Boys Football

on Friday Nov. 18, 2016 at Valor Christian High School.
Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel

HIGHLANDS RANCH | Trailing Valor Christian by just three points, the Grandview football team appeared to where it needed to be at halftime of Friday night’s Class 5A state playoff quarterfinal. By the end of the third quarter, however, the Wolves found themselves down by 31 points and with the end of their season in sight.


In a tie ballgame, Regis Jesuit’s Jake Heimlicher made a season-changing play Nov. 18. Late in the third quarter of a Class 5A state football quarterfinal playoff contest against Eaglecrest, the extremely active junior defensive end read a screen pass from Raptors quarterback Jalen Mergerson, batted down the ball to keep it from crossing the line of scrimmage, scooped it up and scored the go-ahead touchdown. The fourth-seeded Raiders made the defensive score stand up and held off fifth-seeded Eaglecrest for a 34-24 victory on the frigid turf at Lou Kellogg Stadium, simultaneously grabbing a spot in the 5A semifinals for the first time since 2010 and ending the Raptors’ unbeaten season.


The way this season’s condensed Class 5A state playoffs were set up, either Grandview or Valor Christian won’t be in the final four. Take a second to let that set in. The reduction in the playoff field from 32 to 16 teams this season has created some abnormally early power matchups and the one between the sixth-seeded Wolves (10-1) and No. 3 and defending state champion Eagles (8-3) definitely stands out.