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Looking for Redemtion: Previewing RV’s First-Round Football Game

10th-seeded Mustangs have had recent seasons ended at hands of No. 7 Cherry Creek

RV+quarterback+AJ+Jergensen+%28%2719%29+finds+some+space+in+the+middle+of+the+Pomona+defense+during+an+early-season+loss+to+the+Panthers.+After+losing+three-straight+games+to+start+the+season%2C+the+Mustangs+and+Jergensen+have+won+five+of+their+last+six+and+will+travel+to+the+Stutler+Bowl+to+play+Cherry+Creek+on+Friday%2C+Nov.+10%2C+at+7+p.m.
RV quarterback AJ Jergensen ('19) finds some space in the middle of the Pomona defense during an early-season loss to the Panthers. After losing three-straight games to start the season, the Mustangs and Jergensen have won five of their last six and will travel to the Stutler Bowl to play Cherry Creek on Friday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m.

RV quarterback AJ Jergensen ('19) finds some space in the middle of the Pomona defense during an early-season loss to the Panthers. After losing three-straight games to start the season, the Mustangs and Jergensen have won five of their last six and will travel to the Stutler Bowl to play Cherry Creek on Friday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m.

Lynsey Johnson

Lynsey Johnson

RV quarterback AJ Jergensen ('19) finds some space in the middle of the Pomona defense during an early-season loss to the Panthers. After losing three-straight games to start the season, the Mustangs and Jergensen have won five of their last six and will travel to the Stutler Bowl to play Cherry Creek on Friday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m.

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Class 5A State Football Championships

First Round; Ralston Valley @ Cherry Creek

Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, 7 p.m., Stutler Bowl

Records:

Cherry Creek 8-2, 5-0 (Mt. Elbert League)

Ralston Valley 6-4, 4-1 (Mt. Wilson League)

Team Leaders:

Rushing – Cherry Creek: Jayle Stackes, SO, 85 carries, 614 yards, 8 TDs; Alec Pell, JR, 83 carries, 526 yards, 5TDs; Ralston Valley: Brad Roberts, JR, 49 carries, 494 yards, 5 TDs; Chase Wilson, SO, 75 carries, 432 yards, 4 TDs

Passing – Cherry Creek: Alex Padilla, JR, 152-228, 2,343 yards, 37 TDs, 7 INTS; Ralston Valley: AJ Jergensen, JR, 91-159, 1152 yards, 7 TDs, 4 INTs

Receiving – Cherry Creek: Dimitri Stanley, SR, 71 receptions, 1,018 yards, 18 TDs; Marcus Miller, JR, 41 catehs, 815 yards, 12 TDs; Ralston Valley: Jake Jones, SR, 29 receptions, 372 yards, 3 TDs

Advantage Cherry Creek: The Bruins, under the guidance of head coach Dave Logan, are undoubtedly one of the top programs in the state. After an 8-2 regular season finish and a Mt. Elbert league title, Cherry Creek earned the No. 7 seed in the Class 5A State Football playoffs. The Bruins two setbacks this year came against Regis, which earned the No. 6 seed in the tournament, and No. 1 Valor Christian. The unequivocal strength of this Cherry Creek team is its passing game. Junior quarterback Alex Padilla is gifted with two tremendous wide receivers. Senior Dimitri Stanley (a CU commit) and junior Marcus Miller combined to catch 112 passes for nearly 2,000 yards and 30 TDs. The Bruins running game is not the focus of the team’s offense, but sophomore Jayle Stackes and junior Alec Pell are certainly a very capable duo. Defensively, the Bruins are strong, but have shown vulnerability. They have given up 206 points, and, quite frankly, did not play a very strong schedule beyond the games they lost to Regis and Valor Christian.

Advantage Ralston Valley: The turnaround for the Mustangs has been tremendous. After starting the season with three straight losses, RV absolutely figured things out, running off five straight victories before a last-second, 17-15 loss, to undefeated and second-seeded Eaglecrest. It was the Raptors closest game of the season and one that left Eaglecrest talking about how the Mustangs were the best team they faced all season. RV’s early-season gauntlet of 5A’s Columbine, Pomona, Fountain-Fort Carson and 4A Pine Creek certainly helped the Mustangs get better. All four of the 5A teams the Mustangs lost to (including Eaglecrest) are playing in the playoffs. Pine Creek is the top-ranked team in the 4A bracket. “We’ve gotten our act together these last few weeks,” Ralston Valley junior quarterback AJ Jergensen said. “We are really confident going into playoffs.” Offensively, the Mustangs ground game, its traditional bread and butter, is led by junior Brad Roberts and sophomore Chase Wilson. The duo has gained steam as the season has gone on. Roberts is fully healthy after returning from an early-season ankle injury. Further, Jergensen provides the Mustangs with their most versatility at the position since Jacob Knipp was under center. Jergensen is improving as a passer and forcing opposing defenses to play RV more conventionally. He is also very adept at running the ball in the Mustangs traditional wing-T attack. Defensively, RV, outside of the Pomona loss, has only given up 12.9 points per game. Junior Isaac Townsend is an excellent player with Division I scholarship offers.

Prediction: RV 20, Cherry Creek 17

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