (8-2), (Fri., 7 p.m.)

This feels more like a state semifinal match-up than a first-round clash. Roosevelt was undefeated a year ago, compiling a 14-0 record while winning the 3A state crown.

If the Roughriders are going to repeat, they are going to have to start with a win Friday. Roosevelt’s two losses were at the hands of Resurrection Christian (40-20) and Thompson Valley (41-21).

The Roughriders are powered offensively by senior QB Bronco Hartson (1,644 yards passing, 19 TDs and just four interceptions). Fellow senior, running Xavier Ramirez has had an outstanding season rushing for 1,418 yards and 23 scores. Receiver Trevor Karabensh has been the favorite target, grabbing 32 passes for 534 yards and four TDs.

Riverdale Ridge was riding a six-game winning streak until losing a 6-3 decision to Mead Friday.

The Ravens will try and bounce back and keep their season going this weekend. That will happen if their star shine.

Junior QB Isaiah Medina has thrown for 1,861 yards and 19 TDs. He has also added 195 yards rushing and eight TDs. Diego Galvan has a team-high 570 yarrs rushing and four scores. The top receiving target has been Marcus McFadden (46 receptions, 740 yards and nine TDs).

The winner meets the victor between No. 1 Green Mountain and No. 16 Glenwood Springs next weekend.

No. 10 Lewis-Palmer (8-2) at No. 7 Resurrection Christian (7-2), (Sat., 1 p.m.)

Lewis-Palmer had a strong regular season, suffering just two defeats to No. 1 ranked Palmer Ridge (40-13) and 29-22 setback to state-qualifying Pueblo Central.

Lewis-Palmer’s success is easy to trace – it comes from its ground attack. The Rangers have three players Jayden Pagano (933 yards rushing and 13 TDs); Luke DeBoer (683 yards rushing and 11 TDs); and Kenton Kenley (519 yards rushing and nine TDs) with at least 500 yards rushing.

If this trio can control the clock, the ball and field possession a victory could be in the cards for the Rangers.
Resurrection Christian, which is based in Loveland, has had some huge wins this season, defeating Roosevelt 40-20 on Oct. 6.

RC’s offense is guided by sophomore QB Jackson Pszanka and junior running back Hunter Hansen.

The big question is whether RC can be the team that upset Roosevelt or the squad that gets tripped up by the pesky Rangers out of Colorado Springs.