HIGHLANDS RANCH - There really aren’t any bad seats at Valor Christian Stadium, but Luke Del Rio will argue that he has the best seat in the house.
When the senior quarterback hands the ball off to teammate Christian McCaffrey, a junior running back, Del Rio knows big things are getting ready to happen.
On Nov. 2, McCaffrey scored touchdowns of 30 and 22 yards on his first two touches and finished the game with four scores as the No. 4 Eagles routed No. 29 Legacy 52-6 in a Class 5A first round game.
The Eagles (8-2), winners of eight straight, advanced to the round of 16 with the victory, and will play at No. 20 Regis Jesuit (5-5) on Nov. 9.
“He’s the real deal,” Del Rio said of McCaffrey, who finished with 81 yards rushing and 44 receiving yards. “Sometimes, I don’t want to follow through on my play-fakes because I want to watch Christian and see him make a play. He’s so quick and he’s also a really good wide receiver for us. You want to try and put the ball in his hands as much as possible because you know that he has the ability to make a big play.”
Del Rio threw two of his four touchdown passes on the night to McCaffrey; the latter a 40-yarder that put the Eagles up 42-0 midway through the second quarter.
“We wanted to get off to a fast start and I thought we were able to do that,” said Del Rio, who finished the night 8-of-12 for 181 yards. “The second quarter, we kind of slowed down a bit so we need to do a better job of keeping that tempo consistent, but overall, it was a great team win.”
Valor Christian’s defense forced three turnovers on Legacy’s first three drives, which led to 21 points.
On the Lightning’s fourth series, they had a punt blocked by Valor’s Alex Ulmer.
“As a defense, we all feed off of each other,” said senior linebacker Carlos Aviles, who had an interception on the game’s opening series and also had a sack.
“You see someone make a play and it makes you want to get the next one. As a senior, I felt it was my responsibility to step up and do something early to set the tone for the
Legacy’s Steven Yoshihara played a solid game, completing 16-of-34 passes for 192 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Wide receiver Mitch McCall caught seven passes for 117 yards for the Lightning, who finished the season with a 4-6 record.
“I’m proud of the kids; they worked their tails off,” Legacy coach Wayne Voorhees said. “The turnovers hurt our cause. We did some good things in the first half but you can’t turn the ball over inside your thirty-yard line against a team like (Valor).”