State Football Playoff Capsules
No. 23 Grand Junction (6-3) at No. 10 Columbine (6-3)
Today, 4 p.m., Jefferson County Stadium
Grand Junction: Robbie Owens Columbine: Andy Lowry
About the Tigers
■ Junior QB Tyler Heinsma has passed for 851 yards and four touchdowns and has rushed for 704 yards with a team-high 13 touchdowns.
■ RB Austin Lewis returns from a concussion and has 879 yards rushing and seven touchdowns.
■ DT James Diamanti leads the Tigers with 4.5 sacks, followed by DE Austin Berk with four.
■ The Tigers have starting FB/DE Theron Verna healthy. Verna missed much of the season with a broken fibula.
About the Rebels
■ The defending Class 5A state champion notched a 41-31 win over Lakewood in the state final. Lakewood knocked Grand Junction out of the quarterfinals last season.
■ Senior QB Michael Burns has completed 21 of 44 passes for 487 yards and eight TDs and has rushed for 675 yards and nine TDs. As a DB he has 15 tackles and two interceptions.
■ Bernard McDondle has rushed for 1,289 yards and nine TDs on 132 carries, a 9.8 average.
Coach Owens says
About Columbine’s tradition: “(Coach Andy) Lowry has more than 200 wins — I think he has 183 at Columbine — so playing those guys, everybody in the state knows who they are and what they’re all about. They’re just going to line up and play football. It’s a good opportunity for us with them being the defending state champ, so for a first-round match it’s probably one of the better matchups as far as names of schools. And it’s a great chance for us to set the tempo.”
No. 12 Middle Park (7-2) at No. 5 Grand Valley (8-1)
Saturday, 1 p.m., Grand Valley High School
Middle Park: Troy Schmidt Grand Valley: Mike Johnson
About the Cardinals
■ Grand Valley has a four-game winning streak, its only loss being a five-point setback to undefeated No. 3 seed Bayfield.
■ Tanner Zimmerman has rushed for 1,486 yards, averaging 9.6 yards per carry, and 11 TDs.
■ LB Stephan Padilla, a 6-foot-2, 201-pound senior, leads the team in tackles with 9.7 per game.
■ QB Tyler Scott has 1,145 yards passing and 19 touchdowns.
About the Panthers
■ The Granby-based team’s two losses have been to undefeated Kent Denver, which has allowed 50 points all season, and Faith Christian.
■ The team rushed for 290 yards per game and is averaging 34.5 points.
■ RB Henry Southway has 1,177 yards rushing and 13 TDs.
Coach Johnson says
On hosting a state playoff game: “The community is behind us. We do a good job of filling the stands, and I’m sure they’re excited, and we’re excited to be at home again. So, I think it’s well-earned because the kids have had a great year, and from here on out we just want to keep pushing forward.”
No. 14 Centauri (7-2) at No. 3 Cedaredge (8-1)
Saturday, 1 p.m., Cedaredge High School
Centauri: Kyle Forster Cedaredge: Brandon Milholland
About the Falcons
■ Outscored their regular-season opponents 252-125.
■ QB K.C. Jarvies, a sophomore, completed 42 of 102 passes for 653 yards and eight TDs, but he threw 12 interceptions and lost four fumbles.
■ DE Mitchell Wilson, a 6-foot-4, 188-pound sophomore, had a team-high five sacks, as well as 8.3 tackles per game.
About the Bruins
■ Have won eight straight games, their only loss being in the first week to Class 3A Eagle Valley, 32-6.
■ The Class 1A Western Slope champion averages 38.3 points per game.
■ Senior QB Dante Markley has passed for 1,050 yards and has 12 TDs to three interceptions. He has completed 76 of 137 passes, 56 percent.
■ Senior FB/LB Carter Wasser has 994 yards rushing and 13 TDs. He has 17 total TDs. Defensively, he averages 7.6 tackles per game.
Coach Milholland says
About Dante Markley: “What surprised people, and I guess it’s not a surprise, is his ability to throw the ball. He definitely put in the workouts throughout the summer with me, just about an hour every day. After weight lifting he’d be throwing the ball, and really wanted to be efficient that way; and he has been such a blessing to our scheme and our offense and our overall team because of his ability to throw the ball.”
No. 10 Hotchkiss (7-2) at No. 7 Wiggins (8-1)
Saturday, 1 p.m., Wiggins High School
Hotchkiss: Zac Lemon Wiggins: Mitch Risner
About the Bulldogs
■ Led by RB/LB Jacobe Galley, who punts, kicks, runs and tackles. He has rushed for 1,713 yards and 21 TDs and averages 6.7 tackles per game.
■ Losses have been to eventual conference champion Cedaredge by one point and by three points to undefeated 1A Tri-Peaks Conference champion Buena Vista.
■ Since their last loss to Cedaredge, they have reeled off four straight wins by an average of 35 points.
About the Tigers
■ Only loss was 14-7 at Wray, the 1A North Central Conference champion.
■ RB/DE Thayer Sauter, 6-1, 195 pounds, has 182 carries for 1,576 yards and 20 TDs, plus four tackles per game, and he has five sacks.
■ Wiggins knocked Hotchkiss out of last season’s 1A state playoffs with a 47-19 win in the semifinals. The Cowboys lost 23-0 to Byers in the state championship,
Coach Lemon says
On getting a pair of early losses out of the way: “That was kind of our plan with our schedule, to get some more top-in-the-state teams, so we can have more playoff-environment-type games. It’s really helped us with putting together four-quarter games, knowing what it’s like for every play to mean something.”
— Nick Walter