There’s not really any way to prepare for size, speed and talent mismatches.
Watch all the film you want, but there’s often no making up for a big disparity in skill.
That’s not a knock on the Poudre High School football team or any of Valor Christian’s other Mt. Lincoln opponents.
The Eagles are just better and deeper at almost every position, and it showed in Friday’s 49-14 win for Valor Christian over Poudre at French Field.
“When you translate from film to the game, boy, they are good. They’re just a machine,” Poudre coach Marty McVicker said. “They do so many different things that we just couldn’t hang with them. I’m proud of our kids for playing to the end.”
The stars played like stars.
Quarterback Dylan McCaffrey — whose brother Christian stars at Stanford and dad Ed was a Broncos star — showed why Jim Harbaugh has recruited him to Michigan.
He played just the first half as the 40-point, running-clock mercy rule was in effect by halftime, but he went 11-12 for 173 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown.
His little brother Luke, a sophomore, ran for 48 yards on two carries and had 33 receiving on four catches. He added a touchdown both on the ground and through the air. He also had a SportsCenter-worthy 91-yard touchdown pass from his brother wiped out by a penalty.
For No. 7 Valor Christian (6-3, 4-0 Mt. Lincoln Conference), it was business as usual. The Eagles are the defending Class 5A champs and look poised to make another run at the title.
For Poudre (5-4, 2-2 Mt. Lincoln), this game didn’t change much in the big picture, but it did have some positives. McCaffrey’s one incompletion was an interception that junior Zach Leal grabbed away from a receiver on a deep pass.
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Leal also had two catches for 33 yards and a few long kick returns as he continues to show a playmaking ability.
“It was a lot of fun playing out there, a lot of good talent, especially the quarterback,” Leal said. “A lot of us were looking forward to it. It’s a good challenge for us, especially those that want to compete at a high level.”
In the second half after Valor pulled its starters, Poudre scored twice. JT Erickson had touchdown runs of 10 and 4 yards as the Impalas became the first conference foe to score more than once on Valor. Erickson is now less than 20 yards away from 1,000 on the season.
Poudre is No. 20 in RPI and will likely move up after this week because of Valor’s No. 1 ranking. The Impalas are still in the mix for the 16-team playoff.
“I really believe if we come out and play well against Highlands Ranch, they’re going to have a high RPI, we’ve got a shot to be one of those top 16,” McVicker said.
Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle.
NO. 7 VALOR CHRISTIAN 49, POUDRE 14
Valor Christian 21 21 0 7 — 49
Poudre 0 0 7 7 — 14
VCHS — Joshia Davis 27 run (Brian Brogan kick), 7:14.
VCHS — Luke McCaffrey 5 catch from Blake Stenstrom (Brogan kick), 2:25.
VCHS — Curtis Chiaverini 15 catch from Dylan McCaffrey (Brogan kick), 00:00.
VCHS — L.McCaffrey 20 run (Brogan kick), 9:30.
VCHS — D.McCaffrey 1 run (Brogan kick), 6:45.
VCHS — Will Rodgers 6 catch from Stenstrom (Brogan kick), 1:42.
POUD — JT Erickson 10 run (Austin Davis kick), 5:49.
POUD — Erickson 4 run (Davis kick), 6:55.
VCHS — Gianni Orlando 27 catch from Stenstrom (Eaton Cecil kick), 1:00.