Football: Creek and Valor to meet for Colorado 5A title
This is exactly what we expected four months ago when Colorado’s high school football season began.
Cherry Creek and Valor Christian will play for the Class 5A State Championship at 2:30 p.m. on December 4 at Empower Field in Mile High.
Creek (11-2) will try to win their third straight state championship. The seeded Valor of Highlands Ranch has been a dominant team all season and brings an unbeaten 13-0 record in the state title game.
Both teams dominated their opponents in the semi-finals on November 27.
Cherry Creek took a 38-0 lead in the fourth quarter in a 48-14 win over Parker’s Legend High at Stutler Bowl, Creek’s home ground in Greenwood Village.
Valor ran for 354 yards while rolling over Grandview High, 37-6, at Valor.
This will be the third time in the past four seasons that the teams have met in the state title game. Valor beat Creek 24-14 in 2018 and the Bruins beat the Eagles 21-0 in last season’s championship game played in Pueblo.
Valor, who will make his eighth trip to the state title contest in the past 10 seasons, has won eight state football titles, including two in Class 4A and a 3A championship. Creek has won 11 state championship trophies.
Cherry Creek was playing their sixth state semifinal game in seven seasons and put Legend on its heels with big plays and a stellar defense that contained Legend’s powerful offense.
âThe plan was good on both sides and the kids did a great job of executing it,â said Creek coach Dave Logan. âI am really proud of the children. âWe fought through a lot of things, a lot of injuries. We had some key guys who fell and yet they held on. We played our best football at the end of the season, which is important.
âWhen you’re involved in the playoffs a lot, it comes down to being able to run the game and make some big plays. You have to be able to do both. “
Senior Ky Oday and junior Carlson Tann played the big games for Creek.
Oday caught 40- and 75-yard touchdowns from quarterback Christian Hammond and returned a 99-yard kickoff for a score. Tann, who gained 133 yards on 10 carries, did a 5-yard TD and sprinted 73 yards on a second TD canter.
Even offensive tackle George Fitzpatrick was part of the score. He caught a fumbled bobbled that went up in the air and traveled two yards for a TD. Boden Page kicked two baskets for the Bruins.
âWe were clicking through all the cylinders and we’ll be good next week,â said Oday, who had four catches for 146 yards. “We have been looking forward to them (Valor) all year.”
Logan knows the title game will be a challenge.
âValor is a great team,â said Logan. “They’ve been ranked # 1 all year. We’re a game that’s going to be a big, big challenge for us. We look forward to this opportunity.”
Senior legend Bryce Vaz rushed for 98 rushing yards with a touchdown and threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Brecken Reiser.
Titans coach Monte Thelen, whose team finished 11-2, credited Creek and also praised his team.
“Their defense is really strong and we struggled to tackle them,” he said. âTip your hat to Cherry Creek. They played very well.
âI think we are one of the best programs in the state. We are 27-6 in the last three years and have been to two Final Fours and one Sweet 16. It is a positive reflection on Legend football despite this disappointment.
Valor’s senior running back Gavin Sawchuck, who pledged to play in Oklahoma, had 176 yards and three touchdowns in the Eagles’ win over Grandview (10-3). Jordan Norwood raced for two Valor TDs.