LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Raef Ruel wore the stains like a badge of honor.
The Palmer Ridge senior running back started the game with a clean white jersey. By the time it ended, it was covered with the marks from the Jeffco Stadium field.
It was the aftermath of a strong running performance that powered the Bears to a 42-21 victory over Green Mountain in the Class 3A semifinals Saturday evening.
The victory sends Palmer Ridge to its third-straight championship appearance, where the Bears can 'three-peat' as state champs.
"In the locker room, I want to be the dirtiest player after the game," said Ruel, who scored four rushing touchdowns. "I think I accomplished that tonight, so I'm pretty happy about that."
Green Mountain's three touchdowns were all scored on quarterback keepers by Troy Towndrow. The Rams pulled within one touchdown on two different occasions, but were unable to hold off the Bears' responses.
Palmer Ridge will face Pueblo South, which defeated Frederick 28-24 in the first 3A semifinal earlier Saturday, in the title game.
The Bears defeated the Colts 24-19 in their regular-season matchup on Sept. 27.
"I'm sure they want revenge on us," Ruel said. "It'll be a good game."
Watch the extended video above and see the highlights on the 9NEWS Prep Rally on Sunday morning.