8-Man Football Quarterfinals Breakdown
#1 West Grand vs #8 Pikes Peak Christian
West Grand came out quickly in the opening round against Front Range Christian. West Grand scored 34 points in the 1st quarter and 22 points in the second quarter to have mercy rule going by halftime. West Grand was able to move into the quarterfinals with a final score of 68-12. West Grand last year was the runner up and know what it will take to win a state championship. Offensively West Grand had everything working passing for 133 yards and rushing for 333 yards. QB Luis Dominguez had a monster day passing for 133 yards and rushing for 128 yards. He must continue to have monster days if West Grand plans on moving deeper into the playoffs. Defensively West Grand was dominate. West Grand forced 8 sacks and had 2 interceptions. Marcos Ramirez led all West Grand players with 4 Sacks and Jordan Knight led all plays with 12 tackles. West Grand defensively has been outstanding, and they must refocus for a very tough Pike Peak Christian team.
Pikes Peak Christian came out swinging blowing past Vail Christian 52-16. Pikes Peak Christian had mercy rule going by the 3rd quarter but Pikes Peak Christian made a statement with the win over Vail Christian. Pikes Peak Christian has not posted any stats from the season or the previous season, but I know they returned nearly their entire team from last year. Pikes Peak Christian has not been challenged much this season besides their 20-12 win over Simla and their lone loss this season was to Merino 22-6. Pikes Peak Christian is hoping to pull a massive upset.
This is going to be a good game. Pikes Peak Christian lone loss was to Merino when they were at full health and was only 22-6. Pikes Peak Christian will have to get their offense going against a very good West Grand defense. West Grand must be ready for a tough game and offensively they must take care of the football. I am going with West Grand in this game but it will be a close one.
#4 Rangely vs #5 Hoehne
Rangely faced a tough Akron team in the opening round and everyone knew this was going to be a physical game. Rangely proved their toughness in the 14-6 victory. Rangely showed that they can handle a tough physical rushing attack and a defense that can fly around. Rangely offensively did struggle a bit with turnovers having 2 INTs and 1 lost fumble. Rangely this week must take care of the football and must have big performances from senior QB Drew Brannan and Sr Devin Ramirez. Defensively I was impressed with Rangely being able to handle the physicality of Akron. Rangely was led by Grady Nielsen with 9 tackles and Anthony Lujan with 8 Tackles. Rangely now has to quickly refocus and be faces another physical running team and they will once again have to be tough up front.
Hoehne opened the playoffs with a victory over Dayspring Christian 50 to 24. Early on this game shaped up to be a shootout but Hoehne outscored DCA 20-8 in the third quarter and was enough to pull away. Hoehne defensively showed a slight weakness giving up 227 yards passing but also forced 2 Interceptions. Hoehne held DCA to just 138 yards rushing forcing DCA to be one dimensional. Hoehne was led by Federico Orozco with 17 tackles. Hoehne now faces a more balanced offensive attack and will have to be on top of their game. Offensively Hoehne was able to run the ball at will racking up 427 yards of rushing. Hoehne was averaging 8.1 yards per carry and only passed the ball 6 times. Trysten Moltrer had a massive day rushing for 271 yards and 3 TDs. Hoehne offensively has relied on their rushing attack but have gotten better passing the ball as well. Hoehne offensively must be ready for a tough defense and a team that slowed a good rushing offense last week.
I honestly think this will be the best game of the Quarterfinals in 8-man. Both teams are playing very good football, and both have proven they can score points and play good defense. Rangely is a more balanced offensive attack and Hoehne relies more on their rushing attack. I am going to go with Hoehne in this game but this was not an easy decision. This game should be a great game and should be a touchdown game and could go to either team.
#3 Sedgwick County vs #6 Caliche
3-time defending state champion Sedgwick County moved into the quarterfinals 46-6 victory over Simla. Sedgwick County did not get mercy rule going till the fourth quarter and Simla played them tough till halftime. Sedgwick County only led 22 to 6 at halftime before pulling away in the second half. Offensively Layne Green had a big day rushing for 137 yards and 3 TDs. Sedgwick County only passed the ball 4 times for 66 yards. Sedgwick County did not have the biggest offensive day only putting up 289 yards of offense, but their defense had a huge day. Sedgwick County held Simla to just 53 yards rushing and 102 yards passing. Layne Green and Dalton Carlson led all tackles with 6. Sedgwick County now has to refocus and face a rematch from earlier in the season.
Caliche opened the playoffs against Fowler. Caliche came out swinging and pulled out a 40 to 0 victory. Caliche defensively shutdown Fowler giving up just 128 yards of total offense. Caliche had 2 fumble recoveries’ and 2 sacks in the game as well. Caliche was led by Adam Zink who had 14 Tackles. Caliche must feel good about how their defense performed but now they have to face Sedgwick County and we will see if they learned from the first meeting. Offensively Caliche did not attempt a pass but did not have to rushing for 421 yards and averaging 8.3 yards per carry. Dylan Huss led all rushers with 184 yards and Adam Zink was #2 with 158 yards rushing. Caliche offensively must be ready to battle with Sedgwick County and break into the end zone.
These two teams meet during the regular season with Sedgwick County winning 36-0. I think this time this game will be a closer. I just think Sedgwick County defensively will be too much to handle and I am giving them the upper hand. I am going with Sedgwick County winning this game.
#10 Holly vs #15 Merino
Two teams that pulled upsets in the first round meet up in the quarterfinals. Holly had a thriller of a game and pulled off the 42 to 36 victory in double OT over Sargent. This was a wild game with momentum swings everywhere. Holly took a 22-14 lead into halftime. Sargent was able to tie it up in the 3rd quarter. Sargent struck first in the 4th quarter taking the 30 to 22 lead. Holly then was able to answer and get the 2-point conversion making the score 30 to 30. Holly before time expired were driving and within the 20 yard line. Sargent defense made a stand a picked off a pass to force OT. In overtime Holly had the ball first and scored but failed on the 2 point try. Sargent answered the score and went for the field goal to win the game. Holly then blocked the field goal to force the second overtime. Sargent got the ball first and were held out of the endzone. Holly was able to punch it in and won 42 to 36. This was a great game and both teams battled hard for the win. Offensively Kobe Davis had a massive game passing for 253 and 3 TDs. Defensively Holly will have a few things to work on but made big stands when needed. Holly now has to refocus and regroup for a very good Merino team.
Merino has woken up and are finally health and at full strength. Merino may be playing the best football right now and have two massive upsets in two weeks. Merino blasted #2 Mancos last week and made a statement win. Merino now must refocus as they play a balanced offensive team who also has some momentum. Merino has not posted any stats this year. I do know they had a couple injuries early in the season and are at full strength.
This should be a good game as well. These two teams last year were the #3 and #2 seeds, and both are playing at that caliber now. Holly has some momentum, but their defense will have to step up this week. Merino I feel is playing great football, but can they maintain it against a tough Holly team. This is another tough choice. I am going with Holly pulling off a hard fought victory but I can easily see it going either way.