This season was bound to produce some unusual scenarios and the Skyline football team is in one heading into the sixth and final week of the 2020 regular season.
After winning 35-21 over Monarch last Friday, the Falcons find themselves undefeated at 5-0. When they look at the CHSAANow.com rankings, the Falcons also see themselves sitting at No. 6 in Class 4A. The Skyline boys believe themselves to be a playoff team.
But based on the criteria for postseason qualification and seeding in 2020, it’s still likely the Falcons need to win their final game against No. 5 Loveland in order to make the cut.
“It’s just a ridiculous situation,” Skyline head coach Mike Silva said. “CHSAA is managing the whole thing and they’re the ones who made the schedule. But there’s nothing we can do about team like Greeley West and Longmont, which are both teams that are usually playoff teams, not having great years. But here we are in if we win, we’re in.
“If we lose, we’re probably out.”
Skyline and Loveland, which is also unbeaten at 5-0, are in quite similar situations with everything riding on the regular-season finale this Thursday night in Loveland.
So far through their 4A Northern 2 League schedule, Skyline and Loveland have each beaten four conference opponents – Greeley Central (0-4), Greeley West (0-5), Monarch (1-4) and Longmont (2-3) – with a combined record of 3-16. Both teams won their one non-league game, but each defeated an opponent with an 0-5 record. As a result, the two teams are currently tied for 13th place in the RPI, which is one criterion for determining the playoff field.
There are also several unlikely scenarios in which Skyline wins and doesn’t get in. Both Loveland and Skyline could make the playoffs depending on the results of other games. But for the rest of this week, Silva said the Falcons are treating this game like exactly what it is; a conference championship game featuring the last two winners of the Longs Peak League and a rematch of 2018 4A state title game.
“It’s still the conference championship and we have a chance to be undefeated in one of the most difficult seasons ever to navigate,” Silva said. “Both teams are playoff teams and in a normal season, this game would just be jockeying for seeding. But there’s nothing normal about this season.”
Transfer leads ball-hawking Fairview defense
The Fairview defense has been burning up its opponents and a guy who wasn’t even on the team last season has been the pilot light in 2020.
The Knights (5-0) are allowing just 9.8 points per game and lead the state of Colorado with 13 interceptions. Jay Barry, who transferred to Fairview from Denver East, has the most picks on the team with five, which he has turned into 212 yards going the other way on returns.
Also playing receiver, Barry is second on the team with 24 receptions for 285 yards and three touchdowns.
Sullivan emerging in Lyons
Lyons (2-3) hasn’t exactly been lighting it up in the passing game but when the Lions have made plays in the passing game, the ball has most frequently landed in Maregu Sullivan’s hands.
The freshman wide receiver currently leads Lyons with 218 receiving yards on 20 catches, which is tied for third most in Colorado’s 8-man division.
Zamudio seizing opportunity in Frederick
After graduating a ton of talent following a string of successful seasons, the Warriors (1-4) are taking some lumps this year. That appears, however, to be creating come opportunities for some younger players to step up.
Juniors Parker Ayres and Bryce Conover are having solid seasons but it is sophomore Cruz Zamudio who is leading the run-heavy Frederick offense in both carries and rushing yards. He currently has 343 rushing yards on 50 carries.
Bartko shouldering the load for Niwot
The Niwot football team has eight touchdowns this season and Ayden Bartko has thrown seven of the eight. The 6-foot-5 senior quarterback has now thrown for over 700 yards in 2020.