With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, several teams have a chance to grab league championships and the playoff berths that go with it. Below is our choices for the top and most important games for week eight in Classes 2A, 1A, 8man and 6man. We’ll breakdown the matchups more in-depth through the week but also explain why the games are worthy of attention.
Kent Denver (7-0) at Machebeuf (7-0)
Elizabeth (5-2) at Englewood (4-3)
Delta (3-4) at Bayfield (7-0)
Alamosa (5-2) at Pagosa Springs (4-3)
Platte Valley (7-0) at Brush (3-4)
Salida (6-1) at La Junta (6-1)
Basalt (6-1) at Moffat County (4-3)
Kent Denver and Machebeuf share the Colorado conference lead. Both are 3-0. The Sun Devils clinch the league title with a win but Machebeuf can only do so if third place Elizabeth is knocked off at Englewood. Machebeuf and Elizabeth play in week nine. Bayfield is alone in first in the IML; one game up on Delta, Alamosa and Pagosa Springs. They clinch the title with a win if Pagosa Springs also beats Alamosa. Bayfield and Alamosa collide in week nine and that game involves the league championship if the Moose win this week. Platte Valley wraps up the Patriot East crown with a win at Brush. The Beetdiggers, with an upset, create a three-way tie for the top spot with Sterling provided the Tigers also beat Weld Central. La Junta wins the Tri Peaks championship with a home win over Salida. A Spartans leaves the two tied with Classical Academy in first if the Titans also take out Lamar. The winner between Basalt and Moffat County gets sole possession of the Western Slope lead. The Longhorns are the league champions with a win while Moffat County needs a win and an Aspen loss to get there. Aspen is favored at Steamboat Springs.
Peyton (6-1) at Buena Vista (3-4)
Meeker (7-0) at Paonia (6-1)
Olathe (4-3) at Hotchkiss (4-3)
Platte Canyon (6-0) at Clear Creek (6-1)
Monte Vista (4-3) at Rocky Ford (5-2)
Peyton and Buena Vista are both 3-0 in conference play so the winner takes the lead in the Tri Peaks. Buena Vista, since they’ve already beaten third place Colorado Springs Christian, is the league champion with a win. Peyton can only clinch with a win if CSCS also falls at Lake County. Peyton and CSCS meet in week nine. It’s the very same picture in the Western Slope between Meeker and Paonia. Both are 3-0 against league rivals and the winner will be alone in first. Paonia is the conference champion with a win as they knocked off third place Olathe last week. Meeker only wraps it up with a win if Olathe also loses to Hotchkiss. The game between Olathe and Hotchkiss could help determine third place and a potential playoff berth. The Pirates are 16th in RPI points and the Bulldogs 18th. Platte Canyon can make their week nine date with Bennett a winner-take-all for the Foothills crown if they beat Clear Creek this week. The Golddiggers are 2-1 and one game back of the two leaders. All three teams are in the top nine of the RPI standings this week. Neither Monte Vista nor Rocky Ford are in good shape for a conference crown but each still has thoughts of nabbing a wildcard berth. That makes their non-league game very important. Monte Vista is 14th in the RPI and Rocky Ford is 20th.
West Grand (7-0) at Soroco (5-2)
McClave (6-1) at Holly (5-1)
Haxtun (6-1) at Akron (2-4)
Dayspring Christian (3-3) at Merino (6-1)
Sedgwick County (6-0) at Caliche (3-4)
Soroco lost a tough league game with Gilpin County (48-40) in week six so they must knock off unbeaten West Grand to remain in the Northwest chase. West Grand and Gilpin County share the lead at 3-0 with Soroco a game back at 2-1. None of the three can clinch the championship this week. Gilpin County is 4th in RPI, West Grand 6th and Soroco 12th so all three could be headed to the post-season regardless of league finish. Because of an earlier loss to Springfield, Holly must beat McClave to stay alive for the Southeast championship. They trail the Cardinals and Springfield by one game entering week eight. McClave and Springfield play in week nine. Sedgwick County clinches the Plains conference championship for a third straight year by beating Caliche. The Cougars are 3-0 with a one game edge on Haxtun and Merino but they’ve beaten both. Haxtun and Merino meet in week nine but both face solid opponents this week. Dayspring Christian picked up an important win over Akron on Saturday but the Eagles remain outside the playoff picture (17th in RPI). Caliche is 14th so there’s a chance only the winner is a post-season qualifier.
Prairie (7-0) at Fleming (3-4)
Cheyenne Wells (6-1) at Eads (4-3)
Otis (6-1) at Arickaree/Woodlin (4-4)
Sierra Grande (6-1) at Cotopaxi (5-1)
North Park (4-2) at Hanover (5-2) – SATURDAY
Win their win at North Park on Saturday, Prairie clinched the North conference championship and earned a playoff berth. There’s still the drive to win against Fleming though as the Mustangs are trying to chase down Stratton/Liberty for the top overall playoff seed. Prairie is #2 this week. Fleming is 13th but that number will be boosted by playing an unbeaten club this late in the season. The Wildcats cannot catch Peetz and North Park for second place as they’ve lost to both opponents this year. Cheyenne Wells wraps up the Southeast title by beating Eads on Friday. The Eagles are 14th in RPI but again should be boosted through strength of schedule. Otis looks to rebound from the loss to Stratton/Liberty against Arickaree/Woodlin. The Bulldogs need a win to keep the number two spot in the East Central. Sierra Grande and Cotopaxi play for second place in the Southwest behind La Veta. Both clubs suffered their only league loss to the first place Redskins. The Pirates are 9th and Panthers 11th in RPI so both should be playoff bound. North Park and Hanover is a non-league game but will impact the playoff bracket. The Wildcats are 6th in RPI this week and the Hornets 12th.