Broomfield closed out the regular season a perfect 10-0 last weekend.
Fairview and Legacy continued their winning ways, building upon the longest winning streaks in the sport’s largest classification.
And Erie — the team that was a play away from a state title last season – seems to have finally found its groove.
The page flips to the postseason for six of Colorado’s seven classifications this weekend (Class 3A has one more week remaining in its regular season).
Eight teams from Boulder, Broomfield and Longmont made the cut. It includes Legacy and Fairview in 5A; Broomfield, Erie, Skyline, Longmont and Monarch in 4A; and Lyons in 8-man.
Below is a rundown of each.
No. 12 Legacy Lightning
Up first: The Lightning host No. 21 Arvada West 7 p.m. Friday at North Stadium.
How’d they get here: Like digging into the couch cushions for the remote only to find a $20 bill, the fall season has been something of a wonderful surprise for Lightning fans.
While it’s no shocker that longtime winning coach Jay Madden is back in the postseason (it’d probably be strange if he wasn’t), the fact he is in his first year with the Lightning and led them out of a 0-2 start to the longest winning streak in the classification at eight games is a bit ridiculous.
Since Week 3, the Lightning have beaten every opponent by at least two scores all while scoring 31 or more points in each. The offense is good, led by breakout quarterback Kullen Lerma. The defense is full of playmakers, touting 13 interceptions, seven fumble recoveries and 48 tackles for loss.
Who to watch: Junior linebacker Omari Bursey. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound standout is a wrecking ball on the defensive side of the ball. He has a team-leading 58 tackles — eight for loss — a sack and an interception.
— Omari Bursey (@omari_bursey) October 28, 2022
No. 14 Fairview Knights
Up first: The Knights host No. 19 Chatfield 7 p.m. Friday at Christian Recht Field.
How’d they get here: The sudden departure of star sophomore quarterback Bekkem Kritza wasn’t optimal for longtime coach Tom McCartney. But Fairview’s mastermind audibled, handing the quarterback duties over to a promising junior in Rowan Risner, who’s been solid. And he put more of an emphasis on the running game, led by star linebacker (now stud running back) Zach Lewis.
Lewis, in his expanded role, is the only player in the state with more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage and 100 tackles.
The result has been the program’s fourth 9-1 regular season since 2017.
Who to watch: Sophomore linebacker Ryder Villarreal. If offenses want to key in on D-I bound Lewis, what will be the plan to hold up Villarreal? Building trenches? He has 92 tackles, nine for loss, and leads the team with four sacks.
Super proud of our team finishing 9-1!
I had a great year as I’m the only player in Colorado with 1000+ scrimmage yards and 100+ tackles.@CoachRegalado @Coachblsmith @coachmarksmith @Coach_Sanford2 @Adam_Pilapil @CoachBanks13@D_Co0p @CoachBobBensonhttps://t.co/mKaI5f1Uzb
— Zach Lewis (@Zachlewis2023) October 30, 2022
No. 2 Broomfield Eagles
Up first: The Eagles get a first-round bye and will await the winner of No. 15 Windsor/No. 18 Bear Creek.
How’d they get here: The Eagles passed through their first eight opponents like hanging cobwebs, often clicking in the state’s mercy rule running clock by sometime in the third quarter.
But they passed much stiffer tests, too — just in time for their playoff run.
Along with its full force of talent (highlighted by quarterback Cole LaCrue, who narrowed his college destinations to Wisconsin, Colorado and Tulane Wednesday), Broomfield proved it can also win games in the fourth quarter. It beat Fruita Monument 21-14 in Week 9, then Heritage 17-13 to cap off its third undefeated regular season in four years.
Who to watch: Senior defensive end Garrett Keeler. The Eagles are in wait-and-see mode for the opening round, though Keeler may still be causing hurried feet from quarterbacks in the class. Whoever gets Broomfield has to face one of the state’s premier pass rushers. And that’s no fun.
Regular Season Highlights. 78 Tackles/14 TFLs/4 QB Sacks/2 Fumble Rec/2 Forced Fumbles/34 QB Hurries(11 QB Knockdowns). Eagles Finish 10-0! @CoachHubb2 @COACH_JRC @CoachReid_313 @Umpire73 @coachwes_23 @BrentWNew @BoCoPreps @Scotty_G6 @BroomfieldEagl1 @CHSAA @BlueGreyFB pic.twitter.com/1Wq72Ts2DE
— Garrett Keeler (@KeelerGarrett) November 1, 2022
No. 11 Erie Tigers
Up first: The Tigers host No. 22 Air Academy Saturday 11 a.m. at the high school field.
How’d they get here: It looked a little rough early. The schedule was brutal, and perhaps the loss of so many star 2021 graduates was felt through a 1-3 start.
But now the Tigers are looking more and more like the runner-up in the class from a season ago.
Quarterback Blake Barnett has 1,800 passing yards, 673 yards on the ground and 32 total touchdowns. He’s a brilliant high school player, and in two more years, he’ll likely be a college playmaker to behold.
Behind him, the Tigers bowled through 4A League 2 and are on a four-game winning streak.
Who to watch: Senior wide receiver Caden Lettis. Lettis watch, enjoy, the Southern Utah commit has nearly double the catches of anyone on roster with 32. With them, he is averaging 21.1 yards per grab.
— Caden Lettis (@LettisCaden) October 26, 2022
No. 16 Skyline Falcons
Up first: The Falcons host No. 17 Widefield 7 p.m. Friday at Everly-Montgomery Field.
How’d they get here: The Kaiden Box-Logan Miller passing connection is buttercream sweet. Earlier in the season, the two linked up 10 times for 290 yards in a game — tying Miller for the 15th-most receiving yards in a game in state history.
If those two click, the Falcons are a problem for anyone.
After a great game day visit and talk with @CoachWristen I am very excited to announce that I have received my first offer to play football at the next level from CSU Pueblo! @Coach_BrownCSUP @coachwilks @TeamFullGorilla @FairchildQB @FalconAthletics @traininthecore pic.twitter.com/08GdKoKi21
— Kaiden Box (@BoxKaiden) October 22, 2022
At 6-4, the Falcons have looked unstoppable in recent wins over Grand Junction Central and Greeley Central. Earlier, they beat fellow postseason teams in Standley Lake and Longmont, but struggled mightily against others in Denver South, Windsor and Loveland.
Who to watch: Senior Giancarlo Barron. A playmaker on the defensive side of the ball, Barron had four interceptions and a fumble recovery in a game against Grand Junction Central two weeks ago.
No. 20 Longmont Trojans
Up first: The Trojans face No. 13 Dakota Ridge 7 p.m. Friday at Jefferson County Stadium.
How’d they get here: Longmont found a way back to the postseason a year after graduating star quarterback Keegan Patterson, who is at USC, along with its top three receivers.
Bruising running back Cole Gaddis helped fill the void.
The Trojans started the season with three straight losses, falling to No. 2 Broomfield, No. 6 Denver South and No. 15 Windsor. They went 4-3 from there, led by Gaddis, who finished the regular season with 1,131 rushing yards and 20 TDs.
— Cole Gaddis (@cole_gad) October 13, 2022
Who to watch: Sophomore quarterback Kolby Holmes. He’s a dual threat who’s shown he can rack up passing yards when needed. He also has 98 carries for 453 yards and three scores.
No. 23 Monarch Coyotes
Up first: The Coyotes face No. 10 Mesa Ridge 7 p.m. Friday at CA Foster Field.
How’d they get here: Monarch went from running all the time to a more balanced offense under new coach Aaron Paddock.
In fact, this season they had more passing yards (2,167) than rushing yards (1,386) for the first time in, like, forever. (MaxPreps doesn’t go back far enough).
In it, Asher Ewing threw for 2,104 yards and 17 touchdowns, ran for 311 and another two scores and the Coyotes split their 10-game regular season. Their defense also looked dominating at times, recording shutouts against Greeley West and 5A program Boulder.
Who to watch: Junior receiver Owen Mellish. The talent is obvious in Mellish, whose 862 receiving yards and five TD catches obliterated the production of the entire 2021 passing attack (258, two TDs).
2024 WR @MellishOwen is a threat. Intelligent and athletic. Dad attended Yale and played there
— Roderick Rogers (@RodCoaching) October 23, 2022
Class 1A 8-man
No. 6 Lyons Lions
Up first: The Lions host No. 11 Dayspring Christian 1 p.m. Saturday.
How’d they get here: The Lions ran the table in the regular season as all nine of their victories came by at least three touchdowns.
So no, they haven’t been tested.
Question is: What will they do when they are?
Malik Sigg-Brown rushed for 884 yards and had a total of 17 TDs, while Miles Dumbauld had 648 yards through the air and 16 total scores.
Among the Lions’ perfect regular season, they beat No. 9 Vail Christian and No. 10 Merino.
Who to watch: Senior Dequlyn Keller. The Lions can certainly score, averaging 48.7 points per game this fall. But their defense was also outstanding (allowing 10.3 PPG) and Keller was a big reason why. He had 84 tackles, 2 ½ sacks and forced four turnovers.
Quarterback Miles Dumbald runs in for a touchdown to put Lyons up 30-16 against Front Range Christian School in the League Championship game. Go Lions! @LyonsLionsCO #StVrainStorm pic.twitter.com/53hhZnTvb7
— Lyons Middle Senior High School (@LyonsLionsCO) October 22, 2022