No. 12 Falcon (7-3) at No. 5 Monarch (9-1)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Warrior Stadium.
Last time in playoffs: Monarch, 2011 4A semifinal loss to Pine Creek; Falcon, 2011 4A first round loss to Longmont.
Quick hits: Luckily for Monarch, Longmont missed the playoff field. The Coyotes are 6-0 in the first round of the playoffs since 2004 when not facing Longmont, 0-2 when they do. ... Falcon enters having lost only to No. 2 Ponderosa, No. 4 Vista Ridge and 2011 runner-up Pine Creek. The first two of those losses each came by three points or less. ... Monarch's average margin of victory since a Week 2 loss to Wheat Ridge is 35 points. ... The Coyotes, champions of the Mountain League, should prove a dangerous No. 5 seed. Media and coaches had them ranked No. 1 in the final Denver Post poll of the regular season.
Lindenstein's line: Monarch by 16.
No. 12 Holy Family (8-2) at No. 5 Pueblo East (8-2)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Dutch Clark Stadium.
Last time in playoffs: Holy Family, 2011 3A first round loss to Windsor; Pueblo East, 2008 first round loss to Mountain View.
Quick hits: Holy Family is looking for its first playoff win in 3A after missing the postseason in 2010 and then falling to the eventual champ last year. ... Pueblo East's two losses this season came by a combined 14 points to No. 2 Discovery Canyon and No. 4 Classical Academy. East owns victories over No. 3 Frederick and No. 15 Pueblo Central. ... East finished in a three-way tie for the Southern League title. ... This game will be a bit of a clash of styles. East quarterback Kurt Rode has thrown for 2,135 yards to lead a balanced attack. Holy Family leans more heavily toward the run, with running back Jarred Deherrera and quarterback David Sommers both eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark.
Lindenstein's line: Pueblo East by 4.
No. 9 Broomfield (8-2) at No. 8 Windsor (9-1)
Kickoff: 1 p.m., Dudley Field.
Last time in playoffs: Broomfield, 2011 4A quarterfinal loss to Monarch; Windsor, 3A state title game win over Silver Creek.
Quick hits: Windsor enters the game looking to prove itself at the 4A level after winning the 3A title last year. The Wizards are off to a good start, having won the traditionally-tough Northern League, though the conference did produce only one other playoff team this year in No. 16 Loveland. ... Windsor quarterback Joe Sanger has rushed for 1,196 yards this season. ... Broomfield rebounded from a Week 9 blowout loss to Monarch with a 56-0 drubbing of Golden last week. ... The Eagles boast a balanced attack that should give Windsor's 10.8-points-allowed-per-game defense plenty of trouble.
Lindenstein's line: Broomfield by 2.
No. 16 Erie (7-3) at No. 1 Rifle (10-0)
Kickoff: 1 p.m., Bears Stadium.
Last time in playoffs: Erie, 2010 3A first round loss to Canon City; Rifle, 2011 3A quarterfinal loss to Windsor.
Quick hits: Rifle has the look of a juggernaut this fall, drilling opponents by an average margin of victory of nearly 40 points per game. The Bears are allowing just 3.5 points per game. But the question that remains is how good has their Western Slope competition been. Rifle did top No. 6 Conifer 38-7. ... Rifle running back Ryan Moeller is one of the stars of the year in Colorado with 2,202 rushing. ... Erie's had a stingy defense at 15.5 points allowed per game, but will it be enough to stop Moeller? The Tigers and their own powerful running game, led by Joey Ramey, Christian Mickey and Pedro Anderson, do score 34.4 points per game, so maybe the best bet will be to win a shootout.
Lindenstein's line: Rifle by 19.
No. 10 Silver Creek (8-2) at No. 7 Elizabeth (7-3)
Kickoff: 1 p.m., Cardinal Stadium.
Last time in playoffs: Silver Creek, 2011 3A state championship game loss to Windsor; Elizabeth, 2010 3A state title game win over Glenwood Springs.
Quick hits: Both of these teams have state title game experience on their rosters. ... Elizabeth won the Metro East League after an 0-3 start that included losses to No. 2 Discovery Canyon, No. 3 Frederick and 4A No. 13 Canon City. ... Elizabeth, full of junior and sophomore contributors, features a balanced rushing attack, with four players owning at least 300 yards and two players with 600 or more each. Silver Creek is more balanced with 2,062 yards passing and 1,596 rushing on the season. ... Silver Creek has rolled to two wins in a row after two losses that knocked them out of the state's No. 2 ranking.
Lindenstein's line: Elizabeth by 3.
No. 14 Eagle Valley (7-3) at No. 3 Frederick (8-2)
Kickoff: 2 p.m., Frederick HS.
Last time in playoffs: Frederick, 2011 3A semifinal loss to Windsor; Eagle Valley, 2005 3A quarterfinal loss to Steamboat Springs.
Quick hits: Frederick began the year ranked No. 1 and has had to gradually re-earn that respect after a 3-2 start that included losses to No. 10 Silver Creek and No. 5 Pueblo East. ... The Warriors rolled to a perfect record in 3A Northern League play and feature a defense that allows just 10.1 points per game. ... Last year's playoff Cinderella as a No. 16 seed, Frederick now finds itself as a favorite to contend for the crown entering the postseason. ... Eagle Valley tied for fourth in the Western Slope League, finishing the season with lopsided losses to No. 1 Rifle and No. 9 Palisade. ... Nearly 75 percent of Eagle Valley's offense has come on the ground.
Lindenstein's line: Frederick by 18.