TOP FOOTBALL GAMES – FRIDAY

Here’s our quick list of top football games for Friday.  We focus on conference championships and RPI standings in the six classes who have not started playoff football yet.  The week marks the end of the regular season in Classes 2A, 1A and eight man while two weeks are left in the largest three classifications.
 

CLASS 5A

Mullen (3-5) at ThunderRidge (3-5)
Lakewood (6-2) at Fountain Fort Carson (4-4)
Highlands Ranch (6-2) at Legend (4-4)
Mountain Vista (3-5) at Cherokee Trail (4-4)
All four games on the list are selected more for RPI standings than conference races.  Mullen is 15th and ThunderRidge 22nd in RPI so the outcome is very important to playoff chances for both.  Lakewood (10th) and Fountain Fort Carson (14th) are on the path to a post-season berth but the winner improves their place in the bracket.  Highlands Ranch is 4th in RPI so the Falcons are in position to play at home for at least two rounds.  Legend (17th) is squarely on the bubble.  Cherokee Trail (16th) is in the same boat but the Cougars still have a chance to win a league title and get in automatically.
 

CLASS 4A

Skyline (7-1) at Windsor (7-1)
Dakota Ridge (5-3) at Chatfield (7-1)
Standley Lake (6-2) at Denver South (4-4)
Widefield (6-2) at Pine Creek (7-1)
With Monarch losing to Fort Collins on Thursday, the winner between Skyline-Windsor takes over the conference lead.  Windsor is the champion with a win while Skyline cannot clinch this weekend.  It’s the same situation for Dakota Ridge-Chatfield.  The Eagles win the league title by upsetting the Chargers while Chatfield only clinches with a win if Golden also beats Heritage.  Pine Creek is the top overall team in the RPI and hosts a Widefield team sitting on the fence at #16.  The game will help both teams in strength of schedule regardless of outcome.  Standley Lake (12th) could use one more win to solidify their playoff hopes.  Denver South is a regular post-season visitor but sitting only 25th in RPI this week, the Rebels will likely miss out this season.
 

CLASS 3A

Pueblo East (3-5) at Harrison (8-0)
Vista Peak (4-4) at Thomas Jefferson (6-2)
Berthoud (5-3) at Holy Family (4-4)
Mead (8-0) at Erie (7-1)
Roosevelt (6-2) at Frederick (6-2)
Pueblo East is the three-time defending state champion and despite a sub-500 mark, the Eagles still have a chance to get into the bracket.  They’re the conference champions with a win over unbeaten Harrison.  A loss though likely eliminates East as they sit 22nd in RPI going in.  Harrison is 7th and cannot clinch the league crown with a win unless Durango also loses.  Thomas Jefferson is 13th in RPI and Vista Peak 21st.  They’re likely playing for second place behind Palmer Ridge in their conference.  The Bison stay in league title contention with a win since they play the unbeaten Bears next week.  All six teams in the Tri Valley remain in the playoff chase including Berthoud and Holy Family.  Neither team has won a conference game but they sit 14th and 15th in RPI respectively.  Top ranked Mead can clinch the title with a win.  The Mavericks are the leader in RPI standings.  Erie is 5th, Roosevelt 6th and Frederick 11th entering games this weekend.
 

CLASS 2A

Resurrection Christian (5-3) at Eaton (6-2)
Faith Christian (7-1) at Middle Park (4-4)
Machebeuf (7-1) at Elizabeth (6-2)
Moffat County (4-4) at Aspen (7-1)
The last two league champions will be crowned based on winners in the first two games.  The winner between Resurrection Christian — Eaton is the outright Patriot West champion and the loser is second.  The Reds are 12th in RPI and the Cougars 15th so neither team is comfortable on their playoff standing with a loss.  Faith Christian wraps up the Flatirons title by beating Middle Park.  The opposite result leaves the two tied with D’Evelyn for the top spot.  Faith Christian is 8th in RPI and D’Evelyn 16th.  Middle Park is only 30th.  The winner between Machebeuf-Elizabeth is second to Kent Denver in the Colorado.  Machebeuf is 11th in RPI but Elizabeth is on the fence at #14.  It’s the same deal out west where the survivor of Moffat County — Aspen places second to Basalt in conference play.  Of the two, Aspen is the only one headed to the playoffs.  They’re 10th in RPI while Moffat County is 23rd.
 

CLASS 1A

Burlington (6-2) at Limon (7-1)
Yuma (3-5) at Wray (4-4)
Platte Canyon (6-1) at Bennett (8-0)
Peyton (7-1) at Colorado Springs Christian (6-2)
Hotchkiss (5-3) at Cedaredge (3-5)
Olathe (4-4) at Meeker (8-0)
Limon-Burlington is the only true winner-take-all game for a conference crown this week.  The winner lands the South-Central title and the loser is second.  Both teams are safely in the bracket as Limon is 5th in RPI and Burlington 10th but likely only the winner will be at home in round one.  Yuma and Wray play for third place and each needs RPI points as Wray is 17th and Yuma 18th going in.  Bennett can clinch the league championship by beating Platte Canyon.  The Tigers are 1st in RPI and Platte Canyon 9th so both teams are post-season bound.  Clear Creek (6th) is a third league member also playing into next week.  Peyton needs a win at CSCS to clinch the Tri Peaks title.  They lead the Lions and Buena Vista by one game.  A Lions win sets up a three-way tiebreaker with the Demons.  Peyton is 12th in RPI, CSCS 16th and Buena Vista 21st so only one or possibly two teams could make the playoffs.  We also extended our list to six games to include games involving Hotchkiss and Olathe.  The Bulldogs are 15th in RPI and the Pirates 19th so both remain in playoff contention.
 

EIGHT MAN

Gilpin County (7-1) at West Grand (8-0)
Mancos (7-1) at Sargent (5-3)
Merino (7-1) at Haxtun (6-2)
McClave (6-2) at Springfield (5-3)
The first two games listed involve conference champions as the winners of each will land a title and a home game in round one.  The losers will end up second in their respective league.  RPI points are also a consideration especially for Sargent.  The Farmers are just 15th in RPI so they could use a win but their strength of schedule will also be helped by playing once-beaten Mancos.  The Bluejays are 6th in RPI and are playoff bound win or lose this weekend.  West Grand is 3rd in RPI points and a win could help them overtake Merino for the second overall spot.  Gilpin County is 5th so even the loser of the game could be at home in round one.  Merino can also lock up second in the Plains behind Sedgwick County by beating long-time rival Haxtun.  The Bulldogs are 9th in RPI this week.  Springfield is 19th in RPI points but a win over McClave gives the Longhorns an automatic playoff berth as Southeast champions.  McClave is 11th in RPI and coming off a loss to Holly.  The Wildcats can move into a three-way tie for the top spot if Springfield loses.  Holly is 7th in RPI points and will be in the playoffs.

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