With the football playoffs underway at some levels, a few Western Slope teams extended their seasons, while those at other levels wrapped up the regular season.
In Class 4A, Fruita Monument scored on every offensive possession en route to a 63-26 victory over Brighton in the first round of the playoffs.
Wyatt Sharpe tallied 139 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries, part of the Wildcats’ 400-plus yards on the ground. Kaison Stegelmeier, Armony Trujillo, Sam Ontiveros, Amari Wilson and quarterback Corben Rowell found the end zone on the ground. Rowell connected with Cole Jones for an 80-yard passing touchdown as well.
The No. 12 Wildcats will next face No. 5 Erie in the second round. Top-seeded Montrose is on a bye but will square off against No. 17 Denver South, who upset No. 16 Mesa Ridge.
In the opening round of the 2A playoffs, No. 4 Delta handled No. 13 Alamosa 45-14. Senior running back Timothy Horn ran for 165 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries.
The Panthers will see No. 12 University in the second round after they upset No. 5 Moffat County 28-14. Moffat County’s normally potent rushing attack was wrapped up, with running back Evan Atkin tallying only 85 yards rushing and a season-low one touchdown.
In 1A playoff action, No. 8 North Fork defeated No. 9 Wiggins 38-25, setting up a showdown with top-seeded Limon next week.
The Miners, known mostly for their rushing attack and road-grading offensive line, had a big day through the air. Wideout Blaine Peebles finished with 235 yards receiving and two touchdowns on eight catches.
Meanwhile, No. 6 Meeker held off No. 11 Holyoke 42-35 to advance. Kelton Turner turned in another outstanding rushing performance with 21 carries for 238 yards and two touchdowns. The Cowboys will square off with No. 3 Buena Vista in the second round after they beat No. 14 Gunnison 42-14.
The 8-man playoffs also rolled through the first round, with No. 3 Vail Christian cruising past No. 14 Pikes Peak Christian 46-14.
The undefeated Saints scored 24 points in the first quarter and sailed the rest of the way. They will face No. 11 Sanford in the second round, who advanced after upsetting No. 6 Sedgwick County 36-18.
Class 3A teams wrapped up the regular season, where Palisade defeated Eagle Valley 46-20 to win the 3A Central West Conference. Malakhi Espinosa ran for two touchdowns and threw for another. The junior quarterback had a team-high 144 yards rushing on 16 carries and completed a single pass for a 13-yard score. The Bulldogs are the conference’s only team in the playoffs, where they are ranked seventh and will host No. 10 Pueblo East.
Summit defeated Steamboat Springs 55-27, powered by a five-touchdown day from quarterback Jack Schierholz. The junior threw for three scores and ran for two more, totaling 294 yards of offense,
Glenwood Springs closed out its season by defeating Battle Mountain 48-14.
Palisade took care of business in the Class 4A Region 11 tournament, winning twice at home with 3-1 victories over Longmont and Falcon. A pair of freshmen had big performances for the Bulldogs, with Kyra Birch turning in 15 kills against Longmont and Addie Ritterbush notching 13 kills against Falcon.
Despite hosting its own regional, No. 8 Montrose was upset via sweep from No. 17 Mead. No. 19 Eagle Valley lost in the Region 6 championship to No. 6 Niwot, while No. 27 Steamboat Springs lost twice at the Region 10 tournament.
Western Slope teams from Class 3A ran into juggernauts during regional play. Top-seeded Resurrection Christian dispatched No. 24 Lake County and No. 36 Coal Ridge.
No. 23 Aspen defeated No. 35 Stargate School but was swept by No. 2 Lamar. A similar situation played out with No. 22 North Fork, who defeated No. 34 Bennett in five sets before being swept by No. 3 Lutheran.
No. 16 Delta came incredibly close to knocking off No. 9 Faith Christian. Both squads defeated No. 28 Pagosa Springs. The Panthers won the first two sets against the Eagles, including a 30-28 win in the second set, but lost the next three sets by small margins.
Both Meeker and Soroco have first-round byes in the 2A state tournament after strong regional performances.
No. 2 Meeker swept both No. 23 Sanford and No. 35 Mancos, where Emma Luce had 39 kills across the two matches.
Soroco was seeded fifth in regionals — they moved up one spot for state after a regional loss by fourth-seeded Dayspring Christian Academy — and defeated No. 32 Colorado Springs School 3-1. No. 20 Dolores forfeited its matches due to COVID-19 protocols.
No. 18 Vail Christian was swept by No. 7 Wiggins, while No. 29 Olathe upset No. 17 Calhan but was swept by No. 8 Rye. No. 28 Telluride lost twice at the Region 9 tournament as did No. 25 Plateau Valley at the Region 12 tournament.
In 5A, No. 20 Fruita Monument defeated No. 32 Arapahoe 3-1 before being swept by No. 5 Valor Christian.
In 2A playoff action, top-seeded Crested Butte overcame a first-half deficit to defeat No. 4 Ridgway 2-1. Jacob Bernholtz scored twice in the second half — both assisted by Ace Gaither — to lift the Titans to victory. Crested Butte will face No. 2 Lotus School For Excellence in the state championship game.
No. 11 Roaring Fork picked up an upset to reach the 3A state semifinals. The Rams defeated No. 27 Prospect Ridge Academy 5-1 in the second round — powered by four goals from Emiliano Magana — then followed that by upsetting No. 3 Faith Christian 3-2. Jose Mercado had the deciding goal in the middle of the second half and Ross Barlow netted the other two goals.
No. 8 Vail Mountain defeated No. 9 Denver School of Science and Technology: College View in a shootout after 0-0 score through regulation and two overtimes. Goalkeeper Mason Geller turned aside two consecutive penalty tries to secure the victory. The Gore Rangers went on to lose 3-0 to top-seeded Jefferson Academy in the quarterfinals.
In 4A, No. 6 Battle Mountain punched its ticket to the state semifinals with a 4-0 shellacking of No. 3 The Classical Academy. The Huskies scored three times in the first half to secure the victory.
No. 10 Grand Junction lost 1-0 to No. 7 Cheyenne Mountain. C