The Doherty Spartans lost to Cherry Creek 27-13 Friday, September 9, 2016 at Garry Berry Stadium. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

The postseason is nearly upon us, which means league title races are tightening up.

That's the case for all of our games to watch this week.

Remember, despite whatever those first-year RPI rankings say, a league title means an automatic berth to the postseason.

In this situation, football coaches can adopt one of the favorite sayings of fighters: "Don't leave it up to the judges."

Doherty (6-1) vs. Grandview (6-1)

When: Friday, 8 p.m.

Where: Legacy Stadium, Aurora

What to know: Why the late start? Why is there ever a late start? TV, of course. That's right, the Spartans will be on Altitude in their 5A Mount Massive League title showdown. The Spartans have to win this game. They go into the week ranked No. 21 in the RPI, five spots out of a playoff berth. A win over Grandview and the Spartans are in the driver's seat to a league title and that automatic playoff berth. A loss and it could be bleak, with games against Overland and Boulder remaining. Overland and Boulder own a combined record of 1-13.

Buena Vista (5-2) vs. Peyton (7-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Peyton

What to know: These two are the only unbeaten teams in the 1A Tri-Peaks League, both 3-0. Buena Vista is riding a three-game winning streak. The teams are separated by two places in the RPI (Peyton at No. 12, Buena Vista, No. 14). The Demons have rushed for 1,233 yards, led by Toby Camp's 533 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Panthers' ground game has been even better. They've rushed for 1,827 yards and 26 TDs. Seven players have rushed for touchdowns, led by Trystan Hanks' nine scores. Wyatt Lee leads the team with 555 rushing yards (6 more than Hanks). Lee has also rushed for seven touchdowns.

Pikes Peak Christian (6-1) vs. Justice (5-1)

When: Saturday, 4 p.m.

Where: Justice

What to know: Both these teams lost their opener. Since, they have been rolling. That also means neither has lost a league game, both 3-0 in the A-8 Central League (8-man), and that the two are looking for the win and the chance to grab the league crown. Both teams have one league game remaining after this one. The PPC Eagles have held opponents to eight points or fewer in all six victories. They are ninth in the RPI rankings. The Phoenix, ranked 17th in RPI, have outscored opponents 215-80.

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