BOULDER -- The Fairview Knights played Chuckstrong.
Looking for a motivational boost entering Friday's football showdown with cross-town rival Boulder, the Knights dedicated the game to the Pagano family.
Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano -- a Fairview grad and the son of legendary former Knights coach Sam Pagano -- was diagnosed with leukemia this fall.
Before Friday's 63-21 drubbing of Boulder, the Knights delivered a signed game ball to Chuck's sister Jenny, the mother of FHS freshman defensive end Carlo Kemp. The actual game ball was presented to Sam Pagano after the game. A third ball, signed by the team, will go to Chuck in Indianapolis as he continues to battle the disease.
"It's amazing," Kemp said of the team's gesture. "We all rallied around one point and it showed tonight with resolve that (FHS coach Tom McCartney) has been teaching us the whole season."
The Knights certainly looked inspired Friday as they reeled off 56 unanswered points after falling behind 14-7 early.
Said McCartney: "When you know the family is going through those struggles and you dedicate a game ball, you want to play hard for them. You want to be Chuckstrong. He's on our minds. Their family's on our minds.
"Pretty special night."
The victory marked Fairview's fifth in a row over Boulder, tying the Knights' second-longest run of dominance of the series they lead 29-20.
Fairview won nine in a row over Boulder from 1973-81 and five in a row from 1983-87 for 14 in a 15-year stretch. The Knights have currently won eight of nine.
Boulder has had its own runs in the streaky series, taking seven in a row from 1988-94. The Panthers won the first three games over Fairview, pitching shutouts in the first two.
Fairview's 63 points were the most ever scored in the series, eclipsing the 51 scored by Boulder in both 1992 and 2003.
If the Panthers (2-7) had any shot left at making the playoffs, it went out the door with Friday's loss. But Fairview (5-4), which would have been riding the bubble with a loss, locked up a spot with the win.
The 32-team Class 5A playoff bracket will be released by the Colorado High School Activities Association on Sunday.
Despite missing the playoffs, Boulder will get a Week 10 game, against a to-be-determined foe, next week versus another non-playoff team.
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