Sailors draw Hornets for 2008 playoffs | SteamboatToday.com

Sailors draw Hornets for 2008 playoffs

— Steamboat Springs High School football coach Aaron Finch said in an effort to move on, he won’t show the game film from Friday night’s 47-0 loss to Glenwood Springs.

If the Sailors are truly to move on – earning a win in the first round of the 16-team playoffs – he’ll have to visit one of the few other ugly losses the squad has sustained in the past several years.

Steamboat drew the No. 13 seed in the Class 3A playoffs and will travel Saturday to play at Pueblo County. It’s the same team that dispatched the Sailors two years ago in the quarterfinals via a 41-7 rout.

“They always have a good team and tough kids that play hard,” Finch said Sunday after the bracket was released.

He said there’s likely little lingering institutional knowledge about Pueblo County among his team – “Two years is a lifetime in high school football,” he said – but the draw is a bit of an advantage for the coaching staff.

He expects to run up against a big, tough and strong team much like the one the Sailors saw in 2006.

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“We have some familiarity with what they do. We know what we tried, and we know it didn’t work,” Finch said. “Personnel changes how a team attacks on both sides of the ball, but they’re still very similar with their offensive and defensive schemes.”

There’s been little need for the Hornets to change their system. They cracked into the semifinals two years ago by beating Steamboat, then repeated the feat last year, playing eventual 3A champ Berthoud to the wire before losing, 35-33.

The new season hasn’t been quite as kind to Pueblo County. It won the Southern League, but it was slotted as the weakest of the state’s four league champions. The Hornets are 7-3 with losses to Pueblo West and Pueblo East in the league. They also lost to Palisade in the season opener, 20-6.

Palisade, runner-up in the Western Slope League, beat Steamboat, 39-14, on Sept. 25.

Despite the three losses, it doesn’t appear to be a good time to tangle with Pueblo County. It won its last five games and finished the season Friday with a 37-13 rout of Pueblo Central.

“When you get down to the top 16 teams in the state, they’re all going to be good,” Finch said. “We don’t necessarily match up really well against a big physical team like Pueblo County, but we have some good team speed, and hopefully we can use that to our advantage.

“In the playoffs, you just have to find a way to knock off teams maybe you wouldn’t be able to beat most days.”

Playoff bracket

Pairings for Class 3A football playoffs

No. 1 Glenwood Springs (10-0) vs. No. 16 Roosevelt (6-4)

No. 8 Centaurus (8-2) vs. No. 9 Berthoud (8-2)

No. 4 Pueblo County (7-2) vs. No. 13 Steamboat Springs (8-2)

No. 5 Mountain View (9-1) vs. No. 12 Pueblo East (7-3)

No. 3 Conifer (8-2) vs. No. 14 Windsor (6-4)

No. 6 Palisade (9-1) vs. No. 11 D’Evelyn (9-1)

No. 7 Canon City (9-1) vs. No. 10 Summit (9-1)

No. 2 Fort Morgan (10-0) vs. No. 15 Elizabeth (7-3)