Centauri to face tough Limon team in Class 1A final

Centauri High School’s Peyton Polzin runs with the ball after receiving a pass from Byron Shawcroft in last Saturday’s 42-6 win over Buena Vista in the Class 1A state semifinals. The Falcons face top-ranked Limon in the Class 1A state championship game this coming Saturday in Pueblo (photo by Ken Hamrick).

ALAMOSA – It will be the top two teams in the Class 1A state championship game as second-seeded Centauri will take on top-seeded Limon.

The game will be played Saturday at the CSU Pueblo Thunderbowl. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

CENTAURI FALCONS (11-0)

The Falcons advanced to the title game with a 42-6 win over Buena Vista at home last Saturday.

They continue to have a balanced offense with 2,026 rushing yards and 1,428 passing yards.

The passing game is led by senior quarterback Byron Shawcroft who has completed 76 out of 106 passes (a 71.7 percent completion average) and 1,377 yards.

His top receiver is senior Baron Holman who has 27 catches for 551 yards and 11 touchdowns. Sophomore Deven Brady has 24 catches for 397 yards and seven touchdowns, and senior Peyton Polzin has 15 receptions for 261 yards and four touchdowns.

Leading the Centauri ground game is senior Mason Claunch who has run for 850 yards on 89 carries and he has scored 15 touchdowns. Deven Brady is next with 492 yards on 41 carries and six touchdowns, and senior Zach Buhr has 319 yards on 64 carries and he has scored seven touchdowns.

Buhr is Centauri’s defensive leader with 116 tackles, followed by Claunch with 90, Baron Holman with 89, junior Blade Absmeier with 68, Deven Brady with 64, senior Danny Brady with 63, Polzin with 49, and sophomore Chaz Holman with 48.

Shawcroft leads the Falcons in sacks with 3 ½, followed by Danny Brady with 2 ½ and Absmeier and Polzin both with two.

Buhr, Deven Brady and Baron Holman each have three interceptions to lead the Falcons.

LIMON BADGERS (12-0)

The Badgers defeated Wray 42-8 on the road last Saturday to advance to the final.

They are also a very potent running team with 3,917 yards for an average of 326.4 yards per game with 58 rushing touchdowns. Senior Jeremiah Leeper is Limon’s leading ground gainer with 1,678 yards on 175 carries and he has scored 16 touchdowns. Junior Gabe Schubarth is also a running threat as he has 1,230 yards on 109 carries and he has scored 25 touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Trey Hines has completed 44 out of 82 passes for 866 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is also the Badgers’ third-leading rusher with 415 yards on 57 carries and he has seven rushing touchdowns. Hines’ top target is senior Brady Rockwell with 22 catches for 433 yards and seven touchdowns. Senior Kailer Schmidt has six receptions for 196 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior Ky Bandy is also a running threat with 321 yards on 43 carries and eight touchdowns.

Bandy is Limon’s leading tackler with 101, followed by Schubarth with 72. Senior Eli Weisenee is the leader in sacks with 5 ½. Hines, Rockwell and Stephen Murray each have two interceptions.

COMMON OPPONENTS

The teams have two common opponents in Strasburg and Wray.

The Falcons defeated Strasburg 48-3 at home on Sept. 17, while the Badgers defeated the Indians 20-0 on Sept. 10 at Limon’s home field.

Centauri has a 28-14 win over Wray at home on Aug. 27. Limon has defeated the Eagles twice – 41-0 at Wray on Oct. 15, and 42-8 last Saturday also at Wray.

PLAYOFF HISTORY

The teams have played a few playoff games against each other. In fact, the Falcons were the last team to defeat the Badgers in a playoff game – a 20-12 victory in 2017. Centauri also has playoff wins in 2013 and 2014.

The 2017 season marked the last time Centauri played for a championship. However, it lost to Strasburg 10-7.

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