No. 1 Pine Creek Eagles
Game data: No. 16 Longmont (6-4) at No. 1 Pine Creek (9-1) … 7 p.m. Friday at D-20 Stadium. The winner will face either No. 8 Skyline or No. 9 Ponderosa in the state quarterfinals.
Media: Follow @ChhunSun on Twitter for live updates throughout the game.
Scouting the Trojans: Longmont enters the postseason fresh off a 44-7 loss to No. 1 Broomfield in the final game of the regular season. The Trojans are led by sophomore dual-threat quarterback Keegan Patterson who averages 132 passing yards per game. He has thrown for nine touchdowns and four interceptions and also leads the team in rushing with 665 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. He has four targets with over 300 receiving yards, led by sophomore Jack Moll with 536 yards and four touchdowns. Caleb Johnson has 375 yards, followed by Sage Yazzie with 352 and Aiden Tank with 314. Yazzie is second on the team in rushing with 323 yards and five scores.
Longmont will face a familiar challenge against Pine Creek with the Trojans’ biggest losses coming against the option. Last week Broomfield ran for 376 yards against Longmont.
Scouting the Eagles: After clinching its seventh-straight undefeated league title Pine Creek enters the postseason as the No. 1 seed for the third year running. Led by a hefty senior class the Eagles are reaching for another 4A title after a two-year drought.
The high-powered offense averages more than 400 yards per game led by senior back David Moore III, responsible for 202.9 yards of the team’s 281.3 rushing yards per game. He has already broken into the top-10 all-time in Colorado rushing history and is on pace for his most productive season yet with 1,826 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns through the regular season. Senior quarterback Gavin Herberg has 1,394 passing yards and 21 touchdowns and has rushed for four and 253 yards. Herberg’s top target is Eddie Kyle with 399 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Kyle also has 336 kick return yards.
The Pine Creek defense, which has held opponents to just 14 points on average through the regular season, is led by junior Beau Freyler in a breakout season in which he has pulled down 55 tackles. Elias Rolfe follows with 47 including nine for a loss and leads the team with six sacks. The Eagles defense has 27.5 sacks on the season. Reece Rowan has four and leads the team with 10 tackles for a loss.
No. 3 Discovery Canyon Thunder
Game data: No. 14 Roosevelt (5-5) at No. 3 Discovery Canyon (9-1) … 1 p.m. Saturday at D-20 Stadium. The winner will move on to the quarterfinals to face either No. 6 Frederick or No. 11 Thomas Jefferson.
Media: Follow @LindseySquints on Twitter for live updates throughout the game.
Scouting the Roughriders: Roosevelt will look for revenge from a 35-21 loss to Discovery Canyon in September in which the Thunder held them to just 115 yards of offense. Thanks to sophomore Cooper Walton the Roughriders had as many kick return yards as total offense. Walton is second on the team in rushing with 466 yards, trailing the team’s leader Jt Baughman with 939 yards and eight touchdowns.
Senior Braeden Saya has 958 passing yards and 12 touchdowns, but threw for just 52 yards and a single score against Discovery Canyon. Saya also had 44 rushing yards against the Thunder to lead the Roughriders on the ground.
Freshman Tucker Peterson is the team’s top receiver with 426 yards and 11 touchdowns, followed by Keaton Kaiser with 337 and six scores.
Scouting the Thunder: Discovery Canyon enters the postseason off arguably the program’s biggest win since 2016, defeating defending 3A champion Palmer Ridge in the league title game as the Thunder earned their first league championship since their title-game run three years ago.
While Discovery Canyon maintains its triple-option identity led by senior Marshall Pike, the addition of dual-threat Jonah Isakson under center has given the Thunder a new dynamic and explosiveness in 2019. Isakson has 775 passing yards, seven touchdowns and just two interceptions and is third on the team in rushing with 513 yards, including a 70-yard sprint into the end zone last week against Palmer Ridge.
Pike has 1,539 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns and has ran for over 200 yards in the Thunder’s last two games. Senior Kevin Frye has 517 yards rushing.
The team’s top receiver is Ethan Hall with 409 yards, while Frye is also second on the team in receiving with 155 yards.
Prior to last week’s 56-49 marathon against Palmer Ridge the Discovery Canyon defense held opponents to just 10 points per game on average through its six-game winning streak. The defense is led by Gage Clawson with 69 tackles and 12 tackles for a loss. Isakson is second on the team in tackles with 50, followed by Drew Listello with 46.
No. 4 Palmer Ridge Bears
Game data: No. 13 Holy Family (5-5) at No. 4 Palmer Ridge (8-2) … 7 p.m. Friday at Don Breese Stadium. The winner will face either No. 5 Conifer or No. 12 Fort Morgan in the state quarterfinals.
Media: Follow @VBenedetto on Twitter for Live updates throughout the game.
Scouting the Tigers: Holy Family springs into the 3A playoffs with regular season momentum behind them thanks to a pair of blowout wins in the final two weeks of the regular season. The Tigers’ most recent loss is to No. 1 Mead in Week 8.
Holy Family averages 253 receiving yards per game thanks to senior Calahan Carter who has nearly 2,500 passing yards through the regular season and has thrown for 24 touchdowns. Ben Nappe and Braedon Peters are his top targets with 629 and 447 yards, respectively. Peters has seven touchdowns and Nappe has five. Junior Liam Gray also has five touchdown catches and 267 yards. Trevin Johnson leads the Tigers on the ground with 840 yards and has run for seven touchdowns.
Holy Family’s defense allows 23.9 points per game on average, but the against state-qualifying opponents (No. 1 Mead, No. 3 Discovery Canyon, No. 6 Frederick, No. 14 Roosevelt), the Tigers were outscored 177-56. Justin Trostel leads the defense with 76 tackles, while Brody Welch has five tackles for a loss — four of which were sacks.
Scouting the Bears: The defending 3A champions enter the postseason off a tough loss to Discovery Canyon, costing them their fourth straight league title in a 56-49 marathon, but the Bears are no strangers to the playoffs, winning eight straight postseason games entering Friday’s contest.
Palmer Ridge has allowed opponents to score more than 20 points just twice this season, and averaged 44.9 points per game thanks in part to its more balanced offense.
Led by first-year starter, junior Luke McAllister the Bears average 200 passing yards per game with McAllister entering the postseason with a .616 completion percentage, 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Senior Deuce Roberson averages 20-yards per reception with 807 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also has a pair of rushing touchdowns and 243 yards on the ground, and 39 tackles. Junior Kaden Dudley (442 yards, 4 touchdowns) and sophomore Anthony Costanzo are also speedy threats downfield. Costanzo did not have a catch before the Week 10 loss to Discovery Canyon, but had 265 receiving yards and four touchdowns before the night was through. Raef Ruel leads the Bears on the ground finishing the regular season with 1,021 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. Roberson is second on the team in rushing, followed by Noah Brom who has 197 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Palmer Ridge defensive backfield leads the state in interceptions with 19, led by Marcellus Reed who has five interceptions. The Bears are also ranked fourth in 3A with 24 sacks led by Saxon Wright with six and Ky’a Martin with four.
No. 16 Harrison Panthers
Game data: No. 16 Harrison (9-1) at No. 1 Mead (10-0) … 1 p.m. Saturday at Mead. The winner will take on either No. 8 Green Mountain or No. 9 Erie in the state quarterfinals.
Scouting the Panthers: Despite a 9-1 record entering the postseason, Harrison has a challenge ahead taking on the No. 1-seeded Mead Mavericks.
After a loss to Green Mountain in the season opener the Panthers have won nine straight, outscoring opponents 290-70, and ended the regular season with back-to-back shutouts. Green Mountain, however, is the only state-qualifying opponent on Harrison’s schedule.
Harrison averages 326 yards off offense per game with a relatively even offensive scheme. Senior Romeo Wells leads the ground attack with 1,020 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns while Jaseim Mitchell has taken over at quarterback with 1,137 passing yards and 14 touchdowns. The first-year varsity starter has a .521 completion percentage and averages 113 passing yards. His top target is junior Seth Fuller who averages nearly 24 yards per catch (574 yards total) and has 11 receiving touchdowns.
The Harrison defense has 15 interceptions led by Alex Clarke with six and Matthew Robinson with four. The Panthers have also recovered 11 fumbles.
Junior Davonn Stevens enters the postseason ranked ninth in 3A with 105 tackles, leading the Panthers defense by more than 40 tackles. Makeah Scippio is next on the team with 61 and leads the Panthers with 19 tackles for a loss, and is ranked third in 3A with 11.5 sacks for 102 yards lost. Senior Jailen Simmons follows ranked fourth with 8.5 sacks.
Scouting the Mavericks: Mead enters the postseason off their second undefeated regular season run since 2017, outscoring opponents 415-96 on the way to earning the No. 1 seed. The Mavericks average 307 rushing yards led by senior Jake Wachter with 1,022 yards and 15 touchdowns. Brayden Keys follows with 709 yards and eight scores, and Nathan Bailey has 547 and five touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Brady Valtien has thrown the ball fewer than 70 times this year, but has 15 passing touchdowns and just one interception. He has 755 total passing yards and a .621 completion percentage. Trey Ward is his top target with 333 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
The Mavericks’ defense holds teams to fewer than 10 points per game on average. The defense is top-ranked in 3A with 31 sacks, while the secondary has 12 interceptions, good for sixth in 3A. Prestin Tillema has 64 tackles to lead Mead, followed by Eli Mackey with 52. Jacob Bartholomew leads the team with 6.5 sacks and Trey Ward leads with four interceptions. Ward has also blocked two field goals.
No. 7 Colorado Springs Christian Lions
Game data: No. 7 Colorado Springs Christian (8-2) at No. 2 Holyoke (10-0) … 1 p.m. Saturday at Holyoke. The winner will move on to the 1A semifinals to face either No. 3 Limon or No. 11 Wray.
Scouting the Lions: CSCS eked out a 17-14 win over Yuma in the 1A first round, thanks in part to a standout defensive effort which pulled down 16 tackles for a loss. Grant Baker led the defensive charge with 10 tackles, followed by Peyton Brones with nine. Joe Dunn and Elijah Burkett had eight tackles, including four for a loss each. Burkett leads CSCS with 93 total tackles and six sacks, while Rian Chavez has a team-high 19 tackles for a loss. Burkett has 13.5 tackles for a loss.
Last week the Lions were led by Brones on the ground with 104 rushing yards, followed by quarterback Caleb Stockton who had 101 rushing and 94 passing. Brones leads the Lions with 1,210 rushing yards and has 11 touchdowns, followed by Joe Dunn with 735 and eight TDs. Dunn is the team’s receiving leader with 262 yards on 11 catches, five of which were touchdowns.
CSCS opened its season with a 21-6 loss to Holyke and followed the loss with seven-straight wins. Last time against the Dragons the Lions could not contain the passing game, which had nearly 300 yards. Brones had 137 rushing yards in the loss.
Scouting the Dragons: Undefeated Holyoke punched its ticket to the second round with a dominant 57-6 win over Rocky Ford in the playoff opener. Through the first round of the postseason the Dragons have outscored opponents 330-91.
Holyoke averages 340 yards per game with 190 yards receiving and 150 rushing. Sophomore quarterback Miles Sprague has 1,842 passing yards and a .609 completion percentage. He has thrown 16 touchdowns, seven to senior Seth Watson. Watson has 717 receiving yards followed by Blake Mosenteen with 416.
Mosenteen leads the team on the ground with 767 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, chased by Miley Ramos with 258.
Ramos is ranked third in 1A in tackles with 120, helping the Dragons defense hold opponents to fewer than 10 points per game. Hunter Bergstrom has 106 tackles and Joey Beckner leads Holyoke with seven sacks. Bergstrom has five sacks and sophomore Aidyn Shafer has four.