State football titles on line
The Aspen Times
High school dreams of state football championships are alive and well in Colorado.
Several school classifications have completed their state playoffs.
But in Class 3A, the state championship game will be Saturday featuring Rifle from the Western Slope against Pueblo East. The game is set for 1 p.m. at Pueblo’s Dutch Clark Stadium.
The Rifle Bears (12-1) advanced to the state championship game with a 35-7 win over Fort Morgan last weekend in Rifle.
The Bears won 15-0 at Roosevelt the previous week. Rifle beat Greeley Northridge 61-13 to open the state playoffs this year. Rifle’s only loss this year was 18-10 to Palisade.
Rifle, coached by Damon Wells, also reached the state title game in 2012 when the Bears lost to Silver Creek.
Rifle won the 3A state crown in 2004 and finished second in 2005.
The Paonia Eagles celebrated a perfect season and a second consecutive Class 1A state football championship last weekend.
The Eagles, in a battle of unbeatens, defeated Buena Vista 21-7 for the state crown.
Paonia, with back-to-back titles, has only one loss in the last two seasons.
The Eagles beat Loveland’s Resurrection Christian 35-15 in the state semifinals. Paonia’s earlier playoff wins came over Platte Canyon 32-0 and Wiggins 49-0.
Buena Vista started its run through the playoffs with a 41-7 win over Hotchkiss, who made the playoffs under coach Mike Sirko, the former Aspen High School head coach.
In Class 2A, the classification of Aspen and Basalt high schools, undefeated Brush won the state title last weekend on its home field near Fort Morgan.
The Beetdiggers completed a perfect season and a perfect run through the playoffs with a 14-6 victory over previously undefeated Kent Denver in the state title game.
Brush (13-0) opened the playoffs with a 49-7 victory over Moffat County of the Western Slope League.
Moffat County defeated Basalt 49-6 and lost to Aspen 34-14 during the regular season. The Skiers just missed the playoffs this season after a 28-22 loss at Basalt to close the regular season.
The Beetdiggers defeated Eaton 42-14 in the state semifinals. And Brush shut out Faith Christian in the second round of the playoffs after the first-round win over Moffat County.
Kent Denver (12-1) reached the state title game with a 19-16 win over Platte Valley, the defending state champion, in the semifinals.
Kent beat another Western Slope League team — Montezuma-Cortez — in the second round of the playoffs. Kent won that game 56-18.
The state championship was the first for Brush since 1994.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
There might be part of Hailey Swirbul that is finally beginning to believe she belongs. The 22-year-old cross-country skier is coming off quite a stretch with the U.S. ski team, one that includes her first career World Cup podium and a successful go in the notorious Tour de Ski stage race.