Second-ranked Centauri has outscored its football opponents 41-7 this season based on a balanced attack and big-play opportunism.
No. 3 Buena Vista (11-0) will travel down the San Luis Valley for a 1 p.m. Saturday kickoff at 10-0 Centauri High School in La Jara in the Class 1A state semifinals.
“Centauri has a lot of athletes, the most we have played against,” Demon coach Matt Flavin said. “They also have experience with pressure in playoffs.
“Our guys have experience in being down and fighting back. I will take that every time,” Flavin said.
While Buena Vista has 1,000-yard rusher Haden Camp at quarterback, the Falcons have a 1,000-yard passer in Byron Shawcroft (12). He has completed 70 percent of his passes for 1,109 yards and 16 touchdowns with just two interceptions.
His favorite targets are Baron Holman (7), 21-439, 8 TDs; and Deven Brady (6), 19-346, 6 TDs. Both average around 20 yards per catch.
Mason Claunch (21) leads the ground game with 57 carries for 570 yards and 12 TDs while Brady averages 15 yards a run for 428 yards and 5 TDs.
“We will need to be very focused on technique on offense as well as being disciplined on defense,” Flavin said. “Special teams could also be a difference maker and will play a big role in the game this week, I think.”
The Falcons have rushed for 29 touchdowns, passed for 16 and scored 10 on returns, where defense leads special teams 6-4.
Centauri has run back six interceptions for touchdowns. Buhr leads the team with three picks; three other players have two each. Special teams have returned three punts for touchdowns along with a kickoff.
On defense, Buhr is the Falcons’ leading tackler (87) along with Claunch (60) and Holman (58).
Claunch has accounted for 16 of Centauri’s 55 touchdowns, Brady 13 and Holman 9.
The teams had two common opponents. The Falcons beat Colorado Springs Christian School 49-0 Sept. 3, BV won 49-12 Oct. 15. The Demons defeated Peyton 21-8 Sept. 17 while Centauri rolled over them 45-6 Nov. 6.
“All we can do is make every rep count this week and hope to get better,” Flavin said. “We need to push our limits and step outside our comfort zone to give a little more.”