PUEBLO, Colo. — It's been a long 22 years.
But the wait was worth it.
No. 3 Fort Morgan football won the 3A state title over No. 5 Mead 21-17 on Saturday afternoon, capturing the school's first football championship since 1999.
Both teams traveled far from home to CSU Pueblo, but the long bus rides didn't affect the quality of the game. The two squads were tied 7-7 at half, 14-14 late in the third quarter and it took a Fort Morgan touchdown with under five minutes to go from senior QB Briggs Wheatley to earn the win.
"It's crazy, it's unreal. Our boys, we worked hard all four years and this is what happens when you work hard," Wheatley told 9NEWS after the victory. "I want to thank all my teammates, all my coaches, the whole community for just supporting us. We're the best in the state, baby!"
Wheatley was assisted in a big way by the games MVP, senior running back Frank Ortega, who had two touchdowns. Senior WR Brayden Fajardo also made the catch of the game, an unbelievable one-handed grab on a pass from Wheatley. Junior David Keller had the championship-sealing interception with just seconds to go.
For Mead (10-3), it was a tough end to a brilliant season and playoff run, especially leading 17-14 late in the fourth quarter. Senior Corby Tecu scored both touchdowns for the Mavericks.
But for Fort Morgan, the ending was sweet, finishing its season at 12-1 and ending a title drought that was longer than any of its players have been alive.
>>Watch the extended video above and see the highlights on the 9NEWS Prep Rally Sunday morning!
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