AURORA — Grandview staked claim to the final Class 5A football state quarterfinal spot in convincing fashion Saturday afternoon at Legacy Stadium.
The No. 8-seeded Wolves shut out No. 9 Lakewood 42-0 to join the other seven 5A football teams that advanced to the quarterfinals with wins the previous night.
“It was close,” Grandview senior Gunner Gentry said when asked if it was a perfect game for the Wolves. “We have somethings we still need to clean up. Overall, it was a good game. A good team win.”
Next up for Grandview (9-2 record) is two-time defending state champion Valor Christian. The No. 1 Eagles are undefeated on the season and rolled to a 35-7 first-round playoff victory over Chaparral on Friday night.
Valor has won 21 straight games dating back to last season. The Eagles last loss was Sept. 23, 2016 against Pomona in a non-league game.
“We are looking forward to the opportunity,” Grandview coach John Schultz said of facing Valor on the Eagles’ home field next week.
The Wolves were nearly flawless in the first half against Lakewood. Grandview scored on every possession except its second time with the football. That drive ended with a missed field goal. It didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
Grandview junior Jordan Billingsley had first-half touchdown runs of 4, 25 and 10 yards. He racked up 113 yards on 17 carries before halftime. Senior Aaron Harris also pitched in eight carries for 77 yards and a 23-yard touchdown run before halftime to give the Wolves a 28-0 lead.
“That is what we’ve been kind of doing all year,” Schultz said of giving Harris some carries early and then feeding Billingsley. “Harris is our senior and getting us started with some big runs like he did today popping one for 20 yard to get us going.”
A 39-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kyle Smith to Andrew Turner on the first drive of the second half gave the Wolves a 35-0 advantage. Billingsley capped off his 4-touchdown performance with a 54-yard touchdown run with 3 minutes left in the third quarter to induce a running clock for the remainder of the game with the 40-point lead.
“We focused all week on controlling the football,” Schultz said. “We wanted to control the clock and we did that today.”
Grandview’s only regular-season setbacks were back-to-back losses to No. 2 Eaglecrest and No. 7 Cherry Creek — both advanced to the 5A state quarterfinals Friday night with victories.
Lakewood finished off its season with a 8-3 record and its first postseason appearance since 2014.
“They (Grandview) are just more physical and are a well-coached team. It’s a program in a place that we to get our program to,” Lakewood coach Jeff Braun said. “I can’t thank my seniors enough. My seniors three years ago said they wanted to make the playoffs, make the program and the school better. They did that.”