AURORA | Overland coach Seth Replogle knows the long odds his team faces against Columbine in its Class 5A first round state football playoff game Thursday, but there is some advantage in familiarity.
The eighth-seeded Trailblazers (3-6) meet the top-seeded and undefeated Rebels (9-0) at 6 p.m. at Jefferson County Stadium on the same field where Columbine topped Overland 28-0 in a non-league contest on Sept. 3.
Neither team is the same as it was eight weeks ago — especially with the Trailblazers making it through a rugged Centennial League schedule and the Rebels navigating the Jeffco League — but knowing each other will play at least a small part in the outcome.
“We both haven’t changed, but we’ve tweaked things and added some things since then and so have they,” said Replogle, who has a 2-3 all-time playoff record in three previous postseason appearances with the Trailblazers.
“The positive of it is our kids have gone up against their kids. We know they are huge, but our kids have played against them, so there’s not an intimidation factor. We’re just going to try to go 1-0 this week, play our best and we’ll see what happens.”
On film, Replogle said Columbine looks more “elaborate” on offense, but he’s also pleased with how his defense is playing at the moment. He also hopes to generate more consistent offense and avoid going for fourth downs in his own end of the field, which helped Columbine score 14 points in the last meeting of the teams.
“They are just big bruisers,” Replogle said. “We have to stop the run and the back half of our defense can’t fall asleep. We also need to manufacture some points on offense to have any chance.”
The winner moves on to play either Cherokee Trail or Heritage — who play at 6 p.m. Saturday at Littleton Public Schools Stadium — in the second round.
Full capsule preview of the Overland vs. Columbine playoff game, here.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel