Montrose vs. Denver South
The Indians, top seed in the bracket, take on a very talented Denver South squad on a quest to return to the state title game. Montrose has been bolstered by the return of senior All-State back Angelo Youngren, who last week rushed for 184 yards after sitting out with a broken collarbone. Youngren's return may be felt more on the defensive side of the ball at safety where he can help keep the South athletes from making big plays. Helping the Montrose cause in an attempt to slow the South run game will be Montrose power back Mike Rocha. The junior has over 1,300 rush and man move the chains and eat clock. In a game that boasts some of 4As best backs tight end Metise Moore of South or receiver Peter Shearer of Montrose could pop a big play to break the stalemate.
Pueblo South vs. Dakota Ridge
Full disclosure, I picked against both of these teams last week. Pueblo South is the surprise of the 4A bracket. A very balanced offense that averaged nearly 200 yards on the ground and in the air each game makes defending the Colts difficult. Dakota Ridge with QB Braxton Thais and RB Aaron Nelson are every bit as balanced. Both teams were involved in shootouts last week and should once again put up points. This one is tough. South is riding high with nine straight wins, while Dakota Ridge is an experienced squad that has played tough competition throughout the season. Which defense gets a stop at a crucial time could be the difference.
Windsor vs. Pine Creek
If you are a fan of hardnosed defensive football Windsor versus Pine Creek in the game for you. On the season Windsor has allowed 123 points while Pine Creek has surrendered 165 points, 78 of which came against 5A squads in the first three games of the season. Windsor will bang the ball and shorten the game. Pine Creek will use a balanced run game and timely passing. The big play potential of Pine Creek might be the difference.
Monarch vs. Loveland
Defending champ Monarch is as subtle as a sledgehammer and in the world of spread offenses and the pistol Monarch's style is refreshing. What makes the Coyotes especially dangerous is the big play potential of QB/returner Jay MacIntyre as well as RB Ethan Marks. To counter Loveland will need a couple of big plays from their offense. Colorado State bound Loveland athlete John Freismuth may provide the spark with a return or big reception. On the season Freismuth averages 25 yards a catch.