Class 1A Football Week 6 League Breakdown
With League play starting for Class 1A I thought it would be a good idea to quickly run down each League and give some predictions for each league.
The Foothills League is off to a rough start with only 2 teams over .500. Jefferson and Clear Creek are your two early leaders. Platte Canyon, Lake County, and Sheridan are all sitting at 1-3 and hoping to make a run-in league play. Jefferson is the surprise team so far this season. They started 3-0 to start and lost their first game last week to 2A Prospect Ridge. We are still not sure about how good Jefferson is and mainly due to their weak non-league schedule. Jefferson opens league play against Lake County. Lake County picked up their first win last week and are hoping to snag win #2. If Jefferson can get off to a 1-0 start in league they can keep their league title hopes alive. Game #2 is an elimination game for the league title between Sheridan and Manual. Sheridan enters at 1-3 and Manual at 0-4. I expected Manual to get off to a better start this year and now will have to run the table for league play to have any shot at the playoffs. Sheridan we were not too sure how good they were going to be this year and a 1-3 start hurt their shot at the playoffs this year. Game #3 is a huge matchup feature two playoff teams from a year ago. Clear Creek takes on Platte Canyon. Clear Creek is off to a 2-2 start and their offense is high flying once again. Clear Creek has scored over 132 points in 4 games, but Clear Creek biggest problem may be their defense which is giving up 111 point a game. Clear Creek will have to be able to stop the run this week or will be in trouble. Platte Canyon is off to a 1-3 start and have struggled scoring points this year. Platte Canyon has scored just 24 points this year and will need more than that to beat Clear Creek. Platte Canyon may be rebuilding this year, but their running attack will give fits to anyone.
My Favorite to win the Foothills League is Clear Creek. Jefferson was beat by a 0-3 team last week and their SOS is the worst in 1A. Platte Canyon could make a run for the second spot and possibly challenge for a playoff spot, but the Foothills League is looking more and more like a one berth league.
RPI: #22 Clear Creek, #25 Platte Canyon, #26 Sheridan, #28 Jefferson, #36 Manual, #37 Lake County
North Central League
In my preseason League Predictions, we talked about which league may be the toughest and the North Central League so far has lived up to the billing with only 1 team under .500. The North Central League has 2 undefeated teams, 2 teams with 1 lose, and a 2-2 team, and all 5 will compete for the league title. My preseason pick to win the North Central league was Limon. They enter the league season with a 4-0 record and some very impressive wins on their resume. Limon opens league play against 1-3 Wiggins. Limon will be the heavy favorite in this game and should move to 1-0 and await some results from the other 2 games. The second biggest game in the North Central League pits Holyoke vs Yuma. Holyoke is off to a surprising 4-0 start. Holyoke though has not played a tough schedule with only 1 team at .500 and even then, that teams on the field is 1-3. Holyoke SOS is 31 and now that they are moving into league play they will be tested every week. Yuma had mixed results in their non-league schedule losing to Pine Bluffs WY (WY 1A state Champion) and Crowley County. Yuma lost both games by 3+ touchdowns and Yuma will have to learn to play tougher against top competition. Yuma will have their shot this week to pull a huge upset. The main event this week in the North Central is #3 Burlington vs #5 Wray. Burlington is 3-1 to start the season with their only loss coming to #2 Strasburg 12-0. Burlington did struggle two weeks ago against Lamar pulling off the 34 to 29 victories, but Burlington may have gotten back on track with the 38 to 0-win last week over Manual. Burlington must be ready to stop the run of could be in for a long night. Burlington also must get their offense going if they plan on grabbing the victory. Wray is off to a 3-1 start but on the field, they are 4-0 after forfeiting their opening game. Wray defensively is playing outstanding giving up just 16 points in the non-league schedule. Wray has 2 keys wins over Brush and Cornerstone Christian, but this week game will be their biggest challenge by far. Wray must play outstanding defense again this week to stop a balanced offensive attack. This will probably be one of the best game of the weekend and I am leaning towards Wray in this game.
My Favorite to win the North Central League is Limon. Limon pulled a huge win last week over #2 Strasburg and reinforced my decision. I do think 5 of the 6 teams in the league will be fighting for a playoff spot but I could see only 4 teams getting into the playoffs.
RPI: #1 Limon, #7 Holyoke, #10 Wray, #14 Yuma, #15 Burlington, #39 Wiggins
The Northern League is off to a solid start with 4 teams over .500. I think the Northern League has a clear leader right now as well with #2 Strasburg leading the way at 3-1. Strasburg opens league play against Lyons who is 0-4 and will be the heavy favorite. Strasburg will have some things to work out after falling to Limon last week. Hopefully Strasburg can get everything figured out this week and be ready for the rest of the league schedule. Highland, Estes Park, and Cornerstone Christian all sit at 2-2 and are hoping to challenge Strasburg for the League crown. Highland is off to a 2-2 start but were blasted last week by Holyoke 41 to 0. Highland will have a good chance to right the ship this week when they face Pinnacle. Highland can try and fix some of the problems that have had and should move to 1-0 in league. The biggest game in the Northern League this week is Cornerstone Christian facing off against Estes Park. Cornerstone Christian played a tough non-league schedule picking up loses to Yuma and Wray. Cornerstone Christian did pick up wins against Wiggins and Prospect Ridge but the biggest problem so far for Cornerstone Christian must be their offense. They have scored just 43 points this year and that will be get it done as they move into the league schedule. Estes Park is off to a surprise 2-2 start and probably the best starts they have been off to in some years. Estes Park two wins are over 2A Arvada and Sheridan. Estes Park did pick up two losses to quality opponents losing to 2A Middle Park and Clear Creek. Estes Park will have a good shot at moving to 1-0 in league play, but their defense will have to come to play this week. Estes Park also must continue developing their offense as well. I am leaning towards Cornerstone Christian in this game, but this should be a good game.
My Favorite to win the Northern League is Strasburg. I think they are just way ahead of everyone right now but must take care of business week in and week out. Cornerstone Christian, Estes Park, and Highland will all compete for playoff spots.
RPI: #3 Strasburg, #16 Highland, #17 Estes Park, #24 Cornerstone Christian, #38 Lyons, #40 Pinnacle
Santa Fe League
The Santa Fe League has two clear leaders at this point in the season with Peyton (4-0) and Crowley County (3-1) leading the way. The rest of the league is either 1-3 or 0-4. Peyton opens league play against Ellicott and will heavily favored. Peyton played well in their non-league schedule with key wins over Florence, Colorado Springs Christian, and Clear Creek. Peyton has given up just 31 points on defense while scoring 174 on offense. Peyton should get some of their younger kids playing time as Ellicott is really struggling this season scoring just 8 points on offense. Game #2 features John Mall vs Trinidad. John Mall played well last week giving up a fourth quarter touchdown to Center to lose 16-8. John Mall I think can make some noise in league play but must get off to a 1-0 start to do that. John Mall must get their offense going this week. Trinidad was blasted by Florence last week 40 to 8. Trinidad has been hit by the injury bug the past few weeks and are playing a ton of younger kids. Trinidad is still trying to right the ship as they have struggled since moving down to 1A. I am going with John Mall to move to 1-0. The big game this week features rivals Crowley County vs Rocky Ford. Rocky Ford was running over by Monte Vista last week giving up 455 yards rushing. Rocky Ford will have to fix that problem this week if they want to stay in the game against another run heavy offense. Crowley County is off to a solid 3-1 start with their lone loss coming to Limon. Crowley County should have a good day offensively and get their rushing attack going. Crowley County cannot overlook Rocky Ford and since these two are rivals anything can happen. I am going with Crowley County to snag their first league win.
My Favorite to win the Santa Fe League is Peyton. I do think when Crowley County and Peyton play each other it will be for the league title. I do think that the Santa Fe may only be a 2-berth team this year.
RPI: #2 Peyton, #5 Crowley County, #31 John Mall, #32 Rocky Ford, #33 Trinidad, #34 Ellicott
Southern Peaks League
The Southern Peaks league is off to a solid start his season with 2 teams under .500. One of those two teams are Monte Vista and they played a tough non-league schedule. They open their league schedule against Dolores tonight. Monte Vista is 1-3 on the season with them loses coming to Alamosa, Paonia, and Florence all of which are 3-1 or 2-2. Monte Vista may have figured some things out last week blasting Rocky Ford 46-22 and rushing for 455 yards. Dolores is on a bit of a hot streak after starting the season 0-3. Dolores picked up back to back wins over Whitehorse UT and Monument Valley UT. Both of those teams are not necessarily power teams in 1A, but confidence is a big thing for a young team. Monte Vista will be the favorite in this game and I am going with them to run past Dolores. There is only 1 other league game this week as #5 Centauri host Center. Center is off to a surprising 3-1 start and have some confidence. Center pulled out a hard fought 16-8 win over John Mall. Center has been led by a group of seniors who played around the valley last year. Center has a lot of Sophomore playing and this team should continue to get better. Centauri comes in to league play with a 3-1 record and their lone loss coming to Pagosa Springs. Centauri has 3 big wins over 1A opponents; Paonia, Olathe, and Buena Vista. Centauri will be seeking some revenge as the last time these two teams played Center upset Centauri and essentially cost the Falcons a playoff berth. I am going with Centauri to win this game. The one team we didn’t talk about was Ignacio they play a non-league game against Colorado Springs Christian on Saturday.
My Favorite to win the South Peaks League is Centauri. I think Monte Vista will be their biggest threat and it will be interesting to see how the RPI will go for the SPL. Monte Vista, Center, and Dolores may challenge for playoff spot, but we will have to see some results.
RPI: #4 Centauri, #20 Dolores, #21 Center, #27 Monte Vista, #30 Ignacio
The Tri-Peaks league is off to a great start will all 5 teams at or above .500. All 5 teams will be in the hunt for the league title and the first week of league play will help determine a few things. Colorado Springs Christian is the lone team not playing a league game. They play a non-league game against Ignacio. The Tri-Peaks and Southern Peaks are both 5 team leagues and they essentially are playing crossover games. The first league game to mention is St. Mary’s vs Buena Vista. St. Mary’s is off to a surprise 2-2 start. St. Mary’s picked up back to back wins to start the season over John Mall and Denver West. St. Mary’s has run into some trouble with loses to Jefferson and Manitou Springs. St. Mary’s will be trying to right the ship this week which won’t be easy against a tough Buena Vista team. Buena Vista started the season winning two straight games. Buena Vista like St. Mary’s has lost two straight games, and both were blowouts to Salida and Centauri. Buena Vista will also try and right the ship but with both teams playing desperate it will be interesting to see which team can pull the win. Buena Vista played well early on but once they played against top teams they have struggled a bit. I do see Buena Vista moving to 1-0 in league play. The big game this week features Rye vs Florence. Rye has played well against some teams beating Ellicott and John Mall. Rye though struggled against Crowley County 48-0 and Rocky Ford 46-8. Rye had a bye last week and will give themselves some extra time to fix any mistakes from the Rocky Ford game. Rye will have to play outstanding run defense if they plan on upsetting Florence. Florence has really started to play well with back to back wins over Monte Vista and Trinidad. Florence offense has found their grove breaking 40 points in both games. Florence is hoping to continue that this week against Rye. Florence defense is also playing well, and they will need to play solid again this week. Florence is hoping to move to 1-0 in league play. I am going with Florence over Rye.
My Favorite to win the Tri-Peaks league is Colorado Springs Christian. The Tri-Peaks in my mind is going to be a battle between three teams Colorado Springs Christian, Florence, and Buena Vista. I think any of the 3 can win the league and all three will compete for playoff berths.
RPI: #8 Buena Vista, #9 Colorado Springs Christian, #12 Florence, #23 St. Mary’s, #29 Rye
Western Slope League
The Western Slope league is off to an interesting start with no teams over .500 and 3 teams at .500. It appears record wise that the Western Slope is wide open but looking deeper into results you can say there are three top teams currently. Olathe is 2-2 with two loses to Top 5 teams (Basalt and Centauri). Olathe also has two key wins over Center and Coal Ridge. Olathe has either own big or lost big and not played in between and this week they have a huge game against Cedaredge. Cedaredge is 1-3 but have played tough in all their games. Cedaredge is hoping to pull the upset against Olathe. Olathe must be ready to run if they plan on moving to 1-0 in league. I am going with Olathe in this game. Another team who I think will eventually rise to the top of the Western Slope is Meeker. Meeker is 1-2 with both loses coming to solid teams (Aspen and Limon). Meeker will have to keep developing their young players and will have a chance this week against Grand Valley. Grand Valley is 1-3 and played a tough non-league schedule. Grand Valley is hoping to show that their non-league schedule prepared them for league play. Meeker will have to play with the same mentality as they did against Limon and if they do they should move to 1-0 in league. The main event in the Western Slope features Paonia vs Hotchkiss. Both teams enter the contest at 2-2. Hotchkiss will be looking to rebound for their blowout loss to Steamboat Springs. Hotchkiss is still somewhat of a mystery and I think this first game will give us a good look at them. Paonia has improved every week after their week 1 lose to Centauri. Paonia beat Monte Vista and Coal Ridge before falling last week to Basalt 16-0. Paonia defense has been the biggest improvement and their offense is starting to come along. Paonia should move to 1-0 in league but like I said Hotchkiss is somewhat of a mystery team.
My Favorite to win the Western Slope league is Paonia. I do think that Meeker and Olathe could also win the crown but right now I am leaning towards Paonia. I also think all 3 will have a shot at a playoff berth.
RPI: #6 Olathe, #11 Paonia, #13 Meeker, #18 Grand Valley, #19 Cedaredge, #35 Hotchkiss