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Friday, December 2, 2011
Colorado Preps Pick'em: Championship Edition

By By Christopher Parish

Each week we'll take some intriguing matchups and put our knowledge to the test with some predictions. If you think your team's game is one of the best on the schedule, let us know in the comments or on Twitter @CParishESPNHS and we'll put it up for debate.

It's title time. Let's get to it.

(Ranks based on this week's state rankings)

No. 2 Columbine (13-0) vs. Lakewood (12-1)

We've liked Columbine all season, but get this — Lakewood is unbeaten in Colorado. The team's only loss came at East River (Orlando, Fla.) in a 27-10 loss to start the season. The Tigers have very quietly been perfect in the state, posting five shutouts and simply outscoring anyone who got in their way. But it'll be interesting to see how the team fares against the McDondle brothers (senior Cameron McDondle and sophomore Bernard McDondle) — the duo has combined for more than 3,000 yards and 40 scores on the ground. PREDICTION: Columbine 31, Lakewood 20

No. 1 Valor Christian (13-0) vs. No. 6 Pine Creek (13-0)

It's tough to argue that Valor hasn't been the state's best team all season long. Despite playing in 4A, the team has beaten every 5A comer and run roughshod over opponents in its own classification. In the playoffs, the Eagles have allowed just one touchdown and scored 152 points in three games. Can Pine Creek slow the them down? It's a team that has rushed for more than 3,400 yards this season, and you can bet Valor will get a steady dose on the ground again tonight. PREDICTION: Valor Christian 41, Pine Creek 17

Silver Creek (12-1) vs. Windsor (12-1)

When we talked to Silver Creek senior QB Austin Apodaca earlier this week, he told us his team wasn't nervous; in fact, they were calm and confident. We think that might change a little on game day. After all, this is Silver Creek's first appearance in a state title game. There's sure to be some nerves. And although weather is expected to play a role in Silver Creek's passing game, not much has slowed down the Washington State recruit this season. That said, Windsor is a tough, physical team that pounds the ball all game long and wears opponents down, and the defense is as good as Silver Creek has faced all year long. But remember: Silver Creek won at Windsor earlier this year, 41-21. Expect a similar result. PREDICTION: Silver Creek 34, Windsor 20

Bayfield (12-0) vs. Florence (12-1)

It shouldn't be too surprising that neither of these teams throws the ball much. It's going to be a long day of running the football, controlling the clock and wearing down the opposing defense. The more physically fit (and maybe healthy) team will win this game. Bayfield has two 1,000-yard rushers (seniors Aaron Velasquez and Colt Walker) who each have 21 touchdowns rushing. Florence, meanwhile, has a pair of 1,000-yard rushers as well — senior Cody Nichols and sophomore Johnnie Krien. PREDICTION: Bayfield 14, Florence 12

Previous Record: 22-21