8-Man Football Week 7 League Breakdown
With just 4 games left for most team’s things are really starting to heat up for the league title races. When I breakdown each league at the end I talk briefly about each team’s playoff hopes.
Arkansas Valley League
The Ark Valley league had a few things sorted out last week. Two teams now sit atop the standings Fowler and McClave both sit at 2-0 in league and will probably stay that way for at least another week. Fowler hosts Wiley this week and McClave travels to Las Animas. Both leading teams should be able to maintain their lead this week. There is one big game inside the Ark Valley league this week. Hoehne travels to face Holly. This is a massive game not just for league implications but also when it comes to the playoff race. Holly is 2-3 on the season and had a bye last week to prepare for this massive game. Holly last game was a 68-22 loss to Fowler. Defensively Holly was torched on the ground and must have an answer for that this week. Offensively Holly had some success, but this week must have a big game from QB Dakota Eaton. Hoehne is 2-3 on the season and is coming off a 50-8 loss to Fowler. Hoehne defensively was torched on the ground as well. This week their defense must be able to stop both the pass and run to have success. Offensively Hoehne was balanced in their attack but QB Weston Hill must carry the load this week. This game will come down to which QB plays the best and should be a fun game.
Looking towards the playoffs Fowler is a near lock with the #3 RPI. Hoehne and Holly both are positioned to make a run at the playoffs, but I think the winner of Hoehne vs Holly will go along way to determining if either has a shot at the playoffs. McClave has a outside shot at the playoffs. They will need to probably beat at least Holly or Hoehne. They cannot lose to both and expect to move up the RPI far enough. McClave also has a shot at the league title as well.
Playoff Contenders: Fowler, Holly, Hoehne, McClave
RPI: Fowler (3), Hoehne (22), Holly (27), McClave (30), Springfield (36), Las Animas (37), Wiley (39)
The Central League will be decided this weekend. Front Range Christian took care of business against Denver Christian 54-6. Front Range Christian hosts Elbert this week and this is for a league title. Front Range Christian is 4-1 on the season and is coming off the 54-6 victory over Denver Christian. In the win Front Range Christian was powered by their rushing attack. Overall Front Range Christian is a pass heavy team with 1226 yards passing to just 574 yards rushing. Front Range Christian is hoping to make a return trip to the playoffs and they will lean heavily upon QB Luke Hiltman. The rushing attack may also have some success this week and if it does it will be Christian Chisholm to carry the ball. Defensively Front Range Christian must be able to defend the pass as well and must prevent Elbert from running the ball at will. Front Range Christian must have success stopping the pass and face a QB who is very talented as well. Elbert is 4-1 on the season and is coming off a quality victory over Swink 36-28. In the win Elbert offense was balanced in their attack. QB Nathan Tornone had 172 yards passing and Kade Bitterman had a solid day rushing for 45 yards. The offense for Elbert will need to have a big day for both of these players if they plan to win a league title. Defensively Elbert will have a few mistakes to fix after giving up 363 yards rushing to Swink. This week Elbert must be able to stop the pass to have any success and they are facing a QB as good as their own. This will be a great test of both teams passing defense. I honestly think this will be a high scoring game and whichever teams QB steps up the most will win.
Looking towards the playoffs only three teams have a shot at the playoffs they are Front Range Christian, Elbert, and Denver Christian. Denver Christian will need a lot of help to get in and have just 3 games left. Denver Christian will probably need to upset Pikes Peak Christian to get into the playoffs. Front Range Christian and Elbert are both in the Top 16 right now. The winner of their game this week will win the league title with the other probably needing to win out.
Playoff Contenders: Front Range Christian, Elbert, and Denver Christian
RPI: Front Range Christian (12), Elbert (14), Denver Christian (28), South Park (34), Justice (38)
The Mountain League is off to a great start. Last week Dove Creek beat Del Norte, Sargent got a forfeit win over Norwood, and Mancos beat Sangre De Cristo. The Top 4 teams in league have separated themselves from the bottom 3 teams. This week inside the Mountain League we have Sanford at Mancos, Del Norte at Norwood, and Sargent at Sangre De Cristo. Two games to really talk about this week are Del Norte at Norwood and Sanford at Mancos. Del Norte at Norwood is a big game for both teams. The loser will in my opinion be eliminated from the playoff hunt baring a huge upset. I really think Del Norte and Norwood are two very evenly matched teams and should be a good game. Del Norte will need QB Preston Terrel and RB Marcus Romero to have outstanding games. Norwood will look to QB Tyler Wytulka to lead their offense. This is a must win game for both teams. The main game to talk about this week is Mancos host Sanford. Sanford is 5-0 on the season and have yet to be tested so far. Sanford has not played the toughest schedule but have dominated all their games. Sanford last week blasted Custer County 64-14 which was a non-league game. This will be Sanford toughest test and their defense must be ready to stop a very good offensive attack. Sanford will probably need their offense to be able to match Mancos and look for QB Thomas Faucette, RBClay Canty, and RB Kelton Gartrell to have big games this week. Mancos is 5-0 on the season and have played a tough schedule thus far in the season. Mancos has impressive wins over Merino and Sargent. Mancos defensively has at times given up points but have made big stands when needed. Colt Fury leads the defensive side of the ball. Offensively Mancos is a run heavy team racking up 1915 yards rushing and led by RB Chase Moore. The passing attack is still a threat and QB Breccen Morelli could be needed to have a big game. Mancos offense has been nearly unstoppable this season and must have a big day this week. Mancos vs Sanford is one of the better match ups in the state and should be a great game.
Looking towards the playoffs I can say that Mancos and Sanford are in decent shape right now. Both are in the Top 5 of the RPI and should be near locks for the playoffs but we will see how the final weeks turn out. Dove Creek and Sargent are both in the Top 16 as well. Dove Creek has a bye this week before heading into the toughest part of their schedule with games against Sargent, Sanford, and Mancos. Sargent has a must win game against Sangre De Cristo this week and then close the season with 3 tough games. Del Norte and Norwood play each other with the winner really keeping their playoff hopes alive. The loser will need some help.
Playoff Contenders: Mancos, Sanford, Sargent, Dove Creek, Del Norte, Norwood
RPI: Mancos (2), Sanford (5), Dove Creek (13), Sargent (16), Del Norte (21), Norwood (22), Sangre De Cristo (23)
The Northwest League has two teams atop the league standings, and we could be giving out a league title after this week. Vail Christian and Soroco are both undefeated in league and overall. West Grand has locked themselves into the #2 spot so far. This week inside the Northwest League we have Hayden at Rangely, Plateau Valley at Gilpin County, and Vail Christian at Soroco. All three games are big games. Plateau Valley at Gilpin County should eliminate one of the teams from any shot at the playoffs. The winner keeps some hope alive for the playoffs especially if Plateau Valley wins. Hayden at Rangely is big for both teams. Both teams are on 2 game losing streaks. Hayden has lost to Plateau Valley and Vail Christian and is desperate for a key win. Rangely has lost to Vail Christian and West Grand which are quality losses, but they desperately need to break the slide. This could be one of the bigger games for Rangely to keep their playoff hopes alive. The main event is Soroco hosting Vail Christian. Soroco is 5-0 on the year but have played one of the weakest schedules in 8-man. Soroco though has dominated in all 5 games with their closest win coming over South Park 34-8. Soroco will be playing their toughest 3 game stretch with Vail Christian, Rangely, and West Grand. We will learn a lot about Soroco in the coming weeks. Soroco offensively must have success running the football. Defensively they must also stop the run, and this will be a good test for this defense. Vail Christian is 5-0 on the season and have big wins over Rangely and West Grand and a win over Soroco would lock up the league title baring an upset next week. Vail Christian defensively must be able to stop the run. Success on defense will depend on if Vail Christian can stop the run. If they struggle it could be a long day for Vail Christian. Offensively look for QB Jamison Lee and RB Simon Nowicki to have standout performances. Vail Christian has proven they can play against top teams but this is another solid test for this team.
Looking towards the playoffs Vail Christian is a near lock even with a loss to Soroco I think they are a lock for the playoffs. West Grand and Rangely both need to win at least 2 of their final 4 (3 of their final 4 for Rangely). I think both should be in good position. Soroco I have a few concerns about. Their OWP is at .130 which is the lowest in 8-man. The game against Vail Christian will help their OWP but a loss will hurt their RPI. Soroco will probably need to win 2 of their final 4 games but we will have to watch their RPI closely.
Playoff Contenders: Vail Christian, West Grand, Rangely, Soroco
RPI: Vail Christian (1), West Grand (8), Rangely (9), Soroco (15), Plateau Valley (29), Gilpin County (33), Hayden (32),
Things really heat up inside the Plains league this week. Last week Sedgwick County beat Haxtun, Merino beat Akron, and Dayspring Christian beat Byers. This week we have 3 league games that all matter. Byers at Akron is the first game to quickly talk about. Akron and Byers are both dropping in the RPI and the loser will be eliminated from the playoff hunt. Both teams are desperate for a win and the winner keeps hope alive for a playoff run. Caliche at Merino kicks off the two big games inside the plains league. Caliche is 4-1 on the season and 1-1 in league. Their lone loss of the season is to Dayspring Christian. Caliche last week beat South Park 58-20 which was a non-league game. Caliche is hoping to pick up a huge upset of Merino to keep their league title hopes alive. Offensively Dylan Huss and Riley Stump must have outstanding games this week. Caliche must be able to run the ball if they plan to upset Merino. Defensively Caliche must be able to stop the run and force Merion to beat them thru the air. Caliche will have their hands full this week, but they will be desperate for a huge win. Merino is 4-1 overall and 2-0 in league. Merino lone loss is to #2 Mancos 48-34. Last week Merino beat Akron 42-0. Defensively Merino shut down Akron rushing attack picking up the shutout. Merino offensively must be able to run the ball and look for QB Cade Conger and RB Trent Elliott to have big games for Merino. This should be a good game. The main event though in the plains league is Dayspring Christian traveling to Sedgwick County. Dayspring Christian is 5-0 overall and 3-0 in league. Dayspring Christian is completely healthy and have really picked up the pace as of late. Dayspring Christian last week beat Byers 54-15. QB Christian Still is back and off to a great Start throwing for 460 yards already. Garrett Krehbiel who started while Still was out is still a big part of the offense as he moved to RB and has been another good weapon for Dayspring Christian. Expect both Still and Krehbiel to have big games if Dayspring Christian wants to pull the upset. Defensively Dayspring Christina will have to stop a balanced offensive attack. This will be the biggest test of this defense and we will see how they rise to the challenge. Sedgwick County is 6-0 on the year and have dominated every opponent. Defensively Sedgwick County has given up just 26 points. Sedgwick County has not played the toughest schedule but their 34-0 win over Hoehne is a quality win. Offensively Sedgwick County has been a two headed monster. QB Jared Ehmke is off to a great start with 428 yards passing and 5 TDs and RB Beau Parker has 327 yards rushing and 9 TDs. The stats are missing two games so probably a bit off. Sedgwick County offensively will need those two players to really lead the way. This should be a great test for Sedgwick County. This will be one of the best games in the state and will tell us a ton about both teams.
Looking towards the playoffs I think the top 4 teams Sedgwick County, Merino, Caliche, and Dayspring Christian will all have great shots at the playoffs. I think the remaining games for these teams will help them get into the playoffs. Haxtun and Akron will probably need an upset of the top 4 teams to have any shot at the playoffs.
Playoff Contenders: Sedgwick County, Merino, Caliche, Dayspring Christian
RPI: Dayspring Christian (4), Merino (6), Sedgwick County (10), Caliche (11), Haxtun (24), Akron (26), Byers (31)
Last week just 1 game inside the Southern League and it was Pikes Peak Christian rolling to a 48-8 victory over Simla. Pikes Peak Christian and Swink still sit atop the league standings. This week just two games inside the Southern League. Pikes Peak Christian hosts Custer County and Calhan travels to Swink. Pikes Peak Christian will be looking to move to 3-0 in league and I think will have success against Custer County. Custer County will be desperate for an upset and to end a 4-game losing streak. Custer County will have to fix the mistakes after losing to Sanford 64-14 last week. Pikes Peak Christian is looking to keep control over the Southern League and a win puts their destiny in their own hands. Calhan at Swink is a big game for both teams. Calhan is coming off a 22-20 upset of Simla and have a ton of momentum. Calhan will need their defense to be on point this week. Calhan must have success stopping the run or it will be a long day for Calhan. Offensively look for QB Brandon Eglinton to have a big day along with RB Ryan Campbell. Calhan with the win keeps a hope for a league title alive. Swink is coming off a tough 36-28 loss to Elbert. Swink had plenty of success running the football and will need that again. RB Matthew Mendoza must have a big day for Swink if they plan to win. Defensively Swink must be able to stop the run. Swink must force Calhan to throw the ball and if they do, they will have success. If Swink wins they set up a league title match with Pikes Peak Christian on 10/25.
Looking towards the playoff and really all 5 teams are still alive for the playoffs. Custer County will need a lot of help but if they can win their win two games could have a slight shot at the playoffs. Swink is sitting at #20 and probably need to win 2 of their final 4 if not 3 of their final 4 to have a chance. Their OWP is good though so I am guessing they need at least 2 of their final 4 games to be a win. Simla has just 2 games remaining, and I am guessing need them both. Simla can’t loss to Swink next week and get in. Calhan also has just three games remaining and probably need 2 of the 3 if not all 3. Calhan OWP is under .500. Pikes Peak Christian is a near lock. Pikes Peak Christian probably needs 3 of their 4 games to be wins but I think are a lock.
Playoff Contenders: Pikes Peak Christian, Swink, Calhan, Simla
RPI: Pikes Peak Christian (7), Calhan (17), Simla (18), Swink (20), Custer County (25)