Phenoms: On to the Championships

Austin Hinder Leads Team to Title Game

Top performers help power their squads to dates in the Colorado state football championships.

It seems like only opening week was just a few days ago, but, championship week looms. Getting to the final requires a team effort, but certain players have taken their game to the next level, helping their squads to the finals.

For the third straight season, Mullen running back Adonis Ameen-Moore has saved his best football for playoffs. As a freshman, Ameen-Moore steadily improved making a name for himself on a talented12-1 squad. Last year, Ameen-Moore and fellow back Josh Ford were a devastating one, two punch as the Mustangs took home the 5A title. Yesterday, in a dominate 27-0 semifinal win over Arvada West, Ameen-Moore totaled 256 yards against a West D thought to be one of the better units in Colorado. Setting the tone on the first drive of the game, Ameen-Moore carried 11 times for over 50 yards, eventually scoring from three yards out. Over the past four games, Ameen-Moore has averaged 183 yards and scored eight times. Mullen's senior , Syracuse bound quarterback Jonny Miller scored three times on the day in the win, giving Mullen the opportunity for a second straight title.

Pomona QB Nathan Grimes, one of the more underappreciated players in Colorado, put together a game indicative of his versatile skill set as he posted nearly 400 yards of total offense in a 42-26 win over previously unbeaten Fairview. Grimes, had his hands in three scores while rushing for 167 yards and passing for 178 yards. The balanced Pomona offense will once again need all its weapons as they take on, in the 5A final, a dominate Mullen defense that has allowed only 14 points in the playoffs.

Quarterback Jake Johnson of Longmont, working behind strong offensive line play, spearheaded a Trojan ground game that compiled over 350 rush yards in a 4A semifinal win over defending champ Wheat Ridge. In the 36-20 win, Johnson had three scores to go with 140 rush yards. Longmont has won five straight since getting drilled by Greeley West last month. Thus far, during playoffs, the 6-2 225 pound Johnson has posted 928 yards of total offense to go with 10 TDs.

QB Mitch Griebel and WR Shane Opitz have played catch together for years. This season, the duo combined for a record breaking 23 TD passes, but it was an extra point that was the most important catch of both their careers. Opting to go for two and the overtime win in a 4A Semifinal, Heritage Head Coach Mike Griebel dialed up the fade and Opitz and son Mitch came through with the catch and win making the final 36-35. On the day, Mitch Griebel threw for three scores as Heritage fought off a devastating Monarch ground game that mashed the Eagle defense all day long. The Heritage defense will need to tighten things up against the run as they face, in the 4A final, a Longmont squad running the ball very well right now.

Small Ball

Yuma wins the 1A crown with a late goal line stand to defeat defending champs Akron 14-12.

Kent Denver's Tyler Jackson continued his strong season scoring three times and rushing for over 260 yards in a 42-21 win over Platte Canyon, leading his squad to the 2A title game. Jackson's performance puts him over 2,700 rush yards on the season.

This season, Austin Hinder's hype and talent have equaled wins for his Steamboat Springs Sailors. The 6-5 Cal bound QB has thrown for over 2,100 yards to go with 25 TDs this season while leading his squad to a 13-0 record and spot in the Colorado 3A championship. Of his impressive numbers, Hinder's low interceptions stand out. On 250 attempts this season Hinder has only thrown three picks. Yesterday, in a 35-7 semifinal road victory over Pueblo Central, Hinder had 338 yard passing and two TDs. With the win Hinder and crew will face Valor Christian for the title. Recommended Stories

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