The Class 3A football championship game is Saturday at the Neta and Eddie DeRose Thunderbowl in Pueblo, matching Pueblo South against Palmer Ridge.
Here's a breakdown of the game:
(2) Pueblo South vs. (4) Palmer Ridge
- Date: Saturday
- Time: 1 p.m.
- Location: Neta and Eddie DeRose Thunderbowl
- Watch the game live on the NFHS Network
- Buy tickets
- The two teams met in the regular season, back on Sept. 27. Palmer Ridge won the game 24-19.
- They met last year in the 3A playoffs with Palmer Ridge winning the game 41-7. It is the only playoff meeting between the two teams, according to the Colorado Preps playoff database.
- This is Pueblo South's second championship game appearance. The first came in the 2017 4A title game where the Colts beat Pine Creek 25-14.
- The Bears are playing in their third-straight championship game. They are the back-to-back defending 3A champs.
- South is 19-21 all time in Colorado football playoffs. The Colts first made the playoffs in 1978 where they lost to Cherry Creek 33-0. Palmer Ridge made its first playoff appearance in 2010. The Bears lost four of their first five playoff games in school history before starting the remarkable run that they currently enjoy. Heading into Saturday, the Bears have won 11 consecutive playoff games.
- This will be the seventh consecutive year that the 3A championship game has featured a team from either Colorado Springs or Pueblo and the third time in four years that a team from both areas will meet for the title.
- The two teams met at the Thunderbowl on Wednesday for a pregame press conference and tour.
- Complete game info is available here.
Pueblo South notes:
- Record: 12-1
- Seed: No. 2
- Mascot: Colts
- How they got here: Pueblo South won in the final moments to beat Frederick in the semifinals.
- Rushing offense: 2,483 yards, and 37 touchdowns. The Colts are eighth in all of 3A in total rushing yards. Individually, George Longoria leads all of 3A with 1,827 yards.
- Passing offense: 2,253 yards, and 25 touchdowns, both are fifth in 3A.
- Scoring: They are averaging 35.9 points per game.
- Defense: The defense has forced 14 turnovers, including 12 interceptions.
- Special teams: The Colts have returned two punts and three kicks for touchdowns.
- Top players: Logan Petit has thrown for 2,074 yards and 22 touchdowns. He has also rushed for over 400 yards and 13 touchdowns. Longoria's 1,827 rushing yards are tops in 3A. He's found the end zone 22 times. Jackson Dickerson is the team's leading receiver with 1,107 yards and 17 touchdowns. Defensively, Jace Bellah leads the team with seven interceptions.
- Palmer Ridge coach Tom Pulford on Pueblo South: "They can do a number of things very well. I think they execute their run game at a very high level, they're able to complete passes on time and defensive line-wise, they're very stout. We need to make sure that we're communicating up front that we're executing the calls that we're making."
Palmer Ridge notes:
- Record: 11-2
- Seed: No. 4
- Mascot: Bears
- How they got here: Palmer Ridge ran past Green Mountain in a semifinal win.
- Rushing offense: 2,686 yards and 48 touchdowns. The Bears rank fourth in 3A in rushing touchdowns.
- Passing offense: 2,754 yards, and 30 touchdowns, tops in all of 3A.
- Scoring: They are averaging 45.7 points per game, best in 3A.
- Defense: Palmer Ridge gets huge production on the defensive side of the ball. The Bears have forced 35 turnovers, 25 of which are interceptions. They also totaled 27 sacks on the year.
- Special teams: Anthony Roberson has returned a punt and a kick for a touchdown. Kicker Zach Pribyl is 72-for-76 on extra points this season.
- Top players: Quarterback Luke McAllister has thrown for 2,346 yards and 24 touchdowns to just two interceptions. Anthony Roberson set the CHSAA career receiving yard record last week and has caught 49 balls for 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns this year. Roberson also spent some time at quarterback where he tossed five touchdown passes. Raef Ruel has racked up 1,715 rushing yards and his 31 rushing touchdowns are tops in all of 3A. Kieran Fry leads the Bears with six interceptions while Kaden Dudley and Marcellus Reed each have five.
- Pueblo South coach Ryan Goddard on Palmer Ridge: "We had prepared for 15 in McAllister last time and obviously (Deuce) is a special player, but he's a special player. I think our preparation from that standpoint is we're going to be prepared for everything."