McCaffrey amazed all year

Valor Christian junior was dominant presence

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Statistics don't always tell the complete story.

Take Valor Christian's Christian McCaffrey as a prime example of that.

The junior running back gained 1,390 rushing yards in the 2012 season. Great numbers, for sure, but there were other running backs in the state that accumulated more.

Now, when you begin to factor in the fact that McCaffrey, in addition to his rushing prowess, led his team in receptions (55), receiving yards (675), punt return yards (261) and scored a total of 43 touchdowns, the picture of McCaffrey's dominance on the gridiron becomes clearer.

The junior was recently named Colorado Community Media's 2012 Offensive Player of the Year for his performance in the 2012 season.

“On defense, we just had no answer for No. 5,” Arapahoe coach Mike Campbell said of McCaffrey after his 295 rushing yards, 108 receiving yards and six-touchdown performance against the Warriors in a 48-31 state quarterfinal victory. “That guy is awesome.”

McCaffrey did some of his best work in the postseason, highlighted by a two-week stretch over the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, where he would score a total of 11 touchdowns.

In the first-ever Valor Christian-ThunderRidge contest, which was played in the 5A semifinals at a raucous Shea Stadium, McCaffrey scored five touchdowns as the Eagles rolled the Grizzlies, 49-3.

“He's really special. I wish I could say it's all coaching,” Valor Christian coach Brent Vieselmeyer said. “You just look at the things he does; he scored on a punt return, he runs back kickoffs, plays defense and throws passes. You name it, he can really do it. That's what makes him really special. He's an outstanding receiver when he needs to be.

“From a defensive perspective, you're asking ... what are they going to do with him now? I'm just really proud of him, and he's the kind of kid to be honest with you, we have to slow him down because that's how he practices and does everything in his life, and that's why he's such a great kid.”

McCaffrey, while he didn't have his best statistical game in the Class 5A state title contest against Cherokee Trail (he still gained over 100 yards rushing), was able to affect the game's outcome simply by being on the field.

With Cherokee Trail refusing to punt the ball in his direction, McCaffrey's presence helped give the Eagles prime field position early in the fourth quarter of what was a scoreless game at the time. McCaffrey finished off what turned out to be the game-winning drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, as the Eagles won their first-ever 5A state championship, and fourth-straight overall, 9-3 over the Cougars.

“We knew Cherokee Trail was an amazing football team and that they were going to make some plays,” said McCaffrey, who made up for his two lost fumbles with the touchdown run. He finished the game with 114 rushing yards and 52 receiving yards. “We played extremely sloppy, especially on my part, so I apologize to the team for that. But, a win's a win and we're going to take it and soak it in and really enjoy this one.”

McCaffrey's wide array of talent is best summed up by teammate and quarterback, Luke Del Rio, who recently announced he would be walking on at the University of Alabama.

“Christian is amazing,” said Del Rio, who completed 70 percent of his passes and threw for 2,275 yards with 28 touchdowns and four interceptions. “Every time he touches the ball he has the ability to score.”