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Despite stellar season Skyline falls short of 4A playoffs; 3A Mead makes it in as a No. 5 seed

Skyline finished 5-1, but its RPI ranking was much lower than any of the eight teams included in the playoff bracket released on Sunday. Mead plays Pueblo South on Thursday.
Skyline's offense, led by senior quarterback Chase Silva, lines up against Loveland on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. (Photo by Matt Hagerman)

Skyline had its share of offensive weapons this year, helping the Falcons to a 5-1 record in the shortened six-game season but it wasn’t enough to propel them to the Class 4A state playoffs.

Key to Skyline being on the cusp of the postseason were senior quarterback Chase Silva and senior running back Grayden Bridwell. The former had some big threats to throw to downfield and amassed 1,196 passing yards and 11 touchdowns, according to MaxPreps. The latter terrorized opponents by fighting for every yard and finishing among the top rushers in the state with 1,263 yards and seven TDs. 

But they both found themselves hugging their head coach on Thursday night with tears in their eyes. After a narrow 27-26 overtime loss at Loveland, they knew their thrilling Falcons careers likely were over. 

Skyline finished 5-1, but its RPI ranking was much lower than any of the eight teams included in the Class 4A playoff bracket released on Sunday. 

Of Skyline's opponents this year, only Loveland (6-0) won more than four games and it cost the Raptors in the seeding. 

Skyline almost didn’t find itself in a position to worry about missing the cut. Thursday night’s game against Loveland, which did make the playoff as the No. 4 seed, was nothing short of epic. With six lead changes and dramatic execution, Loveland outlasted the Falcons 27-26 in overtime. 

Undefeated Loveland will play No. 5 seed Broomfield in the quarterfinals on Thursday, while Skyline is left wondering about what might have been. 

In a normal year with a 16-team postseason, the Falcons likely would have ended up in the dance.

Silva was the starting quarterback in 2018 when Skyline reached the state finals. It lost to Loveland in the championship game but notched a win against it the following fall.

"There's no words for how much he's meant to this program," head coach Michaels Silva said of his departing quarterback. “He's done amazing things, leading us to a state championship game as a sophomore. We won the conference last year and were in it this year. He's the catalyst.”

Bridwell emerged as a running threat and started on both sides of the ball during his junior and senior year at Skyline.

"My heart is heavy right now," coach Silva said Thursday night after consoling Bridwell. "I love that kid. This is not the way I wanted him to go out. Unfortunately this COVID season puts us into this."

Skyline does not intend to schedule an additional game this week, an option available to schools that didn't make the playoffs.

Mead rolls into postseason

Mead (5-1) overwhelmed all of its opponents in 2020 except one. The Mavericks lost to the top seeded 3A team, Roosevelt, 21-20 in October but may have an opportunity to play the Rough Riders again in the state semifinals.

First, No. 5 Mead takes on No. 4 Pueblo South at 7 p.m. Thursday in a quarterfinal matchup. Roosevelt plays No. 8 Fort Morgan that night.

This is the Mavericks' sixth straight playoff appearance. They finished 11-1 in 2019 and reached the state semifinals in 2016.