Soroco football makes 8-man playoffs | SteamboatToday.com

Soroco football makes 8-man playoffs

Soroco football coach Dick Dudas talks to his team after a game earlier this season. On Sunday, the Rams were selected to play in the 16-team 8-man football playoffs. They’ll travel Friday to take on Merino.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The season will go on for the Soroco High School football team.

The Rams were selected Sunday morning as one of the 16 teams in the 8-man football playoffs bracket. No. 14 Soroco will hit the road for a 7 p.m. game Friday against No. 3 Merino.

"That's always the goal for the kids — to get to the playoffs," Soroco coach Dick Dudas said. "The playoffs are an experience. A lot of teams don't get the opportunity. The teams that are on the top are there year in and year out, so this is really good for the kids."

It's Soroco's second trip to the 8-man playoffs since it dropped down to that division in 2008, and it’s the program's second such trip in as many years. Last year the Rams were the No. 15 seed and lost in the first round to Sargent, 60-20.

Soroco's one of three teams from its league to make the field.

Northwest League champ West Grand is the state's No. 2 seed. The Mustangs dominated the league this season, finishing off a rare feat Friday night with a 52-0 defeat of the league's No. 2 team, Gilpin County. West Grand not only went undefeated through the league but didn't allow a point during that span, either, and has allowed just 14 on the whole season.

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West Grand will play at home against Norwood.

Gilpin lost its chance to win the league, but it did still easily make the cut for the playoffs — its first appearance there in 30 years. It got the No. 10 seed and will play on the road against No. 7 Sargent.

As potential opponents ranked in the top three in the state go, Merino may not be the worst draw for Soroco.

The teams share one common opponent, Gilpin County. Soroco lost a tight, high-scoring game against the Eagles, 48-40. Merino won a close game against them, 35-28, in the season opener.

The key for Soroco may well turn out to be its health and, depending on how that works out, its depth. Junior running back Jace Logan leads the state in rushing this year with 2,295 yards. His 30 rushing touchdowns are seven more than anyone else has scored. He has four more touchdowns when you factor in passes, receptions and kick returns.

But, he's been hobbled recently by a bad ankle, and he missed significant time in Friday night's regular-season finale win against Hayden because of that injury. That didn't stop him from scoring three rushing touchdowns but could be a concern heading into this week.

Soroco found a way to move the ball without Logan. The Rams bumped Jesse Amrein from his regular spot as the center on the offensive line into the backfield. He looked better than fine in that role Friday, rushing for more than 200 yards and scoring two touchdowns to hold off Hayden.

Just how it all shakes out Friday is still up in the air, Dudas said. His plan this week is to rest his squad, heal as many bruises — and one big ankle — as possible and prepare for a date in the playoffs.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9.

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