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1A football teams in race

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Football action in the 1A Western Slope Conference is only two weeks away from being complete, and teams are jockeying for position in the drive to the state playoffs.

Paonia Eagles

In Paonia, the two-time defending state champion Eagles are at the top of the standings at the moment with an overall record of 6-1 and a 3-0 mark in conference play.

The Eagles went to Leadville last Friday night and beat winless Lake County 62-6.

Paonia erupted for 50 points in the first half and played all of its backups for much of the contest.

Dagan Rienks, Sackett Chesnik, Trevor Smith and Caden Meilner were selected by Maxpreps as the players of the game.

Rienks went five-for-six passing the ball and three of those tosses were for touchdowns. He also caught a touchdown pass.

Taylor Walters was 3-for-3 passing with two scores to go along with his 166 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.

Chesnik ran the ball nine times for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Jeramiah Hillman contributed two runs for 81 yards and a score in the win, and Smith had three receptions for 83 yards and two TDs. Colby Simpson recorded three grabs for 71 yards and two TDs in the win.

Paonia controls its own destiny with a road game at Hotchkiss on Friday night and a home tilt against Cedaredge in the last game of the regular season.

Wins in those two games will secure the conference title outright as well as a top-four seed in the state playoffs for the Eagles.

Hotchkiss Bulldogs

Hotchkiss got its second conference win last Friday after beating Grand Valley on the road 41-0. The Bulldogs improved to 3-4 overall and 2-1 in conference with the win.

Wade Katzdorn was the leading rusher for Hotchkiss with 154 yards and three TDs over 27 carries.

Devin Curtis had 52 rushing yards and two scores while quarterback Colton DeLuzio was 6-for-8 throwing the ball with a touchdown.

Cole Carvill hauled in a 44-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter of the Bulldogs' victory and Colton Peebles kicked three extra points.

Hotchkiss has two huge games remaining in the regular season, Friday night at home against Paonia and then a game at Meeker.

The Bulldogs will probably have to win at least one of those contests to have a shot at making the playoffs.

Hotchkiss did make the 16-team playoff field last year with a 4-5 overall record and the Bulldogs still have much to play for.

Cedaredge Bruins

Cedaredge made the trip to Meeker this past Friday night and fell to the Cowboys, 38-12. The defeat was the first of the season for the Bruins (6-1, 2-1).

Meeker's standout senior, TJ Shelton, put up a big game against Cedaredge. He had 24 runs for 223 yards and two TDs and also grabbed three catches with a touchdown.

Doak Mantle and Devon Pontine also had touchdowns in the victory for Meeker (4-3, 2-1).

Cedaredge can improve its playoff positioning with a win on Friday at home against Lake County. The Bruins will finish the regular season in Paonia for a game against the Eagles that could potentially have the conference title on the line.

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