8-man football semifinals: John Mall and Hoehne advance to title game

(Barry Smith)

The 8-man football title game is set as top-ranked Hoehne will meet No. 3 John Mall at the CSU-Pueblo Thunderbowl on Thursday.

Both teams advanced through the semifinals by comfortable margins, setting up a championship game between two deserving programs.

(3) John Mall 44, (4) Front Range Christian 20

Front Range Christian jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the first quarter and that's when John Mall woke up. The Panthers scored 30 unanswered points to take a 30-6 lead at halftime and also take firm control of the game.

John Mall added to its lead early in the third quarter with a touchdown run from Travis Vialpando, his fourth touchdown run of the season. The Falcons were able to get into the end zone a couple more times, but the Panthers had built too big of a lead to rebound from.

The Panthers went 3-6 playing in Class 1A last year and has now seen a successful turnaround this spring. They hope to complete that turnaround with another solid performance in the state championship game next week.

(1) Hoehne 68, (4) Plateau Valley12

Hoehne wasted no time in jumping out to a big lead over Plateau Valley and hanging on to earn a spot in next week's title game.

In their last three games, the Farmers have now outscored their opponents 184-12. They already have a 66-34 win over John Mall this season.

Grant Arellanes and Weston Hill have paced Hoehne on the ground, totaling nearly 1,500 rushing yards between the two of them. They had scored a combined 23 rushing touchdowns heading into the semifinals.