The Fairview Knights shared Friday night with the last team in school history to win a state football title.
The way they made quick work of Northglenn, this version of the Knights wants to share a championship pedigree with their alumnae.
Fairview steamrolled the Norse from the opening drive, racking up more than 220 yards of offense in the first half on its way to a 40-0 win over Northglenn.
The Knights beat Cherry Creek in the state championship game on Dec. 5, 1987. At halftime that team was honored with a tribute detailing their run to the title. The Knights avenged a 17-0 loss to the Bruins earlier in the season with a 13-10 win in the championship game held at Recht Field.
"Fairview hasn't won a championship in 30 years, and that's unacceptable for a 5A powerhouse," said sophomore quarterback Aidan Atkinson, who passed for 196 yards and two touchdowns. "They were the reason we came out and gave them a shutout."
There were 16 former players and nine coaches in attendance to mark the last state title, including head coach Sam Pagano. Pagano, a 2017 inductee into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, flipped the coin at midfield before the game.
The members of that championship team spoke in the locker room before the game and inspired a team with championship aspirations.
"We're all about tradition," Knights coach Tom McCartney said. "Coach Pagano put Fairview on the map and he was a phenomenal hall of fame coach. They brought fire, they brought energy, and our guys loved it."
It showed from the start. Atkinson opened the scoring in the first half with a 30-yard touchdown to Tevye Schuettpeiz-Rohl to cap an impressive first drive. He closed the half with another touchdown pass, this one 43 yards to Matt Greenwald.
In between Mariano Kemp ran for three more scores before adding a fourth in the third quarter for the final margin. He finished with 109 rushing yards and 25 more receiving.
The defense set up a couple of those scores for the No. 8 Knights (8-1, 3-1 5A Mt. Cameron League). Ethan Villarreal had an interception that led to Kemp's second touchdown and Ted Chasson picked off another at midfield and nearly ran it back before being tackled at the Northglenn 13.
A few plays later Kemp ran it in again for a 27-0 lead.
The Norse had one sustained drive late in the second quarter, but the Fairview defense stuffed three runs inside the 5 to keep them off the board.
The '87 championship team told the players before the game that like their squad, this version was a dominant defense. It was strong words from a group that allowed eight points a game on the way to the title.
"They told them they were a defensive-championship caliber defense," McCartney said. "They said what they did was attack, attack, attack, attack. Our guys loved hearing for each them and loved them being in our locker room, and send them that message. They wanted to make them proud."
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Fairview 40, Northglenn 0
At Recht FieldNorthglenn (5-4, 1-3)0000—0
Fairview (8-1, 3-1)211270—40
Fairview — Tevye Schuettpeiz-Rohl 30 pass from Aidan Atkinson (kick failed). Fairview — Mariano Kemp 2 run (Kemp run). Fairview — Kemp 5 run (Schuettpeiz-Rohl kick).
Fairview — Kemp 5 run (run failed). Fairview — Matt Greenwald 43 pass from Atkinson (run failed).
Fairview — Kemp 1 run (Schuettpeiz-Rohl kick).
RUSHING — Northglenn: Andrew Martel 12-63, Caleb Stevens-Leialoha 8-43, Jeremiah Gomez 6-20, Devin Scudder 6-7, Iram Macias 3-5, Hector Ortega 2-7. Fairview: Mariano Kemp 17-109, Jake Sheerin 4-24, Jacob Fenton 7-20, Flynn Harris 2-13, Ethan Villarreal 3-1, Miles Morton 1-(-3).
PASSING — Northglenn: Ortega 2-11-2-23, Scudder 3-6-0-27. Fairview: Atkinson 12-20-0-196, Sheerin 0-0-0-0.
RECEIVING — Northglenn: Sergio Escobar 1-19, Stevens-Leialoha 1-12, Gomez 1-11, Emiliano Montes 1-7, Martel 1-1. Fairview: Tevye Schuettpeiz-Rohl 6-91, Matt Greenwald 1-43, Kemp 1-25, Jay Wyatt Elowsky 1-18, Sheerin 1-10, Morton 2-9.