It’s just what was expected four months ago when the Colorado high school football season started.
Cherry Creek and Valor Christian will play for the Class 5A state championship at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 at Empower Field at Mile High.
Creek (11-2) will be seeking its third straight state championship. Top-seeded Valor of Highlands Ranch has been a dominate team all season and brings an undefeated 13-0 record into the state title game.
Both teams overpowered their opponents in semifinal contests played Nov. 27.
Cherry Creek took a 38-0 lead into the fourth quarter in a 48-14 victory over Legend High of Parker at the Stutler Bowl, Creek's home field in Greenwood Village.
Valor rushed for 354 yards in rolling over Grandview High, 37-6, at Valor.
This will be the third time in the past four seasons the teams have faced each other in the state title game. Valor beat Creek 24-14 in 2018 and the Bruins downed the Eagles, 21-0, in last season’s championship game played in Pueblo.
Valor, who will be makings its eighth trip to the state title contest in the past 10 seasons, has won eight state football titles which includes two in Class 4A and one 3A championship. Creek has taken home 11 state championship trophies.
Cherry Creek was playing in its sixth state semifinal game in seven seasons and put Legend on its heels with big plays and a stellar defense which contained Legend’s potent offense.
“The plan was good on both sides and the kids did a great job of executing,” said Creek coach Dave Logan. “I’m really proud of the kids. “We’ve battled through a lot of stuff, a lot of injuries. We’ve had key guys go down and yet they have hung in there. We’ve played our best football late in the season which is important.
“When you get his deep in the playoffs a lot of times, it comes down to the ability to run the football and create big plays. You have to be able to do both.”
Senior Ky Oday and junior Carlson Tann had the big plays for Creek.
Oday caught 40 and 75 yard TD passes from quarterback Christian Hammond and returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score. Tann, who gained 133 yards on 10 carries, had a 5-yard TD run and sprinted 73 yards on a second TD gallop.
Even offensive tackle George Fitzpatrick was part of the scoring. He grabbed a bobbled fumbled that went air born and went two yards for a TD. Boden Page kicked two field goals for the Bruins.
“We were clicking on all cylinders and we will be good next week,”said Oday who had four catches for 146 yards. “We’ve been looking forward to them (Valor) all year.”
Logan knows the title game will be a challenge.
"Valor is a great team," said Logan. "They’ve been ranked No. 1 all year long. We a game that will be a big, big challenge for us. We look forward to the opportunity."
Legend senior Bryce Vaz had 98 yards rushing with one touchdown and threw a 7-yard TD pass to Brecken Reiser.
Titans coach Monte Thelen, whose team finished with an 11-2 record, credited Creek and also praised his team.
“Their defense is really stout and we had trouble tackling them,” he said. “Tip your hat to Cherry Creek. They played very well.
“I think we are one of the top programs in the state. We’re 27-6 in the last three years and been to two Final Fours and a Sweet 16. That’s a positive reflection on Legend football despite this disappointment.”
Valor’s senior running back Gavin Sawchuck, who has committed to play at Oklahoma, rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns in the Eagles win over Grandview (10-3). Jordan Norwood ran for two Valor TDs.
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