The playoffs are a different time.
Everyone starts over. What you did in the regular season only matters for who you play first. It still takes three victories to win a state championship — the last three.
That sort of freedom can be incredibly freeing. Just ask Cheyenne East.
Just two weeks ago, the Thunderbirds journeyed to Evanston and lost 42-0. Faced with the prospect of seeing the Red Devils again in the playoffs, East wasn’t bothered by that score.
Instead, the T-Birds simply instigated a 52-point reversal.
The Thunderbirds’ 30-20 victory over the Red Devils was a seismic blow to the 4A hierarchy. Remember, East is not that far removed from a five-game losing streak and was part of a tense battle simply to make the playoffs up until the last week of the season.
That’s all forgotten now. The Thunderbirds simply ran at the Red Devils and Evanston couldn’t do much about it. Now, East has earned another trip — this one to Sheridan for the semifinals.
East’s big victory was pretty much the only true “upset” in any of the five brackets on Friday. Two other road teams — Lingle and Riverton — earned victories, but neither one of those teams came into the weekend as a true underdog.
A seasoned Lingle team made the long trip to Dubois and overcame some early jitters to beat the Cinderella Rams, while Riverton avenged an ealier 13-10 loss to Powell, getting exactly the same offensive effort but a little more out of the defense in a 10-7 victory.
The rest of the brackets went according to form. The home teams won every game in the 2A and the 1A six-man brackets. Only two of those games — Sheridan’s 10-3 victory over Kelly Walsh and Southeast’s 15-14 victory over Rocky Mountain — were decided by seven or fewer points.
The brevity of this post is in part because there were so few surprises in this first round. And, in part, because there were so few close games. So, my question: Is few surprises a surprise to you? Post a comment below and we’ll chat about it….
This week: 19-1 (95 percent). This season: 228-52 (81 percent).