And then there were four.
Week 1 featured a major upset by an area team, two comfortable wins by our top-seeded squads, and one team’s first playoff win in years.
Stay tuned to GazettePreps.com for more playoff football action.
** Class 4A **
No. 1 Pine Creek / No. 8 Rampart
Game data: No. 8 Rampart vs. No. 1 Pine Creek … Friday at 7 p.m. at D-20 Stadium. Follow @LindseySquints and @HughJohnson707 on Twitter for updates from the game.
Scouting the Rams: Rampart claimed a spot in the second round thanks to a 24-14 win over Monarch, earning the team’s first appearance in the state quarterfinals since 2001. Jared Behm led the Rams on the ground in Week 1 with 153 rushing yards, including a 90-yard touchdown run in the opening minute of play. Quarterback Keion Cross had 108 yards on the ground and 11 passing yards. Although Rampart will be on the visitors’ side on D-20 Stadium, Friday, it will be like a home atmosphere for the Rams as they battle a very familiar foe.
Scouting the Eagles: Last week Pine Creek cruised to a first-round win, despite a slow start against No. 16 Golden. David Moore III continued his stellar season into the playoffs with 216 yards and two touchdowns against the Demons. Quarterback JC Coulter was also on point for the Eagles, completing 10 of 15 for 151 yards and one touchdown. Wyatt Wieland was his top receiver with 108 yards. The Eagle defense racked up 15 tackles for a loss, and was led by sophomore Rece Rowan who had seven total tackles and a sack.
No. 14 Vista Ridge
Game data: No. 6 Pueblo South vs. No. 14 Vista Ridge … Saturday at 1 p.m. at Vista Ridge High School. Follow @LindseySquints and @ChhunSun on Twitter for updates from the game.
Scouting the Colts: No. 6 Pueblo South beat No. 11 Montrose 41-7 in the first round and is riding an eight-game winning streak heading into quarterfinals. The Colts boast one talented running back, Steve Brock, who handled most of the ground work with 211 yards rushing, while their quarterback, Zach Cozzolino had a solid start to the playoffs. He threw for 286 yards with a .625 completion percentage and two touchdowns. And his receiver field is deep. Pueblo South has four receivers who had more than 40 yards last week, led by Marcell Barbee with 81 yards.
Scouting the Wolves: Vista Ridge was a clear underdog in Week 1 against No. 3 Fruita Monument, but the Wolves proved they are not a team to be trifled with. Junior quarterback Rowan Neal, who had not seen much game action since Week 3, made a statement, throwing for 239 yards and three touchdowns with a .750 completion percentage. He also had 102 rushing yards on 19 carries. Jeffrey Crittendon was the team’s second-leading rusher with 117 yards. Carter Bussone and Ryan Poolman had 17 tackles each for the Wolves.
** Class 3A **
No. 2 Palmer Ridge
Game data: No. 2 Palmer Ridge vs. No. 10 Rifle … Saturday at 1 p.m. at Rifle High School. Visit GazettePreps.com for a live scoreboard and keep up with Palmer Ridge this weekend.
Scouting the Rifle Bears: Despite being placed in the No. 10 seed, Rifle enters the second round 10-2 and is fresh off a first-round win over No. 7 Evergreen, 37-10. Rifle boasts a strong run game as Tanner Vines led the team with 294 rushing yards last week, followed by Lopez Joel and Camron Shepherd with 114 and 105 rushing yards, respectively. The Bears saw limited work from quarterback Luke Ellis, who was just 3 for 6 with 20 yards passing in playoff Week 1. Their defense is led by Ramon Salvidrez who had eight tackles last week.
Scouting the Palmer Ridge Bears: Running a game plan that’s the virtual opposite of Rifle, Palmer Ridge stunned No. 15 Berthoud with a 48-13 first-round win. Quarterback Ty Evans threw for a season-high 426 yards and three touchdowns, and completed 28-of-39 attempts. His top receiver Deuce Roberson had 220 yards, and Cory Mclellan had 10 receptions for 140 yards. Sophomores Raef Ruel and Noah Brom ran for 66 and 63 yards, respectively. Palmer Ridge offensive coordinator Darren Grob reported that Zach Hester had five sacks vs. Berthoud.