Class 1A Football Week 6 Breakdown and Playoff Projections
This week we move into mainly Playoff Predictions/Projections. I will look at all the leagues and go thru their team involved in the playoff hunt. We will be using the recent CHSAA Seeding Index. I will try and touch upon all teams.
Out of the Playoff Race
Bennett, Platte Canyon, Prospect Ridge, Banning Lewis, Jefferson, Pinnacle
Bennett moved into the Class 1A ranks this season. Bennett were upset in week 1 and have been battling uphill since. Bennett playoff hopes are out of reach and will now look to end the season with some momentum. Bennett will look for the underclassmen to take over next season. Platte Canyon is currently 2-3 and will hope to build for next season. They have a solid Junior Class and they will hope they set up this offseason and push for the playoffs next year. Prospect Ridge dropped into the Class 1A ranks as well and were competitive. Prospect Ridge is 2-3 and we will see if they can build off the momentum gained this season. Banning Lewis played their first year of Varsity Football and are 2-3. Banning Lewis has just 5 seniors on the roster and this team will be poised for improvement next year. Jefferson took a small step backwards after loosing a solid senior class. Jefferson will be looking to rebuild this offseason and be ready to challenge next year. Pinnacle had just 2 seniors on the roster and they should be able to build of big numbers in the sophomore and freshman classes. We will see how they rebuild with a young core.
Strasburg sits at #2 in the CHSAA Seeding Index and are a lock for the playoffs. Strasburg will be poised again for a deep run but where not challenged during the regular season. Strasburg though has plenty of playoff experience and will be one of the contenders for a state title. Strasburg offensively is led by QB Collin Russell and RB Trystan Graf these two plus a very good defense lead this team into the playoffs.
North Central League
Out of the Playoff Race
Wiggins had a solid start to the season picking up the upset of Bennett, but the North Central league is not joke and the youth of Wiggins showed. Wiggins though will be poised to make a big push next season and are a team I will be watching next season. Burlington will lose some key pieces on offense to graduation, but Burlington always finds a way to reload. Burlington will need underclassmen to really step up this offseason.
Holyoke lost a good senior class last season but that has not slowed down Holyoke who have won 4 games this season. Holyoke currently sits at #8 in the CHSAA seeding index and fighting for their playoff lives. Holyoke will not play a game this week and will hope their numbers can hold off 5 teams fighting for that final spot. Holyoke looking forward is very young and have just 3 seniors and will be a team to really watch for next season.
Highland sits at #10 in the CHSAA Seeding Index and face Wiggins in the final game of the season. Highland will hope to improve their stock and try and jump Holyoke. Highland is .03788 behind Holyoke and a win over Wiggins is a must. Highland will probably need some help to jump Holyoke, but we will have to see what the computer polls do. Highland is losing a big senior class, so they are hoping to get into the playoffs.
Yuma currently sits at #11 in the CHSAA Seeding Index. Yuma has one path into the playoffs and that is upsetting Wray. Yuma with an upset of Wray has a shot at jumping Holyoke. Yuma will turn to the 15 seniors to try and upset a very good Wray team
Limon sits at #1 in the CHSAA Seeding Index and are a lock for the playoffs. Limon will be a bit rusty not playing a game since 10/30. Limon offensively attacks you in many ways. RB Kory Tacha and RB Jeremiah Leeper lead a very tough rushing attack and QB Trey Hines leads the passing attack. Limon is going for the 3-peat and are favored to win it all.
Wray is a lock for the playoffs and sit at #4 in the CHSAA Seeding Index. Centauri is right on their heals and Wray must beat Yuma to try and keep a home game. Wray face Yuma this week and Yuma will be trying to get into the playoffs so this should be a highly contested game. Wray offensively has been explosive and are led by QB Tyler Collins. Wray defensively has also been stout, and they must bring it against Yuma this week.
Southern Peaks League
Out of the Playoff Race
Ignacio, Center, Del Norte, Dolores
Ignacio took positive step again this year and are 2-2 on the season including beating Center. Ignacio will lose 5 seniors out of 21 players and all are big contributors. Ignacio will get their QB back as they try and unseat the top 2 teams next year. Center had a bit of a disappointing season going 0-4 but Center was very young in some spots and injuries did hurt them a bit. Center will return key pieces in the backfield in Abraham Echauri, Cael Ruggles, and Jesus Valadez. The offensive line for Center was also very young but Center will have to work hard this offseason to try and catch Monte Vista and Centauri. Del Norte moved back into the 1A ranks and picked up their first win over Dolores. Del Norte will have some of the key pieces back next season but finding offensive and defensive linemen to step up will be key. Dolores is very young and continue to try and rebuild the program back to how it was. Dolores has plenty of underclassmen that must step up.
Centauri is sitting at #5 in the CHSAA Seeding Index and are still on the bubble. They face rival Monte Vista and will be favored but cannot afford to drop a game or could see their playoff hopes fade away. Centauri has cruised this season and got by 2A Woodland Park 38-8 last week. Centauri will look to Mason Claunch and a dangerous offense to take over and look for Centauri Defense to stop the run. Centauri is also young in many positions so look for the youth to continue to develop.
Monte Vista sits at #14 in the CHSAA Index and must upset Centauri to have any shot at the playoffs. Monte Vista would need the upset and things to go their way to sneak into the #8 spot. Monte Vista has had a solid season at 4-1 and are also young with just 6 seniors. The offense is led by the rushing attack headed by Cobi Garcia but look Colton Mellott to play a big role this week. We will see if they can upset Centauri this week.
Out of the Playoff Race
Peyton, Rocky Ford, Rye, Trinidad
Peyton was added to the out of the playoff group due to no final game against C.S Christian. Peyton had a solid season going 4-1 and building a solid foundation for next years team. Peyton could move back into playoff contenders if they somehow schedule a game for this week. Rye started the season at 1-1 but COVID derailed their season. Rye will look to the underclassmen to put work in this offseason. Rocky Ford had a rebuilding season this year and with just 3 seniors should have a solid foundation for next year. The underclassmen will have to put work in this offseason, but we should see an improvement next year. Trinidad continues to try and rebuild their program. If Trinidad can get their numbers up we may see Trinidad start to improve.
C.S Christian currently sits at #9 in the CHSAA Seeding Index and not playing their games against Florence and Peyton is hurting their numbers in the computer polls. C.S Christian is not playing this week so will need help to get into the playoffs. C.S Christian will probably need Monte Vista to upset Centauri to boost their RPI and possibly drop Centauri out of the top 8 or Cedaredge to upset Hotchkiss and drop Hotchkiss below them in the Seeding Index.
Florence is a lock for the playoffs and sit at #3 in the CHSAA Seeding Index. Florence could see their RPI drop with the Forfeit win over Trinidad but regardless will be a playoff team. Florence is hoping for a big run this year and will turn to RB Owen Busetti and RB Jacob Kennedy to lead the way. Florence defensively has also been tough.
Western Slope League
Out of the Playoff Race
Cedaredge, Gunnison, Olathe, Paonia
Cedaredge is sitting at #17 in the CHSAA seeding index and would have to upset Hotchkiss and then get things to go their way to get into the playoffs. Cedaredge is having a solid season at 3-2 and led by a solid senior class. Cedaredge will hope their underclassmen can take over next year and try and push for a playoff spot. Gunnison is back to playing Varsity football and had success this season. Gunnison currently sits at 2-3 and will have a shot at going 3-3 with their game against Olathe coming up. Gunnison is led by Dual Threat QB Nico Marchitelli and he will be the big piece to replace this offseason. Look for Gunnison to continue the momentum of this season. Olathe also found some success this season and battle with Gunnison to try and go 3-3. Olathe has just 5 seniors on the roster so we should see this young team improve next year. Paonia had a tough season this year and sit at 0-5. Paonia has just 4 seniors on the roster so we will see this very young team improve next year. A lot of underclassmen had to play big minutes and I expect them to be much improved next year.
Meeker sits at #7 in the CHSAA Seeding Index and face Paonia in their regular season Finale. Meeker will be heavily favored in this game and will hope their computer numbers don’t drop to much by this final game. Meeker has a lot of pieces to make things difficult for teams come playoff time. Meeker offensively is led by QB Ryan Phelan and RB Kelton Turner.
Hotchkiss is not a complete lock for the playoffs due to their final game against Cedaredge. Hotchkiss cannot afford to drop a game to Cedaredge or could hurt their playoff hopes. Hotchkiss with a win is a lock for the playoffs. Hotchkiss has made the most improvement in Defense and they are one of the best in Class 1A. Offensively Hotchkiss is led by the rushing attack led by RB Mordecai White, RB Drayden Taylor, and QB Yahir Chavez.
Things are simple now that CHSAA released the CHSAA Seeding Index. We know they top 8 teams all qualify for the playoffs and this will also be used to seed the bracket. 1 thru 4 in the CHSAA Seeding Index will be home teams and the rest of the matchups will be dictated with the CHSAA Seeding Index, Geography, and Trying to avoid League opponents in the first Round.
Locks for the Playoffs
Limon, Strasburg, Florence, Wray
Must avoid upset and lock with win
Centauri and Hotchkiss
In Top 8 but Fighting off Bubble Teams
Meeker and Holyoke
C.S Christian, Highland, Yuma, Monte Vista
Holyoke will not play a final game and will hope their numbers can hold off the bubble teams.
Note: With three Western Slope/San Luis Valley Schools it makes things interesting for Geography. I think the only seeds flipped will be Holyoke and Meeker and that is for League Matchups.
Quarterfinal Matchups (1 thru 4 host):
#1 Limon vs #8 Meeker
#4 Wray vs #5 Centauri
#2 Strasburg vs #7 Holyoke
#3 Florence vs #6 Hotchkiss