1A State Championship Breakdown
- Paonia vs 2. Buena Vista Saturday 1:00 pm
In the 1A Title game we feature two undefeated teams #1 seeded Paonia vs #2 seeded Buena Vista in Paonia at 1:00 pm Saturday. In the preseason rankings they had these teams ranked #1 and #2 Paonia was at #1 and Buena Vista was at #2 and that held true all the way to the championship game.
Paonia continued its title defense with a very good defensive performance against a high octane offense. Paonia beat Resurrection Christian 35-15 using a huge 28 point first half. Once again Paonia used its ground game to power them to the victory rushing for a whopping 386 yards on 46 carries or 8.4 yards per carry. They only threw for 26 yards but both completions went for touchdowns. On defense Paonia generated a couple turnovers grabbing two interceptions. The win for Paonia was their 6th in a row scoring over 30 points but the 15 points ended their 2 game run of shut outs in the playoffs.
Buena Vista rolls into the title game after a huge victory over Meeker 48-18. Buena Vista has had a goal all year and that was to win the State Championship and they have a chance this weekend. Buena Vista scored 34 points in the first half and that is all they needed to cruise to the victory. Buena Vista used a strong rushing attack to power them to the victory rushing for 383 yards on 60 carries or 6.4 yards per carry, Buena Vista also threw the ball effectively against Meeker going 9 for 13 for 117 yards and 3 touchdown passes. Buena Vista defense also forced 4 fumbles as well. The 48 points scored kept Buena Vista steak of 9 games with over 35 points scored and the 18 points given up was the most since September 26 but still that is 7 games in a row with under 20 points allowed.
This game features two great teams and I am sure there will be plenty of people in Paonia to watch this game. These teams have a few common opponents in Hotchkiss, Centauri, and Meeker. Both of these teams ran the table on them. Paonia Beat Hotchkiss 49-7, Centauri 44-0, and Meeker 22-16. Buena Vista beat Hotchkiss twice 27-0 & 41-7, Centauri 48-24, and Meeker 48-18. On paper this looks to be a great game. Both of these teams rely on their rushing attacks to control the pace of the game and their great defense. Paonia averaged 41.6 ppg and their defense was even better giving up 11.0 ppg and rushing for 315.8 ypg and passing for 80.8 ypg. Buena Vista is averaging 40.6 ppg and their defense was slightly better than Paonia giving up 10.9 ppg and rushing for 280 ypg and passing for 97.8 ypg. In the playoffs these teams have been even better and have not been challenged that will change this week. Both of these teams also have some of the best players in 1A in Tyler Walters (Paonia) and Keegan Wentz (Buena Vista).
The Key to Paonia winning will be to control Buena Vista rushing attack and make them throw the ball. At times Buena Vista has shown it can pass the ball but has not proven it can win a game with their passing attack. Another key for Paonia will be to control the trenches. When they played Buena Vista in the State Semifinals last year they controlled the line of scrimmage and they will need to do it again to grab the victory and repeat as champions.
The key for Buena Vista to win will be to slow down Paonia rushing attack and limit the big plays. Buena Vista will need to stop the run but cannot allow Paonia to get big plays. Another key for Buena Vista will be to not throw the ball around too much. Buena Vista cannot get pass happy or they will be in trouble. Paonia has shown they can stop the pass, last week they had two INTS against a very good passing offense so Buena Vista needs to ground and pound for success.
The weather should be decent for this weekend’s game. Currently on weather.gov it is calling for 42 degrees as the high with a 30% chance of rain. So weather might be less of a factor then last week. I believe that this game will be a very balance game with offensive scoring and some good defense as well. Paonia has proven week in a week out that they have a great defense and Buena Vista has shown it can score points against anyone and has the defense to back up their offense. I think both teams score over 21 points. I am going to go with Buena Vista as the winners of Class 1A this year. I think Buena Vista offense is very good, they proved last week that they can score against a great defense in Meeker where Paonia struggled against them. Buena Vista wins by 14 points and ends Paonia chance to repeat as champions.