State football playoff capsules

Jim Benton
Posted 11/1/12

ThunderRidge coach Joe Johnson has seen plenty of Colorado high school playoff football games and likes what he sees this season. Top-ranked …

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State football playoff capsules


ThunderRidge coach Joe Johnson has seen plenty of Colorado high school playoff football games and likes what he sees this season.

Top-ranked ThunderRidge is the No. 1 seed in the 32-team bracket of the Class 5A state playoffs and will face No. 32 Westminster in an opening round game Friday night at Shea Stadium.

“Sometimes teams run out of gas,” Johnson said. “Their kids are tired, beat up and they’re tired of playing.

“I see that sometimes in playoff games. Teams are mentally, physically spent or what ever it is. I don’t feel we are there so I’m excited. Our kids are hungry, our kids are excited and they want to keep playing.”

The following is a capsule glance at this weekend’s playoff schedule involving local teams.


No. 1 ThunderRidge (8-1) vs. No. 32 Westminster (5-4)

When, where: Friday, 7 p.m., Shea Stadium.

Game plan: ThunderRidge will line up and run. The Grizzlies are averaging 307.7 yards per game rushing with Steve Ray and Jake Hand carrying the load. Quarterback Brody Westmoreland, another running threat, also throws the ball well enough to add balance to the attack. 

Extra point: ThunderRidge has outscored opponents by 134 points.

No. 27 Rock Canyon (6-3) vs. No. 6 Chaparral (7-2)

When, where: Saturday, 1 p.m., Sports Authority Stadium.

Game plan: Chaparral has plenty of dangerous weapons in quarterback Max Kuhns, running back Zac Guy and receivers Mitch Parsons and Brandon Malone. Rock Canyon can counter with Pioneer League passing leader Ryan Hammel and running back Eric Williams.

Extra point: The Wolverines defense has surrendered 14.7 points per game to the opposition this season. The Jaguars allowed an average of 50.6 points in their three losses.

No. 25 Douglas County (5-4) vs. No. 8 Fountain Fort Carson (8-1)

When, where: Friday, 7 p.m. at Fountain Fort Carson.

Game plan: The Huskies will try to provide room for running back Trey Smith to run. He has rushed for 1,628 yards but Douglas County will need to pass the ball effectively to mount scoring drives.

Extra point: Both teams like to run so this game could be over quick. Douglas County is averaging 56.7 yards per game passing compared to 69.7 for Fountain Fort Carson.

No. 31 Castle View (4-5) vs. No. 2 Ralston Valley (8-1)

When, where: Friday, 4 p.m., NAAC.

Game plan: The Sabercats have nothing to lose and will pull out all stops. Castle View rushed for 304 yards with a bevy of runners in a key win over Legend and quarterback Chris Linnin, thrown into action because of sickness to the starter, has improved with each game.

Extra point: Ralston Valley is averaging 45.6 points in its past five games and will be going against a Castle View team that is -34 in point differential.

No. 28 Mountain Vista (4-5) vs. No. 7 Pomona (7-2)

When, where: Saturday, 1 p.m. at NAAC.

Game plan: If Mountain Vista quarterback Ryan Rubley gets hot it could create problems for Pomona.

Rubley is good and so is receiver Rocco Palumbo. A solid rushing effort from Tanner Smith will help the Golden Eagles offense.

Extra point: Mountain Vista’s defense, which has allowed 27 points a game, face a tough challenge against a balanced Pomona offense that is averaging 193.3 yards per game passing and 176.3 rushing.

No. 29 Legacy (4-5) vs. No. 4 Valor Christian (7-2)

When, where: Thursday, 7 p.m. At Valor Christian

Game plan: Don’t mess with success. Valor Christian enters the playoffs with a seven-game winning streak, fueled by explosive plays on offense and a stout defensive attack. Quarterback Luke Del Rio has put up big numbers, completing 68 percent of his passes (108-of-158 for 1,398 yards) and throwing 16 touchdowns to just three interceptions. The Eagles have a plethora of skill players, but look for junior tailback Christian McCaffrey to make at least one big play. McCaffrey finished the year with 636 rushing yards (8.6 yards per carry) and also caught 34 passes for 434 yards and scored a total of 21 touchdowns. Justin Falls led the defense with 57 tackles.

Extra point: While they may be the No. 4 seed in the 32-team field, the state title is within Valor’s grasp at this point. If they execute the way they have the past two months, don’t be surprised if they win their fourth-straight state championship, and first in Class 5A.


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