8-Man Football Semifinal Prediction and Breakdown
Playoff Football Time! Some great games and two upsets this week make for a fun Semifinals. I believe both games will be great games and should make for a ton of fun this weekend.
#1 Haxtun over #5 Holly
Haxtun moved into the Semifinals with a 42-24 win over Akron. Haxtun built a 22-12 lead by halftime. Haxtun then had a big 3rd quarter outscoring Akron 12 to 0. The 3rd quarter proved to be the difference in the game but both teams battled. Haxtun defensively limited the passing attack of Akron but did give up some yards on the ground. Haxtun forced 3 turnovers and 2 sacks. Isaac Andersen led all players in tackles. Offensively Haxtun had a monster day racking up 575 yards of offense. RB Michael Gerk and RB Isaac Andersen led the rushing attack with both eclipsing 185 yards. QB Owen Knode also had a big day for the Haxtun offense. Haxtun will now look to reach the State Championship against a red-hot Holly team.
Holly moved into the Semifinals with a 66 to 22 win over Dove Creek. Holly was able to get the upset win over Dove Creek. Holly set the early ton taking a 24 to 6 lead into halftime. Things really ramped up in the 3rd quarter, but Holly kept their foot on the gas outscoring Dove Creek 25-16 and extending their lead. Holly wrapped things up in the 4th quarter with 16 unanswered points and a trip to the semifinals. Holly defensively played extremely well holding Dove Creek to just 22 points. Holly forced 3 turnovers in the game along with 4 sacks. Donovan Pecina and Daunte Maldonado led all tacklers. Offensively Holly had a massive day racking up 704 yards of total offense. QB Dakota Eaton had a career day with 348 yards passing and 117 yards rushing. Donovan Pecina also had a big day racking up over 150 yards of total offense. Holly will now look for another upset and a trip to the State Championship.
I am going with Haxtun over Holly. These teams have just 1 common opponent in Akron. Holly lost to Akron 36-30 early in the season. Haxtun defeated Akron both times, but this last time was closer. This should be a great game. Holly to win must be able to stop the rushing attack of Haxtun. Holly offensively must also be ready to carry the load if this turns into a shootout and QB Dakota Eaton must have another big day. Haxtun to win must find a way to slow Holly offense. Haxtun offensively must also be effective rushing the ball and if needed QB Owen Knode may be the secret weapon. I am going Haxtun over Holly. I think Haxtun offensively can control the clock and their defense has proven they can play with anyone. I do think this will be a close game and will be a great game to watch.
#11 Sanford over #2 Mancos
Mancos moved into the Semifinals with a 33-24 win over Dayspring Christian. Mancos jumped out to a 18-6 lead going into halftime and extended their lead going into the fourth quarter to 21-6. Dayspring Christian would then battle back scoring 18 points, but Mancos answered with 12 of their own to capture the 9-point win. Defensively Mancos had success in the first half limiting Dayspring Christian offense. Mancos did limit Garrett Krehbiel to 157 yards rushing and was a key to the win. Mancos did not force any turnovers but did have 3.5 sacks. Chase Moore led all tacklers with 18. Offensively Mancos racked up 326 yards of offense. QB Ayden Mathews was key in the game with 176 yards of total offense. RB Chase Moore also was effective with 125 yards rushing. Mancos will now look to move into the State Championship and avenge their playoff lose to Sanford from a year ago.
Sanford continued their revenge tour defeating Vail Christian 62-38. Sanford trailed after the first quarter 16 to 0. Things would start to change in the 2nd quarter. Sanford would outscore Vail Christian in the second quarter 18-6 but would still go into halftime trailing 24-18. Vail Christian would come out right after half adding another 2 making it 32 to 18. Sanford would then retake momentum and never give it back scoring 2 TDs and taking a 34 to 32 at the end of the 3rd Quarter. Sanford would continue to push the lead and would walk away with the 62-38 win. Sanford defensively really stepped up from the 2nd quarter on. Sanford forced a few turnovers in the game as well. Offensively Sanford had a huge day from RB Kelton Gartrell who racked up 355 yards of total offense. QB Josh Holman also had a big day with 170 yards of total offense. Sanford will now look to continue it revenge tour when they travel to Mancos again.
I changed my mind several times on this prediction. Both teams will have revenge on the mind. Sanford lost to Mancos 60-24 during the regular season this year. Mancos lost to Sanford last year during the playoffs in the Quarterfinals. I say throw the regular season game out of the window. Sanford was without Gartrell and Larsen both who are mostly healthy. Mancos was without Mason Goodwin who is also healthy. This will not be like the first matchup and I do believe this will be a 1 score game or less. I am going with Sanford over Mancos. I believe both RBs put their teams on their respective backs, but I think Sanford gets by Mancos. I think defensively Sanford finds a way to limit Mancos. I also think Sanford offensively gets going. It really comes down to can Sanford play an entire game. If Mancos gets out to a quick start I think they get the win. As I said I changed my mind multiple times and I believe this will be one of the best games of the year.
Entire Bracket Prediction
I predicted 3 of the 4 teams in the semifinals and have missed just 2 games on my bracket. I am looking forward to both semifinal games. I am veering away from my bracket on one pick this week, remember this bracket was done before the playoff started.