2015 5A STATE FOOTBALL 1ST ROUND PLAYOFF MATCHUP
REGION A: NO. 8 OVERLAND (3-6) VS. NO. 1 COLUMBINE (9-0)
Nov. 5, 6 p.m., Jefferson County Stadium
BREAKDOWN: Overland of the Centennial League and undefeated and top-ranked Columbine of the Jeffco League meet for the second time this season, as they played previously two months prior in a game the Rebels won 28-0 over the Trailblazers on Sept. 3 at Jeffco Stadium. It was the second game of the season for Overland and first for Columbine…Coach Seth Replogle has his Overland team in the 5A playoffs for the fourth time in as many seasons as he’s been at the helm and owns a 2-3 all-time postseason record with first round wins in each of the past two seasons after an opening round exit in 2012. The Trailblazers have made 11 previous state playoff appearances since 2000 and own a 6-5 record in opening round games…Coach Andy Lowry’s Columbine team lost in the second round of last season’s playoffs to Pomona after topping Rangeview in the opening round and has advanced to at least the second round of the postseason in at least 10 straight seasons…OVERLAND: Replogle’s team finished 3-6 in the regular season — including an 0-5 record in the brutal Centennial League — and finished as the No. 31 team in the 5A Wild Card standings. The Trailblazers capped the regular season with a 10-0 loss to Cherokee Trail on Oct. 30, as they were shut out for only the second time all season in addition to the previous meeting with Columbine, a game in which costly turnovers and failed fourth down attempts cost Overland…For the season, the Trailblazers’ defense has played well and senior S Alijah Halliburton has been a tone setter with a team-high 112 tackles, including 74 solo stops. Senior LBs Taylor Marshall and DJ Roper and senior DB Michael Burke find ballcarriers frequently and make big plays, while senior DL Tedmund Taylor leads Overland’s pass rush with 10 sacks, followed by Marshall (5.0) and senior DL CJ Woodall (3.0)…Offensively, the Trailblazers have thrown more than in the past as the run game has averaged just 2.7 yards per carry this season. In his first year as the starting QB, senior Ray Rountree has completed 151 of his 247 passes for 1,595 yards and 14 touchdowns against seven interceptions and has spread the ball around with six Overland players in double figures in catches. Senior WR Sam Warren leads the team in receiving yards (532) and touchdowns (6), followed by senior WR Chris Jones (378 yards, 1 TD) and senior WR Brent Halliburton (316 yards, 3 TDs). Senior RB Jeremiah Collins has been a weapon in a lot of places for the Trailblazers, especially in the return game, and leads the team with 830 total yards…COLUMBINE: Lowry’s team blew past Lakewood 42-14 on Oct. 29 to finish off a perfect regular season and put the finishing touches on a league championship as well. The No. 1 team in 5A Wild Card points was the only non-Centennial League team to receive one of the four No. 1 seeds in the postseason…Columbine’s prolific offense has racked up 311 points — third best in 5A this season — with senior QB Jake Lowry and junior RB Mikey Griebel as the catalysts and benefiting from a large and physical offensive line. Lowry has nearly 1,500 yards of totall offense (803 passing, 666 rushing) and has had a hand in 21 touchdowns, while the elusive Griebel has rushed for 1,034 yards and scored 18 times (12 rushing, 6 receiving TDs). Lowry rushed for two TDs and threw two to Griebel in Columbine’s earlier win against Overland. Senior TE Jon Cole is another weapon in the passing game…Defensively, the Rebels are one of just three teams in 5A to allow fewer than 100 points on the season (Horizon has allowed 91, Regis Jesuit 97) and has given up 14 points or less in every game with the exception of 35 against Pomona, a No. 2 seed in the playoffs. Columbine is big up front, gets to the quarterback often and swarms to ballcarriers…WINNER: The Columbine-Overland winner advances to the second round — scheduled to be played between Nov. 12-14 — where it will face the winner between the region’s fifth-seeded Cherokee Trail and fourth-seeded Heritage, a game scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 7 at Littleton Public Schools Stadium. Overland lost to Cherokee Trail, while Columbine hasn’t faced either team this season.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel