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Taking advantage of play action, tight end Caleb Deaver separates from defenders on his route. He went on to receive a long pass in the middle of Holyoke’s 99-yard touchdown drive last Friday. — The Holyoke Enterprise | Johnson Publications

Dragons are North Central league champions

Undefeated after Limon nail-biter, HHS will host Rocky Ford on Saturday in round one of playoffs

They’re the North Central league champions, they’re 9-0, and they’re just getting started.

The Dragons finished up regular-season play Nov. 1 with a 14-12 win at home against the Limon Badgers. Now they’re prepping for the first round of playoffs, and it’s safe to say coach Dusty Sprague spoke for the entire team when he said he’s looking forward to continuing the season.

On Saturday, Nov. 9, eight football games across the state will determine who will advance to the quarterfinals in Colorado 1A high school football. Of the 16 teams in the running, four hail from the North Central league.

Going into round one, Holyoke is ranked No. 2 and will host No. 15 Rocky Ford at 1 p.m. Though the teams haven’t faced each other this season, Sprague pointed out that everybody who’s made it to this point has a good team and Rocky Ford finished its regular season as the Sante Fe league champions with a 6-3 record.

The last time the Dragons hosted the Meloneers was the 1952 quarterfinals. In that season, Holyoke went 10 games without giving up a single point. It wasn’t until the semifinals that Fort Morgan finally scored against the Dragons and ended their season. A few members of that team — Jay Dean Krueger, Jim McFadden and Bob Trumper — are still around to see another Rocky Ford-Holyoke matchup.

Ready to see just how far the 2019 team can take its undefeated season, Sprague hopes to see a good turnout for Saturday’s game.

Other round one games this weekend include No. 1 Strasburg vs. No. 16 Manual, No. 3 Limon vs. No. 14 Rye, No. 4 Meeker vs. No. 13 Buena Vista, No. 5 Centauri vs. No. 12 Flatirons Academy, No. 6 Florence vs. No. 11 Wray, No. 7 Colorado Springs Christian vs. No. 10 Yuma, and No. 8 Highland vs. No. 9 Hotchkiss.

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