PUEBLO – Not even the sub-freezing Colorado temperatures can cool down the hot streak that the Stratton Eagles are on.

The tone was set on the first play of the game with a long touchdown run from Cyler Notter and the Eagles never looked back, getting a 69-14 win over Cheyenne Wells to claim their second 6-man football state championship in a row.

The championship win caps a two year stretch in which the Eagles have gone 27-0 and outscored their opponents 1,520-346. Simply put, it is one of the dominant stretches of Colorado high school football at any level.

Even Cherry Creek has suffered losses in its current run of four straight Class 5A championships. What Stratton has done for the last two seasons will go down as a legendary stretch of football.

“All offseason, they lift and show up to weights really well,” coach Jesse McConnell said. “There are small, technique things throughout the season where they always want to get better. They’re never satisfied and they just want to play Stratton football for four quarters.”

(Dan Mohrmann/ColoradoPreps.com)

The Eagles (13-0 overall) put their playmaking on display early with Notter’s first touchdown run of the game. He scored three of the Eagles first four scores of the game with Brody Webb getting three touchdown runs in the first half as well. Notter also recovered two fumbles in the course of the game and was named the National Football Foundation’s Most Outstanding Player of the game.

The Tigers (8-6) got on the board with a touchdown pass from Perry Chadwick to Corey Hill to cut the lead to 35-8. But any hope of closing that gap further had was predicated on Cheyenne Wells’ ability to slow down the Stratton offense. The Tigers did force a turnover on downs, but couldn’t capitalize on the next possession.

Webb’s third touchdown run of the game came with 1:31 left in the second quarter and although the Tigers added another touchdown in the closing seconds of the half on another Chadwick pass to Hill, but the deficit was too big at that point.

The Eagles held Cheyenne Wells off in the second half, giving the seniors a fitting sendoff.

“We were hoping for this,” Notter said. “We’ve been working hard all season and it was fun to do one more year of football with my brothers.”

This is the 10th football championship for Stratton. The Eagles have eight on their own with an additional two when they co-opted as Stratton/Liberty.

If all 10 titles are counted, that places them fifth in state history and just one championship shy of Burlington. It also makes Stratton just the fifth team to claim 10 state titles, joining Limon, Cherry Creek, Fort Collins and Burlington. The program has played in the state title game each season since 2017, losing in three of those games. They lost once to Peetz and twice to Fleming and then once to Cheyenne Wells.

But there seems to be a solid development plan in place. Last year it was Alex Cruz leading the charge and this year it was Notter. Wells will be back as a senior next year and he could step into that role, but he doesn’t concern himself with any MVP or MOP awards. His eyes are centered on another team prize.

“I don’t care if I’m holding [an individual] trophy as long we’re all holding the big trophy,” Wells said.

Since the start of the 2022 season, this team has been special each time it has taken the field. The lasting image of the Eagles raising their second title in as many utterly dominant seasons should serve as a remind that these moments don’t come along very often, but should always be cherished by the kids and coaches alike.

(Dan Mohrmann/ColoradoPreps.com)