A quarterfinal win sets up Centauri-Strasburg III
By STEPHEN JIRON
Courier Sports Editor
The quarterfinal round of the state football tournament is now in the books and now only one valley team is left standing. Sanford fell on the road to Pikes Peak Christian by a score of 28-6. Also on the road, Centauri routed Meeker 41-6 in what was the most closely seeded game in the 1A bracket for the weekend.
Sanford (10-1) rolled through the regular season and into the playoffs staying undefeated all year long, beating opponents by an average 44.6 points. The first loss of the season could not have come at a worse time. Sanford fell behind early spotting Pikes Peak Christian a 14-point lead in the first half. Far from insurmountable, but Sanford struggled with turnovers all game long. By the final whistle, they would have given the Eagles 6 extra possessions off two interceptions and four fumbles. Sanford did a good job keeping the Eagles grounded as Caleb Grant was listed as the lone passer attempting 2 passes for no completions, but Pikes Peak did all their damage on the ground. Seniors Nathan Seay and Hudson Grant combined for 301 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground. Sanford would register their first score of the contest in the third quarter courtesy of Kelton Gartrell. The lone Sanford score would be accompanied by two more from Pike Peak Christian however, finalizing the game at 28-6 in the Eagles’ favor. The historic football season in the books, Sanford will head back to their most famous arena, the basketball court. The boys’ first game of the season is listed as a road contest with Alamosa on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.
On the western slope, No. 4 Centauri took on No. 5 Meeker. As a slight underdog, the Falcons (10-1) did not wait until the fourth quarter like their victory over Flatirons Academy. Instead of 28 points in the final frame, the Falcons logged 27 points in the first half. The first half performance saw Centauri surging ahead of the Meeker Cowboys (9-2) 27-6. Centauri faced a hobbled Meeker team as the Cowboys were missing their main offensive weapon, Ryan Phelan. Phelan suffered a severe injury the week prior against Buena Vista and missed Saturday’s game. In his stead, fellow passers Brayden Garcia and Jacob Shelton struggled for just 5 completions, 67 yards and 2 interceptions. On the offensive, the Falcons had no problem scoring, tacking on two more scores in the second half to complete the 41-6 victory. The win sends the Falcons to the semifinals for the third year in a row. For the second time in the past two years, Centauri will be facing a familiar opponent. On the other end of the quadrant, top-seeded Strasburg shut-out Highland 28-0 to advance. Centauri will once again play host to Strasburg in the semifinals. Strasburg at Centauri is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23.