As seen through the month of October, a reduced football schedule has raised the level of importance for every game this season.
That continues to be true as the season enters November, where the regular seasons are set to conclude and playoff games will begin in the back half of the month. The final two weeks of the regular season will feature some of the most crucial matchups across the state.
Here are 10 games across all classifications that will have major implications for how the playoff picture will shape up.Class 5APomona (Arvada) at Columbine (Littleton), Nov. 12 (6 p.m.)
Pomona and Columbine are top-five big-school teams and will battle it out for the Jeffco League title to wrap up the regular season. Columbine finished last year as the state runner-up and wants another shot at the state championship. Seth Cromwell
has totaled 327 yards and seven touchdowns to lead the always powerful Columbine rushing attack. Defensively, he's also the team leader in sacks with three.
Cromwell's counterpart at Pomona is quarterback Jack Pospisil
. He has been equally productive with 359 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Deion Maes
leads the Panthers with 15 tackles, and the defense as a whole has given up just 14 points all season. Class 4APonderosa (Parker) at Palmer Ridge (Monument), Nov. 12 (7 p.m.)
The battle for the 4A Western Slope title could very well come down to a matchup between two teams east of I-25. In its first year in 4A, Palmer Ridge has played like a defending state champion hunting for its third consecutive title. Luke McAllister
is throwing for 253 yards per game and has tossed 13 touchdown passes. Both Saxon Wright
and Cameron Jones
have recorded two sacks apiece.
The Mustangs hope a balanced offensive attack can allow for long scoring possessions to potentially slow down the Bears' offensive attack. Cael Porter
has rushed for 248 yards and three touchdowns, while quarterback Jack Hanenburg
has thrown for 546 yards and five touchdowns. He has also yet to throw an interception this year.Class 3ACanon City at Pueblo South, Nov. 6 (7 p.m.)
Pueblo South finally made its regular season debut Oct. 24 and got a big 41-0 win over
Pueblo Centennial. The Colts want to get back to the 3A title game after losing to Palmer Ridge last year. They look more than capable of doing that behind running back George Longoria
, who went for 241 yards and three scores in the Colts' opener.
The Tigers have been a pleasant surprise, especially after beating Pueblo East 21-18. Dylan O'Rourke
has run for 132 yards and also has three touchdowns. Canon City has also put up solid pass-rushing numbers as the team has totaled five sacks in two games. Jason Logan
leads the team in sacks with two.Fort Morgan at Roosevelt (Johnstown), Nov. 6 (7 p.m.)
A 21-20 win over Mead certainly made waves for Roosevelt. Since then the Roughriders have been considered one of the top teams in 3A and have since backed up that perception with their play. Brig Hartson
has thrown for 512 yards and eight touchdowns with Keaton Kaiser
being one of the main recipients with 187 yards and two touchdowns.
Fort Morgan is more focused on the ground game and has a couple of backs already going over 200 yards in Briggs Wheatley
and Frank Ortega
. The Mustangs already have a loss on the year, and a win against Roosevelt would be crucial to their playoff hopes.Class 2APlatte Valley (Kersey) at Eaton, Nov. 14 (7 p.m.)
With both teams having already lost to Sterling, this regular-season finale will mean just about everything. A reduced playoff field means it will be vital to come away with a win in Week 6 to get a chance to get onto the bracket and make a run at a state title. Platte Valley made it to the 2A title game two years ago, and the balanced rushing attack between Kade McDaniel
, Weston Meyer
and Logan Curtis
has the Broncos looking like they have every intention of getting back.
Eaton has its own three-headed monster as Ethan Florez
, Scott Grable
and Salvador Rojas
each average at least seven yards per carry and have combined for 11 touchdowns. Gage Butler
has shown to be one of the top defensive backs in 2A as he's snagged four interceptions.Class 1AColorado Springs Christian at Florence, Nov. 6 (7 p.m.)
Florence sent a bit of a message in last week's win over Peyton. When Florence wants to run the ball and has been
successful at doing so, making it one of the toughest teams in 1A to slow down. Owen Busetti
is averaging 12.9 yards per carry, while Jacob Kennedy
averages 11.4. The duo has combined for 13 touchdowns.
The Lions have their own big back in Joe Dunn
. He's getting 10.5 yards per carry. Unlike the Huskies, though, CSCS has shown a willingness to take to the air a bit more. Through two games, Caleb Stockton
has thrown for 227 yards and four touchdowns.Limon at Holyoke (Holyoke, Colo.), Nov. 13 (7 p.m.)
Is there a better way to end the regular season than a rematch of last year's thrilling semifinal game? Limon notably grabbed the win and went on to claim the 1A title, and the Dragons have their mind on retribution. Miles Sprague
has given them a balanced offensive attack as he's thrown for 254 yards while rushing for 256. Younger brother Wyatt Sprague
has been a force defensively with four passes defensed, one forced fumble and an interception.Kory Tacha
has treated every rushing attempt as if it's his last for the Badgers. He has 412 yards and nine touchdowns to his name. Trey Hines
has thrown for 177 yards and two touchdowns, and has also contributed on the defensive end by picking off two passes.Class A 8-ManMancos at Sanford, Nov. 13 (6 p.m.)
This competitive Mountain League game could end up being for a league title, or possibly a playoff spot, as both teams still have Dove Creek
on their schedule before this highly anticipated showdown. Mancos has one of the state's top rushers in junior Chase Moore
. He's averaging nearly 200 yards a game and has found the end zone 12 times. Moore also stands out defensively, sharing the team lead in interceptions (2) with freshman Wayman Kail
Sanford is looking every bit a top-tier team in 8-Man by averaging over 48 points per game and giving up no more than 14 in a single contest.Class A 6-ManFleming at Briggsdale, Nov. 6 (6:30 p.m.)
Fleming shows no signs of slowing down after jumping out to a 3-0 start to the season. The Wildcats are determined to defend their 6-Man state title and has outscored their opponents 142-20 heading into their final game of October. Sophomore Nolan Japp
has been outstanding as the team's leading rusher. His 175 total rushing yards and four touchdowns are both team-bests. Kade Comstock
is 14-for-20 passing with 282 yards and four touchdowns on the year.
A close loss to Prairie is the only blemish on Briggsdale's record. The Falcons have been explosive on offense, averaging 53 points per game. Malik Carlson
leads the team in rushing yards at 196 and has run for four touchdowns while catching two touchdown passes. Freshman Tanner Fiscus
has been a welcome addition defensively with 21 total tackles.