And then there were four.

After all the dogged, devoted hours spent practicing under the hot August sun, after all the celebratory season-openers and homecoming parades, we’ve been whittled to just four.

Four football teams left standing to chase championship glory. Fairview, Longmont, Broomfield and Holy Family.

Fairview has been down this path before, winning its way to the 2013 Class 5A title game before falling to Valor Christian. However the remainder of the postseason crowd shares similar recent postseason histories. It’s a script each squad is eager to re-write.

Longmont arguably is one of the hottest teams in the entire 4A field, winners of six straight following an uneven 1-3 start that culminated in the Longs Peak League title. The Trojans advanced to the state quarterfinals in 2011 but haven’t won a playoff game since. Behind a versatile offense led by Clint Sigg, a dynamic defense displaying a penchant for making big plays, and the indefinable comrade known as momentum, Longmont is poised to end that mild drought.

Broomfield has failed to advance out of the first round the past two seasons. Same with Holy Family in 3A, as the Tigers’ run of first-round exits was extended to three in a row in 2013 with a heartbreaking one-point loss at home against Delta.

As any coach will say, though, every game is like a new season. The chase for postseason glory begins this weekend for our final four.



Rooney’s rundown

Last week: 11-1

Season to date: 124-24



(3) Overland at (2) Fairview

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m., Recht Field

Records: Overland 7-3; Fairview 10-0.

Last week: Fairview defeated Castle View 41-21; Overland defeated Denver East 45-21.

Quick hits: The Knights shook off a slow start last week before cruising past Castle View in the first round … Quarterback Johnny Feauto leads 5A with 3,296 passing yards, a figure that ranks second overall in the state … Feauto’s passing total is the sixth-best single-season total in state history. Feauto likely will move into fifth-place against Overland, and a win would give Feauto a chance to pass the familiar passers who are next on the list — former teammate Anders Hill (3,878 yards last year) and Fairview grad Taylor Tharp (3,936 yards in 2002) … Fairview receiver Tim Ryan has posted five 100-yard games and has recorded 416 yards over the past three games … Junior Carlo Kemp leads the Fairview defense with seven sacks. TJ Kebede has six and Jordan Karels has recorded a team-leading three interceptions … Senior quarterback Austin Conway is the player that makes Overland go. Conway has thrown for over 1,500 yards and also is the Trailblazers’ second-leading rusher … Overland finished fourth in the rugged Centennial League and suffered all three of its losses against top seeds in the tournament — Grandview, Cherry Creek, and Valor Christian … The winner will play either Ralston Valley or Eaglecrest in the state quarterfinals.

Rooney’s read: Fairview by 6.



(10) Pueblo Centennial at (7) Longmont

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m., Everly-Montgomery Field

Records: Pueblo Centennial 7-3; Longmont 7-3.

Last week: Pueblo Centennial lost 35-18 against Pueblo South; Longmont defeated Thompson Valley 42-12.

Quick hits: After beginning the season 1-3, Longmont has stormed into the postseason, winning six consecutive games while claiming the Longs Peak League crown … The Trojans are seeking their first state tournament victory since 2011 … Longmont hasn’t fared well against Pueblo teams of late. The Trojans were eliminated by Pueblo South in the first round of last year’s tournament and opened this season with a loss against Pueblo East, though both those games were on the road … Longmont’s tough defense has recorded 23 sacks and 14 turnovers. Cooper Rothe’s seven interceptions leads Class 4A, and that total is tied for the third-most overall in the state …. Longmont QB Clint Sigg threw five touchdown passes last week and has thrown eight with only one interception during the six-game winning streak … Pueblo Centennial has attempted only 42 passes all season but boasts a running game averaging 365.8 yards a game …. The Bulldogs feature two 1,400-yard rushers in seniors Quincy Kindred (1,597) and Caleb Miranda (1,414). That duo has combined for 33 touchdowns … The winner faces either Rampart or second-seeded Fort Collins in the quarterfinals.

Rooney’s read: Longmont by 8.


(11) Broomfield at (6) Dakota Ridge

Kickoff: Friday, 7:30 p.m., Jeffco Stadium

Records: Broomfield 7-3; Dakota Ridge 8-2.

Last week: Dakota Ridge won 45-7 at Littleton; Broomfield defeated Silver Creek 31-24.

Quick hits: Broomfield began the season with losses against Legacy and Windsor before reeling off wins in seven of eight games … Broomfield senior quarterback Logan McCormick has not thrown an interception in the past eight games (89 attempts) … Senior running back Nate Knowles (134 yards) and McCormick (123) both eclipsed 100-yards rushing last week against Silver Creek … McCormick has rushed for 291 yards in the past two games … Broomfield’s defense recorded four sacks and forced five turnovers last week, highlighted by a pair of interceptions from sophomore Ryan Mazzola … Overall the Eagles’ defense has recorded 21 interceptions, including five by Shane Wetzel and four from Tommy Trotter … Broomfield has been eliminated in the first round of the tournament in each of the past two seasons … Also nicknamed the Eagles, Dakota Ridge has outscored its opponents 188-13 during a current four-game winning streak … Dakota Ridge features a balanced offense led by quarterback Adam Clary (1,895 yards, 18 TDs, six interceptions) and running back Jeremy Lujan (1,714 yards, 25 total TDs) … The winner will advance to the state quarterfinals to face either Coronado or Montrose.

Rooney’s read: Dakota Ridge by 6.



(10) Fort Morgan at (7) Holy Family

Kickoff: Saturday, 1 p.m., Mike G. Gabriel Field

Records: Fort Morgan 8-2; Holy Family 8-2.

Last week: Fort Morgan won 49-0 at Fort Lupton; Holy Family defeated Northridge 66-28.

Quick hits: Holy Family will look to re-write its recent playoff history. The Tigers have been knocked off in the first round in each of the past three seasons … Has there been a more prolific running-passing tandem than Holy Family running back Ryan Younggreen and quarterback Chris Helbig? Younggreen ran for a whopping 360 yards and five TDs last week against Northridge. Helbig ranks first in 3A and third overall in the state with 3,008 passing yards … The Tigers are averaging 48.8 points a game … Three different Holy Family receivers have recorded at least 35 receptions, including Chance Segeth (46 receptions 706 yards, eight TDs), Bryce Buderus (43 receptions, 884 yards, five TDs), and Weston Dinsmore (36 receptions, 674 yards, eight TDs) … Fort Morgan has won its past four games by a combined score of 184-14 … The Mustangs’ stingy defense has surrendered just 14 total points in the team’s eight victories. However Fort Morgan suffered its two losses against the only playoff teams on its schedule, including a season-opening loss against 2A Brush … The winner will face either Glenwood Springs or second-seeded Evergreen next week.

Rooney’s read: Holy Family by 8.

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