The Valor Football Program took on their cross-town rival, the Highlands Ranch Falcons, this past weekend, and was dominant over all three games, amassing 118 points between the three levels while giving up only 7. The Varsity game was in front of a sellout crowd at Shea Stadium pitting the Falcons, ranked #6 in the Denver Post poll, against the top-ranked Eagles.
Highlands Ranch took the opening kickoff, but was able to muster only one first down before punting the ball back to the Eagles. Six different Valor defenders secured a tackle on the opening drive, a sign of the balance within the Eagle defense. On the opening offensive possession, Valor placed both of their quarterbacks in the backfield, with senior Blake Stenstrom pulling the ball on an option play from junior Luke McCaffrey, and racing 72 yards down the sideline for the first-play touchdown. The play is the longest rush in Stenstrom’s career and put Valor up 7-0. On Ranch’s second possession senior cornerback Jadin Watson snagged an interception to quickly get the ball back to Valor. The Eagles answered with a second scoring drive, going 59 yards, this time over 10 plays, to go up by two scores. Receiver Ryan Thibault had an impressive 14-yard reception to move the chains, going along with an important third down carry play by Easton Cecil. The Falcons marched back onto the field for an important drive, but unfortunately for them, sophomore safety Chase Lopez had another Valor takeaway, snatching a diving interception. McCaffrey took the helm of the Valor offense for the next two series, converting both drives into touchdowns. The first scoring play came by way of a 36-yard screen pass from Luke to Joshia Davis, while Jadin Watson joined the scoring party on the next possession with an 8-yard scamper. Valor had all of the momentum and took a 28-0 lead into the locker room.
The second half saw more great defense from the Eagles, giving up just one Highlands Ranch touchdown on a trick play while the offense put three additional scores on the board. Three seniors were responsible for the scores, with Ryan Thibault catching an out route from McCaffrey while Watson took a pitch 55 yards around the left end. Alexis Chavez-Salinas finished the scoring, taking a swing pass from Stenstrom into the end zone for the final score of the night.
Defensively, Jaden Murray led Valor in tackles, with seven on the night (2.5 for loss). Senior defensive lineman Trevor Szilagyi had his best game of the year, dominating the line of scrimmage while securing six tackles.
This week the Eagles will host Poudre High School on Friday at 7:00pm.