The Stratton/Liberty Knighted Eagles are the second-seed for the 6-man playoffs despite not playing a game in quite awhile.
The Knighted Eagles open the postseason Saturday at 1 p.m. at Liberty, hosting seventh-seed Briggsdale.
The Falcons qualified for the postseason by finally getting in their fourth game last Saturday, beating North Park 46-12 in the snow in Walden. That left them with a 3-1 record, and the required four games to be playoff eligible.
It was Briggsdale’s first game since October 23.
The Knighted Eagles, 4-0, have gone even longer without a game. It’s last on-field game was a 62-0 win at Miami-Yoder on October 23.
Their game at Hi-Plains was rescheduled for Monday, November 2, due to COVID at Hi-Plains, but that game was called off that afternoon. It’s game later in the week against Kit Carson also was canceled due to COVID case at Kit Carson. Stratton/Liberty scheduled a game with Hanover for that Saturday, but that was called off as Stratton went to remote learning for two weeks. (Kit Carson also made the playoffs with a minimum of four games, winning at Hi-Plains last Friday to finish 3-1.)
The Knighted Eagles got a forfeit win from Hi-Plains, leaving them at 4-0 and playoff eligible.
“By the time we play, it will be four weeks to the day when we last played a game,” coach Toby Kechter said earlier this week.
The team’s last practice was November 5. The players will be able to practice by Thursday, but Kechter said the hope was clearance would be given to return to practice earlier this week.
“It’s kind of scary,” Kechter said of entering the postseason after so much time off. “I’ve been sending them workouts every day.”
The Knighted Eagles are without senior all-state player Jaret Lichty, lost to an injury early in the season’s second game, and Kechter said another senior was questionable due to a toe injury suffered outside of football.
Still, the coach expressed confidence in the Knighted Eagles’ postseason chances.
“If we play like I think we can play, we have a chance to win it,” Kechter said. He acknowledged the irony of saying that without having Lichty playing, but “this year everyone is a year older and we have a lot more depth. I like our team.”
He noted how everyone stepped up after Lichty was injured, rolling to big wins before the season was put on hiatus.
“Nobody stands out, but they’re all solid,” he said.
Briggsdale is led by veteran coach Rick Mondt. Kechter said the Falcons are athletic and like to throw the ball a lot.
As for the Knighted Eagles, they could have as many as six starters on offense Saturday that did not start last year, and two on defense. However, there is still a lot of experience and toughness.
“Our best players are probably our linemen,” Kechter said. “You don’t usually hear that in the 6-man game, but the quality along our line is pretty high.
Fleming is the top seed and hosts Kit Carson on Saturday. The winner of that will get the winner of Saturday’s game between fourth-seed Granada, which barely lost at Fleming last Friday, and fifth-seed Eads.
On Stratton/Liberty’s side of the bracket third-seed Cheyenne Wells hosts sixth-seed Prairie.
The semifinals will be next week at the higher-seeded teams, with the championship game set for CSU-Pueblo on December 3.
A/W has shot at winning record
The Arickaree/Woodlin football team closed out the shortened 2020 season on a successful note with 20-0 victory at Deer Trail, last Saturday.
The Indian Mustangs currently have a 3-3 record, winning three of their last four games.
However, it is not over. The Indian Mustangs can still finish with a winning record. Non-playoff teams have been granted to schedule an extra game this season, and Arickaree/Woodlin has done so as it will travel to Peetz today, November 19, for a 6 p.m. kickoff.
It was a rare 6-man defensive struggle last Saturday in Deer Trail. Arickaree/Woodlin scored only three touchdowns, but the defense pitched the shutout.
The Indian Mustangs got all the points they needed in the first quarter with a touchdown, and got another in the second for a 12-0 lead at halftime. They sealed the win with a touchdown in the fourth quarter, along with the two-point conversion kick. Arickaree/Woodlin was able to overcome three lost fumbles.
Logan Wright rushed 12 times for 62 yards and a touchdown, and also completed a 30-yard TD pass to Angel Sevrin. Estevan Ramirez also returned an interception for a touchdown.
Tristin Niccoli rushed one time for 30 yards, Sevrin eight times for 41 yards, and Samuel Koolstra seven yards on four carries.
Defensively, Koolstra was in 17 total tackles (14 solo), Niccoli 12 (10 solo), Sevrin six (five solo), Wright five, Jacob Jefferson five, Hayden Page two, and Ramirez and Connor Jesse one each.
Otis to get in one more game
The Otis High School football team saw its regular-season come to an end last Friday with a 54-0 loss at Idalia.
The Bulldogs are 0-5. However, in this COVID-19 shortened season, non-playoffs teams can pick up an extra game. Otis has done so, going to Deer Trail on Friday for a 6 p.m. kickoff. That will be the end of the season.
No stats were available from the Idalia game prior to press time.
The Otis roster this season consisted of Chase Norman, Jack Willeke, Camron Aagesen, Kaleb Jones, Maddox Hisam, Sawyer Packer, Bohden Klinzmann, Matthew Hagler, Tyler Reynolds, Erick Thorn, Carter Wells, Peyton Wells, Tanner Ringlein, Mason Metzler, Eric Bentliff, Daniel Reese, Garret Patterson and Dominck Pacheco. Norman and Reynolds were the only senior on the team.