Aspen prep football gets Faith … Christian
The Aspen Times
The Aspen Skiers will have Faith — Faith Christian in the opening round of the Class 2A state football playoffs.
The seedings for the 16-team playoff bracket were released Sunday by the Colorado High School Activities Association with Aspen (6-3) assigned the No. 13 seed.
The Skiers will travel to Arvada, in suburban west Denver, to play Faith Christian (7-2), the No. 4 overall seed, on Saturday at a time to be announced.
The game will match perennial playoff qualifiers in 2A with the Skiers making their seventh consecutive appearance in the postseason under head coach Mike Sirko.
The Skiers earned the No. 3 position and the final qualifying berth from the Western League by winning their final three games of the season — 41-20 over Coal Ridge, 35-26 over Grand Valley and 21-10 over Basalt.
Aspen’s league losses came to playoff qualifiers Gunnison (14-10) and Olathe (28-17).
A key 24-6 victory over Bayfield on Sept. 20 ended up giving the Skiers a crucial tiebreaker in the conference standings and the 2013 playoff opportunity.
Faith Christian enters the playoffs on a scoring surge. The Eagles won their last three games by margins of 63-0, 56-0 and 43-3 — to The Pinnacle, Bishop Machebeau and The Academy, respectively.
Led by veteran coach Blair Hubbard, in his 15th season, Faith Christian lost only twice this year — 42-16 to Holy Family and 28-23 to No. 7 seed Kent Denver.
The Eagles won their first-round state playoff game a year ago before losing at Bayfield in the second round.
The Aspen-Faith Christian winner will move ahead to a second-round game against the winner of No. 12 Fort Lupton (6-4) at No. 5 Gunnison (7-2). Gunnison secured the fifth overall seed after beating Olathe, 25-22, on Friday night to win the Western League championship.
Undefeated Brush (8-0) is the overall No. 1 seed. The Beetdiggers will host The Academy (4-5), of Westminster, in the first round.
The Brush-Academy winner will move to the second round to take on the winner of No. 8 Florence (7-2) against No. 9 Strasburg (7-2). Florence won the 2A state title in 2011, beating Bayfield in the state championship game.
In the bottom half of the bracket, No. 2 Manitou Springs (9-0) will host No. 15 Jefferson (7-2) in the first round.
No. 7 Kent Denver (7-2), the defending 2A state champion, will host No. 10 Lamar (7-2) with the winner facing the Manitou-Jefferson winner in the second round Nov. 9. Last year, Kent Denver beat Strasburg, Brush, Florence and then Platte Valley in the state playoffs.
No. 3 Platte Valley (7-1), of Kersey, will host No. 14 Ridge View Academy (4-4), of Watkins, on Saturday. Platte Valley finished second in the state playoffs a year ago.
The Platte Valley-Ridge View winner will play the winner of No. 11 Olathe (6-3) at No. 6 Bennett (7-2) in the second round of the Class 2A football playoffs.
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Once the Aspen High School defense woke up — random 4 p.m. kickoffs need some getting used to — the Skiers were able to dictate Saturday’s football game en route to a 22-7 victory over visiting Steamboat Springs on the AHS turf.