Entering the final week of the regular season, the Broomfield football team sat at No. 20 in the Class 4A RPI standings and with only a slim chance to move up enough spots to crack the 16-team postseason bracket.
The Eagles weren't going to catch undefeated Loveland for the 4A Pikes Peak title, so they needed to beat higher-rated Brighton head-to-head in the season finale in order to essentially switch spots with the Bulldogs. Then the Eagles had to hope a handful of other games across the state shook out in their favor.
Broomfield beat Brighton, the dominoes fell how they had hoped, and the Eagles jumped up five spots to claim the 15th overall seed in the 2017 playoffs. This weekend, the Eagles will travel to face No. 2 Windsor in the first round.
It has been an up-and-down journey, but the 2016 state runners-up have found their way back into the postseason.
"When we went through the middle stretch of our season, we had a number of injuries," Eagles head coach Blair Hubbard said. "After we lost to Loveland, we had to start taking care of business right away because one more loss was going to send us home for the season. We played a lot of young guys until we got healthy again, and going on the road to Brighton when they had everything to play for as well, our kids really responded well. We'll be playing Windsor for the fourth time in two years, and hopefully, we can keep our momentum going."
Broomfield (6-4) and Windsor (9-1) have plenty of recent history with one another heading into their first-round matchup. At Broomfield High on Sept. 15, Windsor defeated Broomfield, 40-14 during this regular season. Broomfield also defeated Windsor, 25-13, in last year's state semifinals.
Also in 4A, the Skyline Falcons (8-2) locked up their first playoff berth since 1999 and enter the postseason as the No. 12 seed. The Falcons will take their stout defense and state-leading rushing Jeremy Hollingsworth (1,899 yards) on the road to face No. 5 Chatfield (9-1) this weekend.
Coming in at No. 9 in 4A, head coach Phil Bravo and the Monarch Coyotes (8-2) will travel to take on No. 8 Rampart (8-2) this weekend.
With BoCoPreps.com area teams littering the 3A playoff field, and all in the same half of the bracket no less, the undefeated Mead Mavericks (10-0) claimed the top spot. Looking to make a deep run after making the program's first state semifinals appearance in 2016, the Mavericks will host No. 16 Harrison (8-2) in the first round.
As the No. 5 seed, the Erie Tigers (8-2) will host the defending champion Pueblo East Eagles (5-5) in the first round. The Longmont Trojans (7-3) enter the postseason as the No. 8 seed and will host No. 9 Skyview (9-1) in the first round with a second-round matchup with Mead likely in store should they win.
In the 5A tournament, Fairview (9-1) and its high-powered offense led by tailback Mariano Kemp (1,147 rushing yards) and quarterback Aiden Atkinson (2,677 passing yards) claimed the No. 5 seed. The Knights will host No. 12 Arvada West (7-3) in the first round.
Though the Frederick Warriors (6-4) finished the season 16th in the 3A RPI standings, the Warriors lost that final postseason spot to Pueblo East because the Eagles won the South Central League and all league champions qualify automatically.
Legacy (20th in RPI) in 5A, and both Holy Family (20th) and Silver Creek (21st) in 3A, all finished just outside of the top 16.