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Valor Christian football passes tough test from Columbine, advances to 5A semifinals

The No. 1 Eagles trailed the No. 9 Rebels 7-0 on Friday night before rallying for a 17-7 victory.

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — Adversity can help build a champion. 

That's what the No. 1 Valor Christian football team faced on Friday night against No. 9 Columbine in the 5A quarterfinals. 

The Eagles trailed the Rebels 7-0 after a fumble by star running back Gavin Sawchuk and a long Columbine touchdown, but rallied for 17 consecutive points in a tight 17-7 win. The victory sends Valor Christian to the 5A semifinals against No. 4 Grandview next weekend, while Columbine's season comes to a close. 

It was Brock Zanetell hitting Wesley Jones for the Rebels' lone score of the night, a play that had an electric visiting crowd in a tizzy. But the Eagles responded before halftime as QB Colton Allen found Sawchuk for a long TD of their own. The catch Sawchuk made on the play more than redeemed his earlier fumble. 

In the second half Valor's defense was smothering and the offense did enough, as Jordan Norwood plowed in for the half's only touchdown. 

So, the Eagles pursuit off a state championship rolls on. And a little adversity along the way never hurt anyone.

>>Watch the extended video above and see the highlights on the 9NEWS Prep Rally this weekend!

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