Class 8-Man League Breakdown Week 5
Once again the league is paced by two good teams in Granada and Springfield but this year you have to add a third team into the mix and that is Holly. These three team are all 3-1 and the only teams that have winning record in the Ark Valley League. The big game this week will pit Holly at Springfield. This is a big game for both programs as it could determine who gets the automatic bid into the playoffs or who gets into the playoffs. The 8Man playoff system does not guarantee a #2 team from the league a berth but I believe this league should grab two and more than likely three bids. Holly had a great start to the season winning three straight before running into Sedgwick County who beat Holly 63 to 7. Holly was supposed to be Sedgwick County first real test and they never were able to get anything going in that game and had a running clock by halftime. Holly is still going to be looking for that elusive key victory and they will have their chance against Springfield. Springfield has been a very hot team as of late. Since their opening week loss to Sargent they have strung together 3 straight wins with a key win against Hoehne. Springfield relies on their rushing attack and without it they are in trouble. They have ran for over 200 yards in every game this season. The key for this game will be defense and if Springfield can shut down Holly offense like Sedgwick County did Springfield will walk away with a big league win.
Granada at McClave Las Animas at Wiley
Holly at Springfield
This league has been playing league games for a while now and the league picture is already beginning to take shape. They top three teams are Vail Christian, West Grand, and Gilpin County. West Grand and Vail are both undefeated and Gilpin County has one loss and that was to West Grand. That win that West Grand has is very key victory when it comes to league play. The problem this league always has is the lack of a non-league schedule which I think hurts their chances every year at grabbing more than 1 playoff spot. Vail Christian this week is traveling to Elbert and will be the favorites and West Grand will be traveling to Plateau Valley for a non-league game. This is a big game for West Grand to see how well they stack up against a team like Akron and league opponent Vail Christian. Vail Christian beat Plateau Valley 22 to 12 and Akron beat them 52 to 13. It’s hard to compare scores but if West Grand can have a good showing could go a long way to helping this league grab another playoff spot.
Vail Christian at Elbert Justice at Pikes Peak Christian
Gilpin County at Nederland West Grand at Plateau Valley (Non-League)
The Mountain league has three teams above .500 and 2 teams that are 2-2 and two that are 0-5. So far this year Sargent is the main leader of the league. They have a nice key win against Springfield they gave Norwood a scare last week but ended up losing. Sargent’s schedule does not get any easier this week at they face Mancos 3-1. Sargent has been very good at running the football and will once again be leaning on that this week. What Sargent needs to do is limit the amount of turnovers they have. Last week against Norwood they still ran for 344 yards but turnovers and special teams killed any momentum they had. Mancos is a bit of a surprise team this year. They opened the year by getting slammed by Norwood 50 to 12 then rebounded nicely with wins over Rangeley, Del Norte, and Sanford. Their strength of schedule is their biggest down fall. Mancos will be looking for a big key win and but that will not be easy if they cannot stop the rushing attack of Sargent. Sierra Grand vs Sangre De Cristo could also be another key game. Sierra Grande is 1-1 in league play and will be looking to stay in the upper half of the league with another win. Sangre De Cristo has other ideas and is looking for their first league win. This league should get 2 teams in and a small chance at a third team.
Sierra Grande at Sangre De Cristo Hoehne at Dove Creek (Non-League)
Mancos at Sargent Del Norte at Sanford
To start talking about the Plains League all I can say is wow. Every game in league should be a great game. All 6 team are ranked, 4 are undefeated and the other 2 have 1 loss. Each league team has been winning games by large margins as well. We will get started with Dayspring Christian at Caliche. Dayspring Christian has yet to score under 50 points this year and the most scored on them was 18 by Soroco. The big knock on Dayspring Christian is they never played a tough non-league opponent. Their best opponent was probably Soroco 1-3. Their offense is very balanced passing for 142 ypg and rushing for 206 ypg. Caliche has one loss and that was to Kiowa 12-6. That is the best team Caliche has faced in the non-league schedule. After that loss they have rebounded nicely with two wins and scoring over 40 points in both games. There are no stats uploaded to Maxpreps.com. I am not sure what to completely think of Caliche they really have not played anyone out of league and they didn’t beat Soroco as bad as Dayspring Christian did. I believe Dayspring Christian will win this game by over 30 points. The next game is Akron traveling up the road to face Merino. Akron opened the year playing 1A Holyoke and lost 29 to 21 but since that loss have been on a roll. Beating Fowler, Simla, and Plateau Valley. They have scored over 40 points in all three games and only allowed 13 points in those 3 games. Simla has been their best win so far this year. Their offense has been very explosive already rushing for 1200 yards this season and throwing for 430 yards. The most impressive thing about this team so far this year is their defense though. They were able to completely shut down Simla and Fowler offense and they will need to be able to do that this week. Merino started the year unranked and that didn’t bother them winning every game so far this year. They have nice wins against Simla and Granada. They didn’t beat Simla the way Akron did but they do have a huge win against a very good Granada team. Merino offense looks to be very balanced and will continue that trend again this week. This is a rivalry game and expect it to be a good game. The last game offers two very explosive offenses Sedgwick County vs Haxtun. Sedgwick County has yet to score under 59 points this year and have only given up 14 points in 3 games. This year Sedgwick County is looking to win the league after finishing in second to last place last year. I believed last week would be the first real test for Sedgwick County and that was not the case as they destroyed previously ranked Holly 64 to 7. Haxtun has been the surprise team so far this year going 4-0 to start the season. They have scored over 46 points in every game and like Akron and Merino beat Simla. They are looking to get out of the bottom of the Plains league this year and make the playoffs. We will know a lot more about Haxtun after this game. I believe Sedgwick County will still win this game but Haxtun will turn some heads with this game. What is going to be the kicker this year is can all 6 Plains League team get into the playoffs. They got 5 into the playoffs last year and it could be hard to grab that sixth spot. Especially if league like the Central get a second team or the Mountain get a third team. I believe the Southern league should get three and same goes with the Ark Valley League. I can see 5 still getting in the trick is can they get a 6th team. As the year goes on will tell us more.
Dayspring Christian at Caliche Akron at Merino
Haxtun at Sedgwick County
So far this season the league is being led by Hoehne. Hoehne missed their chance at a key non-league win but lost to Springfield 26 to 14. They really don’t have that key non-league win but they have been very good so far this year only scoring under 40 points once. The other team that has surprised everyone is Kiowa. They started off the season with a Bang knocking off defending state champions 12 to 6 then last week having a furious comeback against Granada but failing on the two point conversion and losing 28 to 26. Kiowa is looking to grab a nice league win this week against Swink and I believe they will. The other team to watch this year is Simla. They started the season rough playing three Plains team to start the season. They lost to all three and only was in one game and that was to Merino. They finally got in the win column last week against Swink winning 50 to 30. I believe they will be able to grab another victory this week against Fowler and move to 2-3 on the year. This league will be a three horse race this year between Hoehne, Kiowa, and Simla.
Simla at Fowler Kiowa at Swink
Cripple Creek at Custer County
Once against Norwood is the top team in the Western Slope. Their one loss was playing 11 man against a Blanding UT JV. They have a pair of nice wins against Mancos and Sargent. I don’t see Norwood being challenged at all by any team in their League which might hurt them when it comes to the Playoffs. They will need to stay health and keep focus. The only team I see maybe challenging Norwood is Soroco. They played a tough non-league schedule against Caliche and Dayspring Christian but I just don’t see them giving Norwood a scare. Norwood should win their game this week by over 30 points. This league will more than likely only get one team into the playoffs and that will be Norwood.
Hayden at Rangeley Norwood at Soroco