HIGHLANDS RANCH — A Colorado snowstorm can certainly slow down traffic on I-25, but it can't slow down a Dylan McCaffrey-led offense.
Behind the junior quarterback, Valor Christian rolled to a 42-16 win over Ralston Valley Friday night, putting the Eagles in the Class 5A state semifinals.
A win next week would put the Eagles (10-2 overall) in their seventh consecutive state title game.
"We make that a huge point in our program," coach Rod Sherman said on Valor being able to now practice on Thanksgiving day. "So few high school players in the country get that opportunity."
The Mustangs (9-3) were forced to punt on their first drive of the game after a delay of game penalty put them at 4th and 6 rather than 4th and 1. Jacob Hibben broke through the line to get his hand on the punt, setting Valor up on the Ralston Valley 17-yard line.
Four plays later, Dylan McCaffrey punched the ball into the end zone on a quarterback sneak to put Valor up 7-0.
The Mustangs once again stalled on the offensive side of the ball and after failing on a 4th down conversion once again gave the ball to the Eagles with prime field position. Then, on his first carry of the game, Tanner Tadra took it 13 yards to give the Eagles a quick 14-0 lead.
"We challenged our O-line before the game and they really stepped up today," McCaffrey said. "They got the push on almost every single play."
Tadra added another touchdown run off a McCaffrey option play to push the lead to 21-0 and pushing the Mustangs up against the wall and giving Valor Christian an easy path the 5A semifinals.
The Eagles added two more touchdowns (both McCaffrey passes to Ben Waters) to push the lead to 35-0 going into halftime.
With a 35-point lead at the half, the Eagles were able to coast the rest of the way.
McCaffrey finished 6-6 for 108 yards and two touchdowns through the air while adding 89 yards on the ground with two rushing touchdowns. It was well-balanced attack for Valor Christian, something Sherman was hoping to see at the start of the game, given the adverse conditions.
"Earlier in the week we had a couple of snowstorms and we were still practicing outside," McCaffrey said. "That kind of built our confidence up for this game."
With an impressive showing in less than ideal conditions, Valor is showing that there may be no stopping them in the coming weeks. After falling short in last year's state title game, the Eagles are determined to recapture the title of state champion.
But Sherman knows it's process that has to come in baby steps. But the next baby step is a rematch against Cherry Creek next week at the Stutler Bowl. The Eagles beat Cherry Creek 10-0 on Oct. 23.
"I just want to win every week in the playoffs," he said. "For us, Creek has made us better over the last couple of years. We know they're a lot better team now. They'll tell you that they didn't play their best game when they played here."
The day and time of the semifinal game will be announced early in the week.