8-Man Football Week 8 League Breakdown
With just 3 games left for most team’s things are really starting to heat up for the league title races. RPI is become a major factor as teams look forward to if they can make it or what seed they will be. Next week I will really dive into the RPI and look more into what teams really have a shot.
Arkansas Valley League
Two teams sit atop the Ark Valley League standings and that tie will be broken this week. Fowler travels to face McClave and for one team it could be a league title match. McClave continues their hot streak winning 3 straight games but facing the bottom 3 teams in league. The tough stretch for McClave is coming up when they face Fowler, Holly, and Hoehne. McClave will probably need 1 if not two upsets to jump into the top 16 and make the playoffs. McClave also has league title hopes and a win over Fowler give them a shot. McClave will have to play their best game of the season and will have to play outstanding defense. Fowler can lock up the Ark Valley league title with a win this week. Fowler has dominated this year. They have given up just 20 points twice this season and the rest have been under 10 points. Look for Fowler defensively to bring the pressure to McClave. Offensively look for the two headed monsters at RB in Joshua Daniels and Jackson Bates to have big games. Looking at the RPI for Fowler they are positioned for a top 10 seed but how high they rise will be the question. Looking at the other two games in the Ark Valley league we have Las Animas at Springfield and Holly at Wiley. Las Animas, Springfield, and Wiley are all in bad shape when it comes to the playoffs. Springfield has the better chance of the three but would need to upset both Fowler and Holly to get into the playoffs. Holly on the other had is sitting at #24 in the RPI and must win out to have any sort of shot at the playoffs. Holly may need a bit of help to get in but they must take care of themselves. Hoehne is sitting at #25 in the RPI and has a must win game against Sangre De Cristo this week. This win won’t help Hoehne a ton but keeps them trending in the right direction. Hoehne like Holly must win out and get some help to jump into the Top 16.
Playoff Contenders: Fowler, Holly, Hoehne, and McClave
RPI: Fowler (8), McClave (23), Holly (24), Hoehne (25), Springfield (34), Las Animas (38), Wiley (39)
Elbert has basically won the league title. They cannot officially win the league title till their game next week against Justice and a win their makes it official. Elbert clinched the league title beating Front Range Christian 46-14. Elbert will now focus on their three remaining games against Calhan (non-league), Justice, and South Park. Elbert has not gotten big respect in my rankings or talked much about anywhere else due to their lone loss to Custer County to open the year. Elbert though keeps improving and will give someone fits in the playoffs. Elbert sits at #11 in the RPI and will hope to rise a bit more and host a home game. Looking at the rest of the Central League South Park and Justice are eliminated from the playoff hunt. Denver Christian is sitting at #30 and will need to upset Pikes Peak Christian to have any shot. I will say that for Denver Christian playing their first year have played well and can’t wait to see how they perform next year. Front Range Christian is sitting at #14 in the RPI and on the bubble. Front Range Christian has 3 games remaining against Justice, Dayspring Christian, and Swink. Front Range Christian will need to win 2 of their final 3 games to stay in the top 16. Winning just 1 of their final 3 will make things very interesting.
Playoff Contenders: Front Range Christian and Elbert
RPI: Elbert (11), Front Range Christian (14), Denver Christian (30), South Park (37), Justice (40)
The Mountain League is starting to shake out a bit. Last week Sanford took the first big step and upset Mancos 52-24. This was a top 10 battle and Sanford showed that they are a legit threat in 8-man. Sanford now must focus on Del Norte this week. Sanford should win that game, but Del Norte has nearly surprised a team in the past. Last year Del Norte nearly upset Mancos and this year they nearly upset Rangely. Sanford must stay focused and not look past Del Norte to their remaining games against Dove Creek and Sargent. I get my first look at Sanford this week and I am interested to see how they play. Mancos moves into second place at 3-1 behind Sanford and Dove Creek. Mancos this week hosts Norwood in a big rivalry game. Norwood picked up their second win of the season blasting Del Norte 52-6. This was a huge momentum game for Norwood and keeps their playoff hopes alive. Norwood this week faces offense that can strike for big plays. Norwood must have a big performance once again from RB Jamar Rankings and RB Broc Joseph. The big game to talk about this week is Sargent traveling to Dove Creek. Sargent is 4-2 on the year and started the year playing a lot of inexperienced players but have gained confidence of late. Sargent will be looking to dominate on defense and must stop a very good QB in Chrobin Cressler. Offensively look for Sargent to have a big performance from QB Kage Pepper, RB Blake Behil and RB Payton Brown. This is a massive game for Sargent to keep their title hopes and help secure their playoff spot. Dove Creek continues to roll winning 4 straight games. Dove Creek has scored over 50 points in all their wins and will look for a similar result this week. The offense is led by QB Chorbin Cressler and RB Gauge Thompson. These two are critical for Dove Creek to win this game. Dove Creek is hitting the toughest part of their schedule with Sargent, Sanford, and Mancos all in the next 3 weeks. Defensively we will find out how tough Dove Creek is. Looking at the RPI for the Mountain League Del Norte and Sangre De Cristo are outside the Top 25. Sangre De Cristo will probably need to win out to get into the playoffs and this week’s game is a tough one against Hoehne. Del Norte will need help to get into the playoffs and probably need to win at least 2 of their final 3 games that means upsetting Sanford or Sargent. Norwood sits at #18 and have just 2 games remaining. Norwood will have a shot at the playoffs with just 1 win in their final 2 games but more than likely need to win both to get into the top 16. I quickly check their RPI and it could improve with 1 win to .5037 to .4987 which will keep them around 17-18. Sargent sits at #16 in the RPI. They have two games on their schedule that will boost their RPI with a win or a loss. Sargent must beat Del Norte next week and a win over Dove Creek or Sanford is probably enough to get into the playoffs. Dove Creek sits at #13 in the RPI, but their toughest three games of the season are coming up. Dove Creek has an OWP of .325 which will increase in all three games. I won’t look much into Dove Creeks numbers until their game with Sargent. Sanford and Mancos are near locks for the playoffs pending 1 win.
Playoff Contenders: Mancos, Sanford, Sargent, Dove Creek, Del Norte, Norwood
RPI: Sanford (2), Mancos (4), Dove Creek (13), Sargent (16), Norwood (18), Sangre De Cristo (27), Del Norte (29),
Vail Christian is has basically locked up the league championship and need just 1 win this week or next week to make it official. Vail Christian locked up the league title with the 48-12 victory over Soroco. Vail Christian now needs a win over Gilpin County this week or Plateau Valley next week to lock up the league title. Sitting in second place now is West Grand and Soroco. West Grand had a bye last week but did pick up a big win two weeks ago over Rangely. West Grand faces Hayden this week before a massive game with Soroco the following week. Hopefully this is not a trap game for West Grand and they take care of business against Hayden. Soroco will be looking to bounce back this week but have a huge task ahead of them with a game against Rangely. Soroco will look to fix some mistakes on offense and must get their rushing attack going. Defensively Soroco was torched for 502 yards of total offense. Look for Soroco to fix the mistakes and be ready for a big clash with Rangely. Rangely was able to bounce back with the 30-12 victory over Hayden. QB Anthony Lujan will be called upon to have a big game as will RB Zane Varner. Hopefully Rangely will be at full strength for the game. This is a big game for both teams as we position teams for the playoffs. Looking at the RPI Plateau Valley is sitting at #34 and have two very tough games remaining. Plateau Valley will probably need to upset both teams to get into the playoffs. Hayden will have a decent shot for a run at the playoffs. Hayden will have to win at least 2 of their final 3 games if not all 3 games though to get in. Gilpin County also will need to win 2 of their final 3 games that includes Vail Christian, Rangely, and West Grand. Gilpin County has a shot with the high OWP they have. Soroco sits at #17 in the RPI. Their OWP is at .289 which hurts their RPI #’s. Soroco has tough games against Rangely and West Grand then end the year against Hayden. Soroco probably needs 2 of their final 3 games to be wins to get into the Top 16. We will see how the results against Rangely go and be able to judge better. West Grand and Rangely sit at #9 and #10 in the RPI. For both to feel good about their playoff hopes they must win at least 2 of their final 3 games but I think both could run the table. Vail Christian is a lock for the playoffs with the league title and the #1 RPI.
Playoff Contenders: Vail Christian, West Grand, Rangely, Soroco
RPI: Vail Christian (1), Rangely (9), West Grand (10), Soroco (17), Gilpin County (32), Hayden (33), Plateau Valley (34)
The Plains League has two teams atop the standings. Sedgwick County and Merino both picked up wins last week and stayed undefeated in league. Sedgwick County took care of business last week beating Dayspring Christian 56-16. Sedgwick County had a big game from RB Beau Parker and QB Jared Ehmke. Sedgwick County will stay atop the league standings this week as they have a bye. Sedgwick County closes the year with two big games against Caliche and Merino. I am guessing by the time the time the end of the year gets here Sedgwick County will be top 3 in the RPI. Merino last week picked up a tough win over Caliche 28-6. Merino will have a shot at a league title but standing in there was this week is Dayspring Christian. Dayspring Christian picked up their first loss of the season to Sedgwick County. We will see how Dayspring Christian bounces back after the tough loss. Offensively they had some success passing the ball but 2 INTs slowed them down. Dayspring Christian struggled running the ball and only ran for 38 yards. Dayspring Christian defensively must improve on stopping the run after giving up over 200 yards to one RB. Dayspring Christian still has a shot at the league title but must pick up the upset win over Merino. Merino continues to roll and have picked up 3 straight wins. Merino must be able to stop a talented back field and a balanced offensive attack. Merino offensively must come to play, and they will be tested by a solid defensive team. If Merino wins this game, they stay tied with Sedgwick County and set up a league title game on 11/1. The other games inside the Plains league this week are Akron at Caliche and Byers at Haxtun. Caliche will be looking to bounce back and move to 2-2 in league. I think they will get past Akron but bounce back from a loss is always tough. Byers at Haxtun is huge for both teams as the winner keeps their playoff hopes alive. Looking at the RPI, Akron is in deep trouble at #31 in the RPI. Akron probably needs to win three straight games to get into the playoffs. Akron will hope to build upon this season for next year and grabbing a win or two could help. Byers is #28 in the RPI and probably need 2 of their final 3 games to be wins. They possibly need all 3 but we will know more after this week. Haxtun sits at #21 in the RPI and is in very good position to make a run for the playoffs. Haxtun has winnable games against Byers and Akron and need those two for sure. Haxtun may need to beat Caliche, but I think winning 2 of their final 3 games could be enough. Caliche is sitting at #12 in the RPI and need to win 2 of their final 3 games to lock themselves in. Merino, Sedgwick County, and Dayspring Christian are all nearly locks for the playoffs.
Playoff Contenders: Sedgwick County, Merino, Dayspring Christian, Caliche, Haxtun
RPI: Merino (3), Sedgwick County (5), Dayspring Christian (6), Caliche (12), Haxtun (21), Byers (28), Akron (31)
The Southern League won’t be decided until Pikes Peak Christian faces off against Swink and that will be next week. Pikes Peak Christian plays Dolores Huerta this week in a non-league game and they should be victorious in that game. Pikes Peak Christian will move to 5-1 on the season. The main game next week will be Pikes Peak Christian vs Swink for a league title. Swink sits tied in first place with Pikes Peak Christian. Swink stayed in first place with a 38-12 victory over Calhan last week. That win keeps their title hopes alive. This week the only Southern League game is a big one Simla travels to face Swink. Simla cannot win the league title but are hoping to still get into the playoffs. Looking at their schedule they have just two games remaining that count towards the RPI. Simla with the upset of Swink keep their playoff hopes alive but we will know more when I crunch numbers next week. Swink has made huge strides this year and lead by RB Matthew Mendoza. Swink would love to play outright for a league title and must beat Simla to do that. Swink is also fighting for their playoff hopes and three tough games to end the year they would love nothing more than to beat Simla. This game will have huge implications for the playoffs. Looking at the RPI all 5 teams in the Southern League still have a shot at the playoffs. Custer County sits the lowest at #22. They have two winnable games and need to win both to have any shot at the playoffs. Calhan also has just two games remaining and need at least 1 of the 2 if not both for a shot at the playoffs. Simla and Swink square off this week and that game will determine a ton for the league and RPI. Pikes Peak Christian is a near lock for the playoffs and I think will be a threat come playoff time.
Playoff Contenders: Pikes Peak Christian, Swink, Calhan, Simla
RPI: Pikes Peak Christian (7), Swink (15), Simla (19), Calhan (20), Custer County (22)