In a thirty-two team bracket of high school football teams, the top seeded teams should roll, but here is a look at what we feel could be the best games of the first round.
#16 Pomona Vs. #17 Horizon
Both of these team are better than their 6-3 record. Pomona is a physical squad that loves to run the ball and is led on the ground by junior RB Donovan Bowens who is coming off a 250 yard plus performance in the blowout of Lakewood. Horizon is led by QB Stephen Castiglione. Castiglione is a dual threat QB who has rushed for over 400 yards and thrown for over 800. The Hawks are coming off of a bad season ending loss to Denver East 17-14. The prize for winning this game is most likely a shot at #1 seed Columbine.
#8 Mountain Vista Vs. #25 Fort Collins
If you like defense, this is the game for you. Mountain Vista led CU bound safety Patrick Mahnke, linebacker Austin Demmel and defensive end Luke Kancir has a defense that has allowed eleven points a game for the season. The flip side to this is an offense that has struggled to be consistent all year and has only scored over thirty points one time this season. Fort Collins plays an aggressive brand of defense with defensive end Chance Crawford leading the way. If Fort Collins can make this an ugly defensive game they have a shot at the upset.
#12 Cherry Creek Vs.#21 Ponderosa
If you have seen the direct snap package that Ponderosa runs with Jon Major its not a stretch to think they may try this more in the first round of playoffs. Whenever Major runs the ball he gets big hunks of yards, which could help to keep the ball away from Jack Elway and his Cherry Creek playmakers, as well as support a Ponderosa O that has only scored seven points the last two weeks.
#15 Poudre Vs. #18 Chatfield
These 6-3 squads both boast solid playmakers. Josh Morton of Poudre has the ability to score any time he touches the ball as evidenced by his eighty yard fourth down score to help defeat Legacy last weekend. QB Sam Stratton and RB James Skelton of Chatfield bring offensive diversity to the Chargers game.
#11 Arvada West Vs. #22 Arapahoe
The Arapahoe Warriors are getting healthy at the right time and put together back to back wins to finish out the season. WR Eric Soehngen, RB Bill Mercer and DE Matt Weems have been dinged up at various times this season, but all look to be healthy again. More importantly, Warrior QB Matt Johnson has found his rhythm, throwing for close to 500 yards over the past two games. Arvada West's ability to run the ball and play stingy defense could be the right formula to move past the first round.
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