Levi Warfel scored on a 52-yard touchdown on the opening play of the game, setting the tone for the Rifle High School football team in its 48-15 victory over Englewood at home in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs.
The Bears, the top seed in the field, improved to 10-0.
Warfel added touchdown runs of 78 and 9 yards in the first quarter and hauled in scoring tosses of 92 and 5 yards from Holden Stutsman. He finished the day with 16 runs for 201 yards and 2 catches for 97 yards with 5 total touchdowns.
Stutsman completed 4 of 5 passes for 146 yards and three TDs, adding 26 yards on the ground, including a 6-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
Rifle travels to No. 9 Basalt for the second round after the Longhorns beat No. 8 Classical Academy 13-7 on the road in the first round. The Bears won the regular-season meeting between the two teams 21-9, the only game in which Rifle didn't score at least 31 points.
1A FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
Meeker earned its sixth straight victory with a 34-20 home victory over Buena Vista in the first round.
The Cowboys (9-1) host No. 5 Centauri (9-1) next week. Centauri defeated No. 12 Flatirons Academy 28-21 in the first round.
Highland 14, Hotchkiss 7 (OT): The Bulldogs (7-3) scored with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter to tie a low-scoring affair, but their offense couldn't respond after the defense allowed a score to open overtime.
5A FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
Former Central coach Shawn Marsh won his 5A postseason debut with Eaglecrest on Friday. The Raptors (8-3) defeated Legacy 34-31.
Former Palisade, Montrose and Fruita coach Todd Casebier also led his school to the playoffs, but Castle View (6-5) lost at Arapahoe 17-7.
Palisade High School needed two wins Saturday to advance out of the regional round, where they had lost the past four years.
The Bulldogs (16-9) beat Lincoln 25-7, 25-17, 25-15 in their first match, setting up a showdown with host Erie for the Class 4A Region 8 tournament title.
The Tigers defeated Palisade 25-21, 25-20, 26-24.
"We had a good season," Bulldogs coach Wendy MacAskill said. "We need to continue to play in the moment and play in high-pressure situations and that will help us take the next step."
Against Lincoln, Kendyl MacAskill had 11 kills and 15 assists, Magdalena Latek had 21 digs and Cassie Miller also had 15 assists. Caylee Chutka and Alesia Yanowich both had seven kills, Yanowich also had one solo block and one block assist and Addie Steele had five aces.
In the loss to Erie, Kendyl MacAskill had seven kills, nine assists and one solo block and one block assist, Steele had six aces, and Miller added eight assists and 10 digs.
Palisade will lose three seniors to graduation — Miller, Morgan Sellden and Gillian Kelley.
Fruita Monument's season ends: The 22nd-seeded Wildcats made it to the regional championship game in the Class 5A Region 3 tournament in Parker, but they fell to host No. 3 Legend 25-9, 25-11, 25-11.
Fruita ended the season with a 15-10 record.
The Wildcats began the day by beating No. 34 Greeley West 21-25, 25-17, 30-28, 25-17. Rachel Coffey had nine kills and 24 digs, Sarah Mahoney had 25 assists and 17 digs, Trinity Hafey had two assists and 28 digs, and Hayden Murray and Kenda Abbott combined for 15 kills and eight digs. Kylie Williams added 12 assists.
Against Legend, Coffey recorded eight kills and 10 digs to lead the team. Mahoney and Williams each added seven assists.
Montrose through on tiebreaker: The No. 2 Indians (21-5) earned their place in the 4A state tournament, taking down Longmont 25-20 in a one-set tiebreaker.
Montrose opened the day with a 25-20, 25-21, 25-22 win over the 35th-ranked Trojans, but then the Indians fell to No. 23 Eagle Valley 11-25, 25-23, 26-24, 25-22. Since all three teams went 1-1 in the Region 2 tournament, the teams played one-set tiebreakers. Longmont defeated Eagle Valley in the first tiebreaker.
Meeker makes state: The No. 3-seeded Cowboys (23-2) advanced to the 2A state tournament, beating No. 34 Sargent 25-21, 25-19, 20-25, 25-19 and No. 22 Telluride 25-13, 25-16, 25-11 in the Region 3 tournament.
Freshman Emma Luce had 25 combined kills in the two matches and Julia Dinwiddie added 24.
Cedaredge falls short: The No. 11 seed in the 3A playoffs, the Bruins (20-5) hosted a regional Saturday and defeated No. 26 Buena Vista 25-7, 25-20, 23-25, 25-18. However, in the Region 11 championship match, Cedaredge fell to No. 14 Bayfield 25-7, 25-19, 25-11.
No. 3 Atlas Preperatory School defeated No. 6 Delta 7-0 in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A state tournament in Colorado Springs.
Lamario Nisbeth scored a hat trick, giving him 51 goals on the season. Luis Vega and Angelito Caballero each scored twice.
The Panthers ended the season at 14-4.