Class 2A Football First Round Breakdown
The First Round of the State Playoffs are upon us. We jump into the state playoffs with a very good opening round and some very good games in the first round. Regular season awards will be posted today for Class 2A.
#1 Rifle vs #16 Englewood
Rifle enters the playoffs as the #1 overall seed in Class 2A. Rifle is your Western Slope League Champion. Rifle finished the regular season with a 9-0 and played against 3 playoff teams going 3-0. Rifle defensively has given up 83 points which is 3rd best in 2A. Offensively Rifle has scored 362 points which is 2nd best in 2A. Rifle offensively is a run heavy offense led by RB Levi Warfel 1500 yards rushing and 21 TDs and Kenny Tlaxcala 627 yards rushing and 6 TDs. QB Hunter Sutsman has also played well completing 26 passes for 422 yards and 10 TDs. Rifle offensively relies heavily on their rushing attack and must control the line of scrimmage to have success in the playoffs.
Englewood enters the playoffs as the Colorado League Champion. Englewood is the #16 seed and out to pull an upset. Englewood finished the regular season with a 7-2 record and didn’t play against any other teams in the playoffs. This reason is why they are the #16 seed with their RPI under 16. Defensively Englewood has given up 144 points which is 13th best in 2A. Offensively Englewood has scored 283 points which is 7th best in 2A. Englewood offensively is a pass first team, but their rushing attack is solid. QB Mason Robertson leads the offense with 1,449 yards passing, 23 TDs, and 7 INTs. Robertson favorite target is Nate Gravagno who has 831 yards receiving. The rushing attack for Englewood is led by Yakez Daughtry who has 753 yards rushing and 8 TDs. The passing attack for Englewood is key for them to pull the upset and QB Mason Robertson will need to have a massive game.
Rifle will be the favorite in this game. Englewood will be hoping to pull the massive upset off and will have to play their best game of the season. Defensively they must be able to stop the run to have any success and this is the key to them winning. Offensively Rifle must have success running the ball to control the game. I am going with Rifle in this game.
#8 Classical Academy vs #9 Basalt
Classical Academy enters the playoffs coming off a crazy upset loss to Woodland Park. TCA will be hoping to bounce back. TCA enters the playoffs as the Tri-Peaks league champion and a record of 6-3. TCA played 5 playoffs teams going 3-2. Defensively TCA has given up 153 points which is 15th best in Class 2A. Offensively TCA has scored 253 points which is 13th best in 2A. Offensively TCA relies heavily on their rushing attack but QB Sam Guilez has had his moments with 385 yards passing and 3 TDs. The rushing attack is led by Cade Palmer who is having a good season with 1238 yards rushing and 12 TDs. Palmer is the key to the TCA offense, and he must have success for TCA to win this game.
Basalt enters the playoff coming off a hard-fought victory over Aspen 17-14. Basalt finished 3rd in the Western Slope league and a regular season record of 7-2. Basalt faced 3 playoffs teams going 1-2 in those games. Defensively Basalt has given up 103 points which is 7th best in 2A. Offensively Basalt has scored 231 points which is 16th best in 2A. Offensively Basalt is balanced in their offensive attack. QB Matty Gillis has had a good season passing for 1039 yards, 8 TDs, and just 1 INT. The rushing attack is led by Cole Dombrowski 591 yards rushing and 6 TDs and Gavin Webb 303 yards rushing and 8 TDs. Basalt will look to these 3 players to try and pull the small upset of Classical Academy
This is a very evenly matched game. TCA must be able to run the ball to have success offensively and defensively have proven then can slow down a variety of different offenses. Basalt offensively must have a big game from their passing attack and defensively must be able to stop the run. I think these two teams are evenly matched and will come down to the wire. I am going with TCA in this game just over Basalt.
#4 Delta vs #13 Pagosa Springs
Delta enters the playoffs as the #4 seed and on a 3-game winning streak. Delta finished second in the Western Slope league and enter the playoffs with an 8-1 record. Delta played against 3 playoff teams going 2-1. Defensively Delta has given up just 75 points which is the best in 2A. Offensively Delta has scored 385 points which is also best in 2A. Delta offensively relies on their passing attack. QB Nolan Bynum is the key for success for Delta offense. Bynum has 1,688 yards passing, 25 TDs, and just 2 INTs. His favorite target is Hunter Hughes who has 622 yards receiving and 12 TDs. Two other players to keep an eye on are RB Ku Moo and WR Nathan Workman. Delta this week must be able to score points and defensively must stay disciplined against the double wing option attack of Pagosa Springs.
Pagosa Springs had a very interesting season starting the season at 1-4 and winning 4 straight games to win the Intermountain League title and qualify for the playoffs. Pagosa Springs finished the regular season with a 5-4 record playing against 5 playoff teams going 1-4 in those games. Pagosa Springs has really started to play better as the season has gone on. Defensively Pagosa Springs has given up 188 points which is 23rd best in 2A. Offensively Pagosa Springs has scored 239 points which 15th best in 2A. Offensively Pagosa Springs is a run first team running a double wing option attack. QB Grant Aucoin is key to the offense and he has had success rushing for 429 yards and passing for 693 yards. The main work horse of the offense is Paden Bailey who has rushed for 1031 yards and 14 TDs. Both players are key to Pagosa Springs having success.
This could be a very interesting game. Delta will be the favorite in the game but Pagosa Springs will be extremely tough to stop defensively with the option attack they run. Discipline will be key for Delta this week. Pagosa Springs defensively will have to have success stopping the pass and must force a turnover or two. I am going with Delta in this game, but this should be a good game and could turn into both teams breaking the 20-point mark.
#5 Faith Christian vs #12 Elizabeth
Faith Christian enters the playoffs as the Flatirons League Champions and on an 8-game winning streak. Faith Christian is 8-1 on the season and played against 2 playoff teams going 1-1 in those games. Defensively Faith Christian has given up 96 points this season which is 5th best in 2A. Offensively Faith Christian has scored 292 points which is 6th best in 2A. Offensively Faith Christian is a run heavy team. QB and 4-year starter Isiah Kroll was expected to be a big part of the offense has not shown it this year but don’t be surprised if he become a huge part in the playoffs. The rushing attack is led by Erick Granados 1164 yards rushing and 10 TDs and RB Edoardo Castaneda 769 yards rushing and 8 TDs. Neither of the RBs have been healthy at the same times and if they are watch out for this rushing attack.
Elizabeth enters the playoffs needing to bounce back after coming up short against Lamar 35-0. Elizabeth finished third in the Tri-Peaks and a regular season record of 6-3. Elizabeth played against 4 playoff teams going 1-3 in those games. Elizabeth defensively has given up 130 points which is 11th best in 2A. Offensively Elizabeth has scored 210 points which is 20th best in 2A. Offensively Elizabeth has been balanced in their offensive attack. QB Vincent Weber has led the passing attack with 705 yards passing and 7 TDs. The rushing attack has also been led by Weber but gotten support from Koby Ullery and James Lawrence. For Elizabeth to pull the upset they will turn to QB Vincent Weber and he must have his best game of the season
Faith Christian will be the favorite in this game. Elizabeth will have to play outstanding run defense and force Faith Christian to throw the ball and Offensively QB Vincent Weber will have to have this best game of the season. Faith Christian defensively has proven they can stop nearly all times of offense and look for them to key on the QB. Offensively Faith Christian will need a big day on the ground for success. I am going with Faith Christian in this game.
#3 Resurrection Christian vs #14 La Junta
Resurrection Christian enters the playoffs as the #3 seed and on an 8-game winning streak. Resurrection Christian is your Patriot West League Champions and have a record of 8-1 on the season. Resurrection Christian has played 4 playoff teams going 3-1 in those games. Resurrection Christian defensively is one of the best giving up just 80 points which is second best in 2A. Offensively Resurrection Christian has really turned things up scoring 358 points which is 3rd best in 2A. Offensively Resurrection Christian relies heavily upon QB Buck Coors. Buck Coors has had a great season so far passing for 1080 yards and 14 TDS. Coors also leads the rushing attack with 614 yards and 13 TDs. Resurrection Christian also gets offensive help from Tanner Applebee and Sawyer Shepherd. Resurrection Christian to have success offensively must have Buck Coors really step up. Defensively this team is very good, and their lone loss was in OT to Sterling.
La Junta is your defending State Champions and enter the playoffs as the #14 seed. La Junta finished 4th in the Tri-Peaks League with a record of 5-4. La Junta played against 4 playoff teams going 1-3 in those games. Defensively La Junta is also one of the best giving up just 84 points which is 4th best in 2A. Offensively is where the problems have been scoring just 159 points which is 28th best in 2A. If La Junta offense gets going this could be a very dangerous team. La Junta defense is top notch and they have shut down nearly every team they have played but their offense must provide some points. La Junta could scare Resurrection Christian with how good their defense is, but they are also facing a top-notch defense.
If you want a defensive struggle this is your game. Both teams bring top 4 defenses and, in my opinion, probably two of the 3 best defenses in 2A. Points will be limited, and this is where the problem is. I don’t think La Junta offensively will be able to score or they will need their defense to score for them. Resurrection Christian I think will be able to score at least a touchdown or two. This is the reason I am picking Resurrection Christian, but this will be a close game due to La Junta defense.
#6 Platte Valley vs #11 Bennett
Platte Valley enters the playoffs as the #6 seed. Platte Valley finished second in the Patriot East league and have a regular season record of 7-2. Platte Valley played against 4 playoff teams going 2-2 in those games. Platte Valley defensively has given up 119 points which is 10th best in 2A. Offensively Platte Valley has scored 253 points which is 12th best in 2A. Offensively Platte Valley is a run first team but first year starter QB Kade Mcdaniel has had a solid season passing for 760 yards and 10 TDs. The rushing attack is led by RB Josh Yancy who had a break out year rushing for 1112 yards and 13 TDs. Other names to keep a look out for are Devyn Lauer and Gabe Montes. The offense though runs through Mcdaniel and Yancy and both will look to have big performances in the playoffs for Platte Valley to make a big run.
Bennett enters the playoffs on a 2-game winning streak and as the #11 seed. Bennett big win over D’Evelyn is the reason they got into the playoffs and now they will look to capitalize. Bennett regular season record was 6-3 and they played against 3 playoffs team going 0-3 in those games. Defensively Bennett has given up 117 points which is 9th best in 2A. Offensively Bennett has scored 265 points which is 10th best in 2A. Bennett offensively is a run heavy team and must have success running the ball to win games. RB Mac Copeland leads all rushers with 913 yards and 11 TDs and Jordan Despues is #2 with 390 yards and 4 TDs. Bennett QB Mikey Babi also has played well this season with 347 yards passing, 276 yards rushing and 6 TDs. Bennett success on offense come from their rushing attack and they must have success to pull the upset.
Platte Valley will be the favorite in this game. Platte Valley defensively must have success stopping the run and if they don’t it will be a long day for this defense. Offensively Platte Valley will turn to RB Josh Yancey and QB Kade Mcdaniel to have big games. Bennett defensively must also stop the run and put pressure on their QB to make plays with his arm. Offensively Bennett must control the line of scrimmage and must have success running. This will be a good game, but I am going with Platte Valley to win.
#7 Lamar vs #10 Eaton
Lamar enters the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Lamar has played well this season finishing second in the Tri-Peaks and finished with a regular season record on 7-2. Lamar played against 5 playoff opponents going 3-2 in those games. Lamar defensively has given up 176 points which is 19th best in 2A. Offensively Lamar has scored 341 points which is 4th best in 2A. Lamar offensively is a pass first team but are balanced in their attack. QB Zane Rankin is having a great season passing for 1548 yards and 20 TDs. The rushing attack is led by Walker Kee who has 916 yards rushing and 9 TDs. Two other players to mention in the offense are RB Jesus Reyes and WR Blake Buxton. This offense has been very explosive, but they will be facing a top defense and will need QB Zane Ranking and RB Walker Kee to really step up this game.
Eaton enters the playoffs as the #10 seed and on a bit of a winning streak. Eaton finished second in the Patriot West League and have a regular season record of 6-3. Eaton has proven this year they can hand with anyone and in their three losses they lost by a combined 18 points. Eaton defensively has given up just 97 points which is 6th best in 2A. Offensively Eaton has scored 265 points which is 11th best in 2A. Eaton has been balanced in their offensive attack. QB Scott Grable has 693 yards passing and 6 TDs. The rushing attack has been led by Gage Butler (461 yards rushing) and Ethan Florez (382 yards rushing). These 3 will all be key for Eaton offense to really step up. Eaton will need their defense to really step up and they have this year.
This is a very evenly match game. Eaton has proven their defense is top notch and will need it this week. Eaton offensively must get big performances from Butler and Florez. Lamar defensively will need to step up and stop this Eaton offense. Lamar offense must take care of the ball and must have a big performance from Rankin and Kee. I am going with Lamar in this game, but this will come down to the wire.
#2 Sterling vs #15 Moffat County
Sterling enters the playoffs as the #2 seed and on a 5-game winning streak. Sterling won the Patriot East league and finished the regular season with an 8-1 record. Sterling faced 5 playoff teams this year going 4-1 in those games with their lone loss coming to Scottsbluff NE who is the #1 seed in Nebraska B Class. Sterling defensively is one of the best in 2A and if you take the 36 points scored by Scottsbluff, they have given up just 70 points to Colorado Teams which would be the best in 2A. Offensively Sterling has scored 279 points which is 8th best in 2A. Sterling offensively is led by QB Brock Shalla who is having a great year passing for 1176 yards, 385 yards rushing and 14 TDs. Sterling also gets good production from RB Conner Polenz 482 yards rushing and WR Tucker Myers 310 yards receiving. Sterling offensively relies heavily on QB Brock Shalla and their defense.
Moffat County enters the playoffs as the 4th team from the Western Slope League. Moffat County finished the regular season on a 2-game losing streak and are hoping to bounce back in the playoffs. Moffat County ended the regular season with a 5-4 record and played against 4 playoff teams going 1-3 in those games. Moffat County defensively gave up 261 points this year and must improve this week against Sterling. This defense will be key if they plan to pull the upset. Offensively Moffat County has scored 180 points which 25th best in 2A. Offensively Moffat County has been balanced. QB Ryan Peck leads the passing attack with 1110 yards passing and 8 TDs. RB Kevin Hernandez leads all rushing with 702 yards rushing and 8 TDs. These two will need to have a huge game to pull the upset.
Sterling will be the huge favorite in this game. Moffat County will need their defense to really step up and stop Sterling offense. Offensively Moffat County must take care of the ball. Sterling will look to control the game with their defense and look for QB Brock Shalla to really have a big game.