The first round of the state football playoffs is in the book for the three biggest classifications and plenty of teams are still in the mix for a state title.

Particularly in Class 3A, where teams opened the first round of the tournament representing over a third of the bracket, there remains plenty of intrigue, as well. In what many feel is the most balanced postseason field in recent years, the state title remains wide open and it would seem that any number of remaining teams has a chance to snatch it.

"I believe this is about the deepest playoff field we've been in," said Silver Creek head coach Mike Apodaca, whose team is still in the mix. "I truly think that any of the eight teams left are capable of winning it all so it should be really interested to see how things turn out."

Being one of those teams with state-title buzz surrounding it is a familiar feeling for Apodaca's Raptors. But the wait has been long.

The Raptors have endured several disappointing seasons since appearing in three consecutive state title games from 2011-13. But now they're back to their winning ways. In fact, they're undefeated after a 27-19 victory over No. 12 Durango on Saturday. With a road game against No. 4 Lewis-Palmer set for Friday at 7 p.m., the fifth-seeded Raptors feel like they are back where they belong.


"I was talking to another coach in our building and it feels great," Apodaca said. "Maybe it's human nature to take things for granted but to have such a long run of success and then to go in the complete opposite direction for a few years was rough. We're excited to be back in the second round."

In an opposite situation, the 11th-seeded Mead Mavericks have reached the second round of the playoffs for the first time after collecting the first postseason win in program history, a 28-24 upset of No. 6 Palmer Ridge on the road last week. The Mavericks will look to win a second against No. 3 Palisade at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and they'll do so playing at home.

After a 47-0 dismantling of No. 10 Rifle, seventh-seeded Holy Family is in the second round as well. But the road to the semifinals gets bumpier on Friday when the Tigers travel to face two-time defending champion Pueblo East at 7 p.m.

In Class 4A, No. 5 Broomfield took down No. 12 Heritage, 27-14, in the first round and will travel to face No. 4 Ponderosa at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Class 4A quarterfinals

No. 8 Windsor at No. 1 Denver South, Saturday, 1 p.m. at All City Stadium

No. 5 Broomfied at No. 4 Ponderosa, Saturday, 1 p.m. at Echo Park Stadium

No. 3 Pine Creek at No. 11 Greeley West, Friday, 7 p.m. at District 6 Stadium

No. 2 Chatfield at No. 10 Fruita Monument, Saturday, 1 p.m. at Stocker Stadiuim

Class 3A quarterfinals

No. 1 Discovery Canyon at No. 9 Fort Morgan, Saturday, 1 p.m. at Legion Field

No. 5 Silver Creek at No. 4 Lewis-Palmer, Friday, 7 p.m. at Don Breese Stadium

No. 3 Palisade at No. 11 Mead, Saturday, 1 p.m. at Mead High School

No. 7 Holy Family at No. 2 Pueblo East, Friday, 7 p.m. at Dutch Clark Stadium

Brad Cochi: or