Eaton football finishes 2020 season off with state championship

True crowned MVP award and Barr crowned 9News Prep Rally Honor Roll Play


Emily Hogsett, News Editor

Eaton’s season may have had a late start to it, but the Reds were able to have six regular-season games along with three playoff games that led them to their championship title.  Going into the playoffs the Reds were ranked fifth in 2A football with a 4-2 record.  

The Reds had their season debut at home against Weld Central with a final score of 6-49 for the Red win.  For week two of the 2020 season, Eaton traveled to Sterling for a disappointing 10-14 loss.  Week three brought Eaton a 55-0 shut-out for their homecoming game. 

Eaton’s away game for week four was no less disappointing as another shut-out against Brush High School was made with a final score of 28-0.  The Reds traveled just down the road to Severance for week five and brought home another promising win of 51-6.  

The regular season was wrapped up with a tough loss to Platte Valley on home turf with a final score of 41-35.  During the week of the Platte Valley game, many of Eaton’s players were quarantined due to COVID-19 exposure.  Eaton was in the top eight that would be advancing from the regular season to the playoffs. 

Eaton’s fifth-ranked seeding landed them an away game against fourth-ranked Pagosa Springs.  Eaton overcame Pagosa Spring with a 41-7 victory even with the loss of one of their star running backs, Sal Rojas (21).  During the second quarter, Rojas was making a run when several other players landed on his leg.  Rojas suffered from a break to his fibula, which required surgery.

Round two of the playoffs was fought on home turf against number one ranked Resurrection Christian High School.  Eaton guaranteed their spot in the 2020 championship with their 27-13 victory.  

The Reds hadn’t been to a championship game since 2003 or won a championship since 2000.  This season, 20 years after their last championship, Eaton Reds football came home with a championship trophy in their hands and the MVP commemorative football for senior Tanner True (21).

After receiving his MVP trophy, True said, “I was just in awe at how amazing it felt to win and that was just the cherry-on-top.  I honestly wouldn’t be where I am in football without my Dad or Stew; they pushed me in the weight room and on the field.”

Eaton finished off their 2020 season with a 28-21 win over the Lamar Savages for the 2A championship title.  Eaton started the game off with a touchdown in the first quarter by Juan Maravilla (21).  In the third quarter, two touchdowns were made – one by True and another by Maravilla.  Eaton guaranteed the game in the last quarter with the last touchdown made by Brogan Barr (22).  

During the third quarter, Lamar was getting ready to punt at the 25-yard line.  Sweeping around the Savage line was Ryan Dirksen (22) to block the punt with his body.  The ball bounced back behind Lamar’s kicker as Dirksen raced to get the ball and recovered it inside the one-yard line.  Eaton’s offense lined up nearly in the end zone for Maravilla to make his second touchdown of the game.  

Barr’s touchdown was made during a Lamar third down while Eaton was ahead by only one touchdown.  After making the interception, Barr ran the ball 50 yards for the Reds touchdown.  This play was voted the 9News Prep Rally’s Honor Roll play of the championships.  Not only did Barr’s play win, but it won by over 7,000 votes.  

“I remember always glorifying the guys who’d made the Prep Rally when I was young, and it had always been one of my dreams.  I thought it was just cool to be on the Prep Rally, but to actually have the best play on the Prep Rally was pretty insane,” Barr said. “We worked for what we wanted and achieved what we wanted.  It still hasn’t registered or even felt real to me yet.”

I was just so excited for the players.  Considering the circumstances of this season, it was a wonderful feeling,” Head Coach Zac Lemon said. “Although we lose some very important seniors, we are talented and experienced enough to win back to back championships.  I’m already excited for next season.”

After the ups and downs of the 2020 football season, it is safe to say the season was great for the Reds.  All the hard work, time, and effort Eaton’s football team put in was well worth it when they were able to come home with a championship trophy in their hands.