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.
Women’s Nordic combined will not be in the Olympics in 2026, preventing the Winter Games from reaching gender equality. The International Olympic Committee elected to not add the sport to the schedule on Friday.
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