Last Friday night's gridiron battle between host Cedaredge High School and Hotchkiss' Bulldogs was an epic defensive battle for over four quarters. Neither team had the solution for finding the end zone with a touchdown. But Cedaredge had enough offense to get close in an overtime period to end the game on a 20-yard field goal by Bruin freshman Brody Wagner. Wagner's three-pointer made the final score 3-0.
Hotchkiss not only lost the game in Cedaredge, but its RPI rating was just .01 off the final team's qualifying number for a state playoff berth. Hotchkiss came in at No. 17 and Colorado Springs Christian was No. 16. The miniscual deficit was enough to keep the Bulldogs out of this year's 1A state football championships.
Cedaredge was the No. 18 team and will also miss the 2017 state football playoffs.
Pairings for this year's state championships may be found on CHSAANOW.com.
Meeker and Paonia are the 1A WSL representatives for this year's 1A state run. Meeker, No. 2 (5-0 and 9-0) will host No. 15 Cornerstone Christian Academy (Northern League, Westminister, 3-2 and 6-3) at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3. Paonia, the No. 9 seed, will travel to No. 8 Peyton for a 1 p.m. game on Saturday, Nov. 4. The quarterfinal round will be played on Nov. 10-11, followed by semifinal action on Nov. 17-18 with the finals set for Nov. 25.
Bruins 3, Bulldogs 0
Hotchkiss was a winner in most statistical categories except the final score. The Bulldogs lacked proficiency in the passing game with six pass attempts and just two completions for 11 yards.
The Bulldogs' running game was ahead of Cedaredge's ground game by a considerable margin. Hotchkiss rushed 54 times for 201 yards while the Bruins accumulated 78 yards on 22 carries.
Hotchkiss senior Colton Peebles toted the pigskin 34 times for 144 yards with senior Devin Curtis the next highest yardage producer with 13 carries and 44 yards.
The Bruins' finished with 44 yards from senior Ty Grant on 13 carries and senior quarterback Pedro Madaleno ran for 22 yards on six carries. Senior Craig Claunch had 12 yards giving Cedaredge 78 yards on the ground.
In the passing game for the Bruins, Madaleno threw the ball 10 times with four completions and 43 yards. Grant was the top receiver with 20 yards on two catches. Baylee Piper was next with 15 yards on one catch.
Hotchkiss senior Braxton Trujillo caught two passes for 11 yards.
Defensively, Colton Peebles led Hotchkiss' defense in tackles with seven solo and seven assists. Junior George Arroyo and senior Eli Sawatzky finished the game with five solo and six assisted tackles. Cedaredge's Piper had eight tackles and Claunch had seven. Grant, sophomore Joshua Jenkins, and junior Toby Waddell had six tackles each for the Bruins.
Juniors Austin Crawford and Waddell recorded two sacks apiece while Hotchkiss senior Nolan Egging had one sack for a six-yard loss.
After four quarters had been played, and no score, the game moved to overtime. In its initial possession, Hotchkiss used a fourth down play to try and get into the end zone but was stopped on a good defensive play.
The Bruins moved the ball inside the Hotchkiss five-yard line on its possession in overtime and used Wagner's leg to score the winning points.
Hotchkiss coach Curtis Hintz had a short comment on the game. "This was just a good hard-nosed game. I was proud of how the boys competed and played hard. I had a few young guys (Will Scarlett, Jace Peebles and Jacob Palecki) step up for us on "D".
Both teams finished the season with several players ranked in the top 10 in numerous categories.
Madaleno was fourth in passing yardage with 313 and Hotchkiss' Chase Hiatt was fifth with 307 yards. Bruins' junior Jared Reynolds, who was injured earlier in the season, finished sixth in passing statistics with 239 yards.
Colton Peebles topped 1A WSL rushers with 1269 yards and the Bruins' Grant was fourth with 580. Hotchkiss' Curtis was fifth with 523 yards.
Hotchkiss' Trujillo finished third in pass receiving yardage with 238 yards and Cedaredge senior Drew Markley was eighth with 157 yards. Colton Peebles was 10th with 116 yards.
The league's top scorers included Colton Peebles with 80 points (fourth), Curtis with 48 points (seventh) and Markley with 30 points was 10th.
Touchdown leaders in the league included Colton Peebles (13), Curtis with eight and Markley with five for 10th place.
Colton Peebles finished the season with 1385 yards and finished second amongst rushing leaders. Grant was eighth with 671 yards and Curtis had 523 yards and a 10th place ranking.
Hotchkiss had three of the top 10 tacklers this year, including Colton Peebles (92, third) Sawatzky (83, fourth) and Curtis (67, seventh). The Bruins' Jenkins was ninth with 62 tackles.
Meeker finished first in league play followed by Paonia. Hotchkiss, with its 2-3 league mark, and 5-4 overall, was third with Cedaredge (2-3, 4-5) finishing in the fourth spot. Olathe was the league's fifth-place team (2-3, 4-5) with Grand Valley occupying the cellar at 0-5 and 2-7.