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Three’s Company: Broomfield, Erie and Frederick ready for football quarterfinals

All three games are 1 p.m. Saturday

Frederick High School's River Lakey (No. ...
Frederick’s River Lakey stiff-arms Holy Family’s Jace Gunderson during a game Aug. 26. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

In the mountain town of Breckenridge, Frederick running back River Lakey used Climax Molybdenum Field as if it was his own personal ski lift last weekend. Going up and down, he put together a career day with 155 yards and four touchdowns on the ground as Frederick spoiled No. 6 Summit’s first home playoff game in 14 years, 41-21.

For all the fall viewers of Frederick football, the “Lakey Show” sure has been sweet. Similar to the ever-popular “Zamudio Hour”, featuring the team’s lead back Cruz Zamudio. And together they’ve been prime time for a program looking for another road playoff win in the 3A quarterfinals this Saturday.

The No. 11 Golden Eagles are at No. 3 Lutheran at 1 p.m. At the same time, the only other area teams left in contention —  No. 2 Broomfield and No. 11 Erie — will be playing in the 4A quarterfinals.

A preview for each is below.

Class 3A quarterfinals

No. 11 Frederick (8-3) at No. 3 Lutheran (9-2)

Where: Lutheran High School

How’d Frederick get here: River Lakey needed just 15 carries to notch 155 yards and four scores in a 41-21 win over No. 6 Summit Friday night. The Golden Eagles led throughout, then used Lakey TDs of 65 and 45 yards to pull away in the fourth quarter.

Frederick High School's Gavin Ishmael (No. ...
Frederick High School’s Gavin Ishmael (No. 12) throws the ball during the game against Mead High School on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

How’d Lutheran get here: A balanced offensive attack — 247 yards through the air, 241 on the ground — led the way in a 49-6 win over No. 14 Pueblo East in Round 1. The Lions have now won six straight, outscoring teams 294-40.

What burning question will be answered: Can the Golden Eagles’ run game stack up against Lutheran’s rugged defense?

Frederick’s proven it can run for miles, while Lutheran has put the kibosh on even some of the better rushing attacks in the class.

Stat to know: The last five teams Lutheran faced in the regular season put up rushing totals of 8, 19, 80, 15 and 53. Oof.

Frederick, meanwhile, has rushed for fewer than 200 yards in a game just twice this season — coming Week 2 against Monarch and Week 3 against Nebraska’s Scottsbluff.

Class 4A quarterfinals

No. 7 Heritage (8-3) at No. 2 Broomfield (11-0)

Where: Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium at Broomfield High School

How’d Broomfield get here: The Eagles had little trouble in a 42-0 victory over No. 15 Windsor in the second round.

Broomfield High School's Cole LaCrue (No. ...
Broomfield High School’s Cole LaCrue (No. 18) celebrates a touchdown against Erie High School on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)


How little? Well, Windsor did edge Broomfield out in at least one category: First downs-to-interceptions. As in, the Wizards had five first downs and the Eagles had four interceptions.

How’d Heritage get here: Heritage has a solid defense. Case in point, it held Broomfield to a season-low 17 points during Week 10. Last week, it shut No. 10 Mesa Ridge out after halftime in a 21-10 victory.

What burning question will be answered: Are sequels ever as good as the original?

In Week 10, Broomfield held on to beat Heritage 17-13. In a fourth quarter featuring the fun and the weird, Mikhail Benner had an interception and Canon Juarez had an acrobatic pass deflection on a key fourth down.

There was also a punt block by Heritage that resulted in a Broomfield touchback, which later resulted in some interesting — interesting? — social media chatter.

Stat to know: Broomfield quarterback Cole LaCrue has the third-best touchdown-to-interception ratio in the state at 24:4. He had the second-best mark over Vista Ridge QB Brayden Dorman before throwing two picks last week. Denver South’s Joseph Capra’s ratio leads the way at 24:2.

LaCrue is going to Wisconsin, Dorman to Arizona.

No. 11 Erie (8-4) at No. 3 Ponderosa (9-2)

Where: EchoPark Stadium in Parker

How’d Erie get here: It’d been fair to think that having two of 4A’s more dynamic passers in the same game would lead to a cascade of points. In the end, though, “Cascade” remained for the dishwashers.

Blake Barnett rushed for four TDs, passed for another and Erie tamed No. 6 Denver South and its talented QB Joseph Capra 35-10.

Erie High School's Blake Barnett (No. ...
Erie High School’s Blake Barnett (No. 3) is forced to run during the game against Broomfield High School on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

How’d Ponderosa get here: The Mustangs had two pick-sixes in a convincing 33-14 win over No. 14 Pueblo West in the second round.

Lyam Edwards has now returned three interceptions for a score this season. He also had two kick returns for a TD, including one in a 39-27 win over Erie in Week 1.

What burning question will be answered: Which Erie defense will we see?

In the Week 1, the Tigers allowed 39 points as the Mustangs rushed for 231 yards and three scores.

But that feels like ages ago. The unit has allowed 20 points just once over its last six games.

Stat to know: Barnett has 99 career touchdowns coming in — 55 passing, 42 rushing, one reception and a punt return. So, he’s more than likely to cross the century mark sooner than later. (Update, he has 103 after Erie’s 43-25 win over Ponderosa Saturday.)