Senior quarterback Khalil Howard, left, and the Eaglecrest football team heads into the Class 5A state playoffs with the No. 5 overall seed. The Raptors (4-1) face No. 4 Pomona in their opening round contest. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | Six Aurora-area football programs opted to play football in the fall and half of them qualified for the eight-team Class 5A state playoff field as released Sunday by the Colorado High School Activities Association.

The combination of four elements — Ratings Percentage Index, Coaches Poll, Packard Rankings and MaxPreps Rankings — went into CHSAA’s seeding index and Cherokee Trail, Eaglecrest and Regis Jesuit each ended up in the top eight spots needed to make the playoffs, which have half as many spots available this season as the previous year.

Eaglecrest (4-1) is the highest seeded team among the Aurora-area qualifiers at No. 5, followed by 4-2 Cherokee Trail (No. 7) and 5-1 Regis Jesuit (No. 8).

In the index, the Raiders finished seventh and the Cougars eighth, but were swapped in the bracket to avoid the Cougars facing fellow Centennial League team Cherry Creek, the top seed, in the opening round.

Times, dates and locations for all opening round games — scheduled to be played Nov. 19-21 — will be announced as finalized. Per a tweet from Cherry Creek athletic director Jason Wilkins, the Bruins will play host to Regis Jesuit at 4 p.m. Nov 20.

Two of the three Aurora-area qualifiers were in action on Saturday: Eaglecrest came out of quarantine that kept it out of its Week 5 contest and suffered its first loss of the season at the hands of Cherry Creek in Centennial League play, while Regis Jesuit won a dramatic South League contest with Pine Creek on a last-second field goal by senior Jaden Ohlsen.

Cherokee Trail won its fourth straight game with a shutout Centennial League victory against Overland on Friday night at Stutler Bowl.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports


First round (Nov. 19-21, times/locations TBA)

Game 1: NO. 8 REGIS JESUIT (5-1) at No. 1 Cherry Creek (6-0), Nov. 20, 4 p.m.

Game 2: NO. 5 EAGLECREST (4-1) vs. No. 4 Pomona (6-0)

Game 3: NO. 7 CHEROKEE TRAIL (4-2) at No. 2 Valor Christian (5-0), Nov. 19, 6 p.m.

Game 4: No. 6 Fairview (6-0) at No. 3 Legend (6-0)

— Full 5A state playoff bracket and schedule, here