Grandview senior Luke Trinrud, left, tries to come down with an interception during the first half of the Wolves’ Class 5A state football second round playoff game against Rocky Mountain on Nov. 11, 2022, at Legacy Stadium. Trinrud had an interception return touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the fourth-seeded Wolves’ 20-0 win over the No. 20 Lobos. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | It wasn’t perfect, but the Grandview football team found a way to get into the quarterfinals of the Class 5A state playoffs and isn’t looking back.

The fourth-seeded Wolves — playing for the first time since a huge victory over top-seeded Cherry Creek in the regular season finale two weeks earlier — rode a shutout defensive performance to a 20-0 second round victory over No. 20 Rocky Mountain Friday night at Legacy Stadium.

Junior quarterback Liam Szarka threw touchdown passes to senior Davion Henderson and sophomore Xay Neto in the opening quarter to put Grandview in the lead, but coach Tom Doherty’s Wolves committed a slew of turnovers the rest of the way to allow the Lobos — who upset No. 13 Mountain Vista in the first round — to stick around.

Grandview’s outstanding defense more than protected the lead, however, as senior Luke Trinrud scored a touchdown on a fourth quarter interception for some extra insurance.

The Wolves moved on in Quadrant 2 and will play host to No. 5 Pine Creek — a 30-24 winner over No. 12 Legacy — at 1 p.m. Nov. 18 in a 5A quarterfinal.

Grandview joined seventh-seeded Regis Jesuit — which rolled past No. 10 Fossil Ridge 63-28 — as Aurora programs still alive among the final eight teams.

The Wolves got off to an ideal start as they received the opening kickoff and drove 66 yards for a touchdown, which came on a short pass into the flat from Szarka to Neto, who got some blocking and took it up the sideline in the end zone.

Senior Chase Dahir (who rushed for a game-high 125 yards) ripped off a 55-yard run to set up another scoring pass for Grandview. Szarka scrambled to his left and threw across his body into the end zone to senior Davion Henderson.

But that would be it for the Wolves, as Szarka would throw interceptions on consecutive possessions — including one that went off the fingertips of senior tight end Simon Kibbee — before he had to exit the game due to injury. Senior Cole Swanson came on in relief and also was intercepted, giving Grandview three consecutive turnovers.

The Wolves’ defense refused to yield, however, and forced three straight turnovers on downs from the Lobos to send the game into halftime at 14-0.

Rocky Mountain worked its way to the Grandview 25 in the fourth quarter, but Trinrud cut across the field and intercepted a pass by Rocky Mountain’s Gage Brook after a Lobos receiver fell down and he sprinted it 95 yards up the left sideline to the end zone.

Senior Max Kibbee had another interception to end Rocky Mountain’s last gasp.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

2022 CLASS 5A STATE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS, 2ND ROUND

(4) Grandview 20, (20) Rocky Mountain 0

Score by quarters:

Rocky Mtn.  0  0  0  0 —   0

Grandview  14  0  0  6 — 20

SCORING

First quarter

Grandview — Xay Neto 30 yard pass from Liam Szarka (Kyle Chavez kick)

Grandview — Davion Henderson 10 yard pass from Szarka (Chavez kick)

Fourth quarter

Grandview — Luke Trinrud 95 yard interception return (kick blocked)

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