Class 5A football: Teams ready for playoffs
Watching Valor Christian's football team march through the state playoffs has become an annual event.
The Eagles have won four consecutive state titles, including their first in Class 5A last season. Valor, the state's top-ranked team but second in the wild-card standings used to determine the 32-team Class 5A playoff field, is the No. 2 seed behind unbeaten Fairview.
The Eagles (8-1) will start their quest for more hardware Nov. 1, hosting a 7 p.m. first-round game against No. 31 Eaglecrest.
Valor, an independent team with no league affiliation, opened the season by splitting two games against formable out-of-state opponents. In the past seven games against Colorado opposition, the Eagles have outscored the opposition 347-36.
Christian McCaffrey headlines the Valor offense that is averaging 44.4 points a game. The senior has rushed for 1,007 yards and is averaging 12.28 yards per carry. He has caught 18 passes for 358 yards or 19.9 yards per catch and is averaging 176.6 all-purpose yards per game. Linebacker Justin Falls is the leader with 58 total tackles on a defensive unit that has notched 11 sacks and 11 pass interceptions.
Other area teams advancing to the Class 5A playoffs include No. 3 Cherry Creek, No. 5 ThunderRidge, No. 16 Douglas County, No. 17 Legend, No. 18 Arapahoe, No. 22 Heritage and No. 32 Mountain Vista.
All the following first-round games will be played Nov. 1.:
Cherry Creek (8-1) will entertain No. 30 Lakewood (3-6) at 7 p.m. No. 28 Castle View (4-5) goes to Shea Stadium for a 7 p.m. contest against ThunderRidge (8-1). Arapahoe (6-3) plays at Ralston Valley (6-3) at 4 p.m.
No. 17 Legend (6-3) plays No. 16 Douglas County (6-3) at Douglas County Stadium at 7 p.m. Heritage (5-4), the No. 22 seed, will be at No. 11 Mountain Range (8-1) at 7 p.m. No. 32 Mountain Vista (3-6) has the task of playing top-seeded Fairview (8-0) at Boulder's Recht Field at 7 p.m.