Those guys jumping into the stands for hugs and high-fives took some lumps early in the season. Maybe it made them stronger, more ready to seize the …
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Those guys jumping into the stands for hugs and high-fives took
some lumps early in the season.
Maybe it made them stronger, more ready to seize the trophy when
this day arrived.
After four weeks, Valor Christian, the 2009 state champion in
3A, was just 1-3. But the losses were dealt to the Eagles not by
peers in their new classification of 4A, but by teams from 5A — the
super heavyweight division of Colorado high school football.
And those games were close, actually more like bumps in the road
“To know we could play with those teams gave us confidence,”
said Brock Berglund, Valor Christian’s senior quarterback.
In the end, no one in its class could beat Valor. In the end, it
wasn’t even close.
The foray into 4A culminated in the Eagles’ 38-8 win over Wheat
Ridge on Dec. 4. The win at Invesco Field at Mile High made it two
championships in three years of varsity football for Valor.
Who could have seen this one coming, so soon?
“Our theme for the whole year was ‘we believe’,” Berglund said,
standing but a few yards from a loud, thrilled throng of fans who
In the title game, Berglund showcased the skills that will take
him to the University of Colorado next fall.
He completed 12 of 16 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns.
He also ran for 122 yards and a score on 14 attempts.
“He’s a very good athlete,” Valor coach Brent Vieselmeyer said.
“But maybe even more important are the smart plays he makes.”
Berglund drove the fifth-seeded Eagles (11-3) to three
touchdowns in the second quarter as they pulled away.
For the game, Valor outgained the third-seeded Farmers from
scrimmage 515 yards to 244 yards. The Highlands Ranch school built
a 31-0 lead before Wheat Ridge (12-2) registered its first and only
score of the day in the fourth quarter.
“They had more athletes than we did,” Wheat Ridge coach Reid
Kahl said. “They beat us in every aspect of the game. That’s a good
After a sluggish first quarter, the Eagles got on the scoreboard
on running back George Talanoa’s 4-yard run with 8:44 to play in
the first half. That touchdown was set up by perhaps the most
dynamic play of the game — one that showed the Eagles had truly
elevated their level of play.
On Valor’s first offensive play of the second quarter, from
their own 23-yard line, Berglund lobbed a pass down field in the
direction of Max McCaffrey. The wide receiver made a leaping grab
over the Wheat Ridge defensive back, picking up 47 yards with the
It was a play not unlike ones made on the same field by his
father, former Denver Broncos wideout Ed McCaffrey.
“I just thought I had to make a play right here,” the Valor
Other than the catch, it was hardly a pretty play.
“We probably did everything wrong,” the team’s coach said. “Then
Max made it right.
“It really got our momentum rolling.”
Berglund completed scoring strikes to Stephen Miller (62 yards)
and Cole Anderson (10 yards) before halftime.
After the break, with a 21-0 lead, Valor’s speedy, swarming
defense never let Wheat Ridge into the game.
“Our defensive line and linebackers were exceptional today,”
Vieselmeyer said. “We just tried to play really fast, let them cut
Linebacker AJ Isenburg had a team-high nine tackles, six
The main threat the Eagles’ defense faced was Wheat Ridge
quarterback Nick Ossello. The senior had eclipsed the 1,000-yard
mark in both passing and rushing for the season.
Valor held him to 69 yards on 25 carries and to a 5-of-11,
82-yard passing performance.
Meanwhile, Berglund’s arm and scrambling ability were more than
the Farmers’ defenders could handle.
Late in the third quarter, he connected with Max’s younger
brother, Christian McCaffrey, on the longest scoring play of the
day. After rolling out to his left and finding no one open,
Berglund turned right and dumped the ball down to the wide-open
What could have been a routine gain of a few yards turned into a
68-yard touchdown thanks to the elusive freshman’s speed and the
quarterback’s sensible decision.
At 31-0, for all practical purposes, the game was over.
The Eagles had won 10 contests in a row. Their only three
defeats were to 5A playoff teams Grandview by 9 points, Regis
Jesuit (the 5A state runner-up to Mullen) by 4 and Pomona by 5.
Vieselmeyer wasn’t concerned the tough schedule and early losses
would hurt morale. Quite the contrary.
“We just wanted to challenge our kids,” he said. “We have some
really hard-working kids.”
Berglund, too, mentioned the work that went into producing
another championship. It was time to enjoy the fruits of their
“It’s sweet,” Berglund said. “Every state title is sweet…”
There was a “but” coming, but some fans were calling from the
stands and they deserved to be acknowledged.
He would come back to describe how special it was to win it all
in the team’s first year in 4A. How special it was to win at Mile
High (last year’s title game was at Legacy Stadium in Aurora).
How special it is to believe it and achieve it.
“Not many people thought we could do it,” Berglund said. “We
didn’t listen to what people were saying. We came out and proved it
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