AURORA — It didn’t take long for Chatfield football to morph from the Class 4A state champions back into a Class 5A force.
The Chargers outlasted Grandview in a thriller on Friday at Legacy Stadium, 37-28, advancing to next weekend’s semifinals. Chatfield senior QB Jake Jones balled out with three passing TDs and two long rushing scores to push the Chargers another step deeper into the tournament just two years after claiming the 4A crown and moving up to play with the big boys.
“We knew what we were capable of (after going 5-7 last year) and we knew the talent we had,” Chargers head coach Kris Rosholt said. “Being one of the smaller schools in 5A, we knew the challenge was there. But we’re not a team that shies away from a challenge, and this year has proven that. We’re here to make a statement and put our name back in as 5A contenders.”
Chatfield’s victory put the Chargers one win away from their first Class 5A title appearance in 22 years, when the Chargers beat Fairview 9-3. And it came despite the adversity of a No. 14 seed on the road, the direct result of the Chargers having to forfeit three games earlier in the season for the use of an illegible player, tanking their RPI.
Rosholt said the forfeits lit a fire under his program.
“That adversity revealed our character, and that was that we are a resilient team, we’re a team that’s strong, a team that’s prepared for anything and a team that’s going to band together,” Rosholt said. “It was an us-against-the-world mentality from that moment on, and we decided we weren’t going to let anyone else determine what happens with our season.”
Jones added that “there were two ways we could react to the forfiets. We could be pissed off, and sit and sulk, or we could go out there and dominate and show the team that we really are. We’ve done (the latter) and shown where we should truly be in this state. That adversity only helped us.”
After rallying from a 14-0 halftime deficit to beat Arapahoe in overtime last week, the Chargers showed more mettle on Friday while topping a physical Grandview team headlined by its own star QB, Liam Szarka. Chatfield’s defense came up with key stops in its own territory, while Jones put the offense on his shoulders in crunch time.
Jones, who quarterback Chatfield to the 2021 Class 4A title over Erie, wasn’t going to let Chatfield lose when the game got tight. The uncommitted QB, who’s been invited to play in this year’s Indigenous Bowl which recognizes the Top 75 Native American players in the country, engineered the game-sealing TD drive after the Wolves roared back in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers captain, who is about 50 percent Menominee (a tribe in Wisconsin), said he’s motivated to excel for his heritage. He currently has one offer, from Division II Colorado Mesa, but believes more are coming soon.
“Football gives me a great opportunity to represent what it …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – Sports