DENVER - The crowning of the next state champion in high school football will be decided at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday.
In 5A play, Valor Christian (11-2), from Highlands Ranch, will look to win a fourth straight state championship against Cherokee Trail (12-1), from Aurora. Valor Christian has won 36 of its past 38 games, including fifteen in a row in the playoffs. Valor Christian is led by the tag-team tandem of quarterback Luke Del Rio and running back Christian McCaffrey.
Del Rio has thrown for 28 touchdowns and McCaffrey has rushed for 22 scores on the season. Both Del Rio and McCaffrey have ties to the Denver Broncos as Luke is the son of Broncos Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio and Christian is the son of former Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey.
Cherokee Trail will look to counter Valor Christian's attack behind the arm of quarterback Aric Johnson and the legs of Sherman Thomas. This will be Cherokee Trail's first appearance in the state final.
Kickoff for the 5A matchup is slated for 2:30 p.m. at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
In 4A, Denver South (12-1) will try to become the first Denver Public Schools team to win the state title since 1989.
South is led by running back Pete Williams who has rushed for 1,474 yards and seventeen touchdowns.
Standing in their way is Monarch (12-1), from Louisville, and their Wing-T power running style. Running back Ethan Marks has 1,789 yards and 20 touchdowns on the season. If you're looking for Monarch to win the game through the air, keep waiting. They have only attempted 36 passes on the season.
Kickoff for the 4A game is set for 11 a.m. at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Finally in 3A, Rifle (13-0) will take on Silver Creek (11-2), from Longmont, at Legacy Stadium at 1 p.m.
Rifle is led by running back Ryan Moeller who has rushed for 2,857 yards and 41 touchdowns. Silver Creek will rely on quarterback Ben Sjobakken who has thrown for 24 touchdowns on the season.
Last week the 2A, 1A, 8-man and 6-man titles were awarded. Kent Denver beat Platte Valley 28-17 in 2A, Cedaredge got past Buena Vista 18-16 in 1A, Hoehne dominated Granada 58-30 in 8-man and Fleming beat Eads 84-56 in 6-man.
High School Championship Schedule (All Games on Saturday)
5A: Valor Christian vs. Cherokee Trail, 2:30 p.m. at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
4A: Denver South vs. Monarch, 11 a.m. at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
3A: Rifle vs. Silver Creek, 1 p.m. at Legacy Stadium