Regular season schedules wind down in the eight-man, 1A and 2A classifications this week so we’ll know conference champions by Saturday and the playoff bracket by Sunday.  The largest three divisions enter the final two weeks and many teams can clinch league crowns this weekend.  Our list of the top games and what they mean to league and playoff standings.


Chaparral (6-2) at Pomona (6-2) — Thursday
Ralston Valley (5-3) at Eaglecrest (8-0) — Thursday
Overland (5-3) at Doherty (5-3) — Saturday
It’s not a long list in the big school ranks this week but two of the games could determine league championships.  Chaparral and Pomona are both 3-0 inside the Evans conference so the winner is the league leader.  Chaparral clinches the crown outright since they’ve already beaten third-place Cherokee Trail.  Pomona plays the Cougars next week and only wraps up the championship with a win if Cherokee Trail falls at home to Mountain Vista.  Eaglecrest and Ralston Valley are both unbeaten inside the Wilson conference.  And it’s the same scenario.  Ralston Valley is the league champions with a win and Eaglecrest can only celebrate the crown with a win if third-place Arvada West loses to Castle View.  Eaglecrest and Arvada West collide in week ten.  Overland and Doherty are tied for second and one game back of Grandview in the Massive division.  Overland plays Grandview next week and needs a win to make that game meaningful to the league championship race.  A loss by Overland gives the title to Grandview if they beat Arapahoe.


Brighton (6-2) at Loveland (8-0) — Thursday
Dakota Ridge (5-3) at Chatfield (7-1)
Standley Lake (6-2) at Denver South (4-4)
Skyline (7-1) at Windsor (7-1)
Widefield (6-2) at Pine Creek (7-1)
The top two games on the list involve league unbeatens squaring off for sole possession of their conference lead.  Brighton and Loveland are both 3-0 inside the Longs Peak.  Loveland can wrap up the championship with a win as they’ve beaten third-place Broomfield.  Brighton faces the Eagles next week so they only clinch this week with a victory if Broomfield falls to Grand Junction.  Dakota Ridge and Chatfield share the Plains conference lead.  Heritage is a game back in third.  Dakota Ridge wins the championship outright by upsetting the Chargers.  Chatfield clinches with a win if Heritage loses at Golden.  Standley Lake and Denver South are 2-1 inside the Mountain.  The winner should end up second behind Fruita Monument by seasons’ end.  The Wildcats are the champions by beating George Washington.  Windsor leads Skyline and Monarch by one game in the Northern chase.  The Wizards have a win over Monarch so another over Skyline gives them the title.  A Skyline win leaves all three teams tied going into the final provided Monarch also wins at Fort Collins.  Pine Creek is 3-0 and alone atop the Southern conference by one game over Pueblo West, Widefield and Mesa Ridge.  They’ve beaten Pueblo West and play Mesa Ridge next week so they can only clinch with a win if Mesa Ridge loses at Air Academy.


Vista Peak (4-4) at Thomas Jefferson (6-2)
Durango (5-3) at Pueblo County (2-6)
Pueblo East (3-5) at Harrison (8-0)
Mead (8-0) at Erie (7-1)
Pueblo East has five fewer wins than Harrison but the winner of their battle takes over the lead in the South Central.  East went 0-5 in non-league play but three straight conference wins has the three-time champions very much alive for a playoff berth.  They can clinch the championship with a win.  Harrison can only clinch with a win if Durango loses at Pueblo County as well.  Mead is alone in first atop the Tri Valley and a win over Erie gives them the league championship.  Erie is coming off a two-point loss to Roosevelt which marked their first setback of the season.  They’re tied with the Riders and Frederick in second place. All three teams are 2-1.  Vista Peak and Thomas Jefferson play for second place in the West Metro.  Both are one game back of Palmer Ridge and since the Bison play the Bears in week ten, they remain in the playoff chase.  But they’re eliminated with a loss if Palmer Ridge also beats Kennedy.  The Bears are also league champions in that scenario.


Machebeuf (7-1) at Elizabeth (6-2)
Faith Christian (7-1) at Middle Park (4-4)
Valley (5-3) at Sterling (6-2)
Resurrection Christian (5-3) at Eaton (6-2)
Moffat County (4-4) at Aspen (7-1)
The only contest on the list that is a true league championship game is the meeting of Resurrection Christian and Eaton.  The Cougars and Reds are both unbeaten in the Patriot West so the winner is the league champion and gets to play at home in round one of the playoffs.  Faith Christian must also beat Middle Park to officially sew up the Flatirons conference.  An upset by Middle Park creates a three-way tie between the two and D’Evelyn.  The other games involve second place and better RPI standings.  The Machebeuf-Elizabeth winner is second to Kent Denver in the Colorado; the Valley-Sterling winner is runner-up to Platte Valley in the Patriot East and the survivor of Aspen-Moffat County places second to Basalt in the Western Slope.


Platte Canyon (6-1) at Bennett (8-0)
Limon (7-1) at Burlington (6-2)
Peyton (7-1) at Colorado Springs Christian (6-2)
Limon and Burlington continue their great rivalry and as always, there’s something on the line.  This time it’s the North Central championship as neither team has lost a conference battle.  Both teams should be playoff bound but the winner will be at home for round one.  Bennett needs a home win over Platte Canyon to wrap up the Foothills championship.  Platte Canyon is coming off a loss to Clear Creek but can still earn a piece of the top spot with a win.  That result would leave the two tied with Clear Creek provided the Golddiggers get by Front Range Christian as well.  Peyton took over the Tri Peaks lead with their hard-earned double overtime win at Buena Vista last week.  That victory did not clinch the championship but one over Colorado Springs Christian will do the trick.  An opposite result has CSCS, Peyton and Buena Vista sharing the championship if the Demons also win at Rye.


Gilpin County (7-1) at West Grand (8-0)
Merino (7-1) at Haxtun (6-2)
McClave (6-2) at Springfield (5-3)
Mancos (7-1) at Sargent (5-3)
Two head-to-head battles to determine conference championships headline the eight-man schedule.  West Grand hosts Gilpin County for the Northwest crown and Mancos makes the long trek to Sargent for the Southwest championship.  In both cases the winner grabs the title and the loser second and none of the four have suffered a league loss yet this year.  The winner between Merino and Haxtun takes home second place behind Sedgwick County in the Plains.  Merino is still third with a loss but a Haxtun loss brings in at least one more team (Akron or Caliche) and possibly a second (Dayspring Christian) in the race for third.  Springfield must beat McClave to win the Southeast championship outright.  A McClave win creates a three-way between the two and Holly if the Wildcats also beat Las Animas.  If Holly is upset, then the McClave-Springfield winner is the conference champion.


First Round of playoffs — all eight games