Four area schools landed spots in the state football playoffs, with Palisade High School just missing the final playoff berth in Class 3A.
Montrose (4-2) claimed the No. 8 seed in Class 4A and travels to top-seeded Dakota Ridge (6-0). Delta (4-1) is the No. 6 seed in Class 2A, traveling to face No. 3 Platte Valley (5-1). Hotchkiss (6-0) earned the No. 5 seed in Class 1A, playing at No. 4 Wray (5-1), with Meeker (5-1) the No. 7 seed, traveling to the eastern plains to play at No. 2 Strasburg (6-0).
The first-round games will be played Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with most times and dates to be determined today.
The Colorado High School Activities Association takes four sets of rankings into consideration to determine the playoff field — the CHSAA Ratings Percentage Index, the coaches poll, MaxPreps rankings and the Packard Ratings, a computerized ratings system designed by Erik Packard, an associate professor of math at Colorado Mesa.
Each of the four ratings comprises 25% of the CHSAA seeding index that determines the eight-team field in each classification.
Palisade (4-2, 4-1 3A Western Slope Conference) finished ninth in the seeding index with a score of .664139; No. 8 seed Fort Morgan had an index of .675851. Palisade was higher than Fort Morgan in the RPI and MaxPreps poll, but lower in the coaches poll and Packard Rating.
Teams that didn’t qualify for the playoffs can schedule a seventh game this week with another non-qualifying team. Central, which faced four playoff teams in its six-game season, was to have played Summit on Thursday at Stocker Stadium. However, last week, the Mesa County Health Department determined no more games would be played in the county this fall because of rising coronavirus cases, so the season has ended for District 51 teams.
Palisade would have been allowed to play on the road had the Bulldogs qualified for the postseason.
Four other Western Slope teams made the playoffs. Moffat County (4-1) claimed the No. 8 seed in the Class 2A playoffs and plays at Resurrection Christian (5-0) in the first round. Durango (5-0) is the No 3 seed in Class 3A and hosts Lutheran (4-1) at 1 p.m. on Saturday, with Rangely (6-0) getting the No. 5 seed in the Class A 8-Man field, playing at No. 4 Dove Creek (4-1) in the quarterfinals.
Semifinal games are at home sites next week, with all championship games played at the ThunderBowl at CSU-Pueblo from Dec. 3-5.