Covering High School Sports in America
File photo by Paul DiSalvo

Christian McCaffrey, Valor Christian

Christian McCaffrey didn't have one of his better games on Saturday, but it was good enough to earn him MVP honors while sparking Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) to a 9-0 victory over Cherokee Trail for the Class 5A state football championship.

The son of former NFL standout Ed McCaffrey, Christian overcame two lost fumbles with a total offense of 156 yards and scored the game's lone touchdown. Writing in the Denver Post, Woody Paige pointed out that Cherokee Trail refused to kick to the 6-foot, 190-pound junior on punt returns, giving the Eagles great field position throughout most of the game.

This year he had 1,508 yards rushing, 717 yards receiving, 387 yards on returns and scored 42 touchdowns. He is being heavily recruited by such colleges as Stanford, which was represented on Saturday by head coach David Shaw.

McCaffrey has played on three state champions with a chance to make it four in 2013. Valor Christian has won titles in Class 3A, 4A (twice) and now 5A.

Quarterback Luke Del Rio, son of another former NFL standout Jack Del Rio, completed 12 of 20 passes for 110 yards with one interception for the state champs.

The Eagles won their last 12 after suffering back-to-back opening one-point losses. They had scored 40 or more points in their previous 11 victories.

Coach Brent Vieselmeyer told Paige, "I think I appreciate this team more than the other championships. At 0-2, they could have lost their confidence. But when we got back to practice that Monday, they were more determined than any team I've ever had."