N0. 30 MOUNTAIN RANGE (5-4) vs. NO. 3 CHEROKEE TRAIL (8-1) 

Nov. 2, Legacy Stadium, 7 p.m.

BREAKDOWN: Mountain Range and Cherokee Trail have never met in the postseason, but played each other twice in the regular season, with the Cougars winning both times — 44-0 in the 2008-09 season and 10-0 in 2009-10. … CHEROKEE TRAIL: Coach Monte Thelen’s Cougars have made the playoffs in all nine seasons of existence and at No. 3 this season are seeded the highest they’ve been since joining Class 5A. Cherokee Trail’s deepest push in the 5A postseason came in 2010 when it advanced to the semifinals before a one-point loss to Regis Jesuit. …Cherokee Trail’s only loss in the 2012 season came to Cherry Creek, but the Cougars still ended up winning the Centennial League championship when the Bruins lost to Eaglecrest in the season finale for their second league defeat. …The Cougars have allowed just 102 points in nine contests and shut out two playoff qualifiers — No. 11 Chatfield and No. 15 Fort Collins — in the first two weeks of the season. Ryan Winke — who also serves as the team’s place kicker and is also adept at blocking punts — is a disrupting factor along the defensive line with a team-best six sacks, while ballhawking safety Evan White has six of the team’s 15 interceptions. Junior linebacker Kaleb Barnum has a team-leading 68 tackles. Junior Aric Johnson has settled in the role as starting quarterback, taking care of the football with just three interceptions while accounting for more than 1,000 yards of total offense (847 passing, 271 rushing). Sophomore Cameron Smith is Cherokee Trail’s leading rusher with 482 yards and five touchdowns, while junior Cameron Currington — a playmaker on both sides of the ball — has rushed for 461 yards and six TDs, while White leads the team with 182 yards receiving. …MOUNTAIN RANGE: Mountain Range — which lost to Highlands Ranch in the first round of last season’s 5A playoffs — has won its past two games after a four-game losing streak in the middle of the season. The Mustangs are comfortable on the road this season, posting a 3-1 record away from home. …Mountain Range has rushed for more than 2,000 yards as a team, with six players over 100 yards. Gabe Gellespie leads the way with 780 yards and nine touchdowns. Kyle Dunbabin is the Mustangs’ leading receiver with 307 yards. Defensively, linebacker Preston Deherrera — who also has eight rushing touchdowns — has racked up 90 tackles. Mountain Range has forced 22 turnovers on the season. …The winner plays either No. 14 Mullen or No. 19 Overland in the second round.

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at or 303-750-7555

Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...