Pikes Peak Christian football in playoffs for first time since 2006

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Good luck finding statistics for the Pikes Peak Christian football team. They're recorded, but not used. Nobody on the team asks for them.

"At the end of the day, we can look at the stats and go, 'Oh, yeah, we did this, we did that,'" said senior quarterback/safety Ethan Sherman. "But you can run for 400 yards and have six touchdowns but it really doesn't matter unless you win that game. And that takes the entire team, it's not going to be one player winning that game."

No. 6 seed Pikes Peak Christian (8-1) has won, and for the first time in 10 years, the team has earned a playoff berth and will take on No. 11 Haxtun (5-4) at home in the round of 16 of the 8-man playoffs Saturday at 1 p.m.

Coach Kelvin Thorne has been building this team for a while. Before taking over last year to begin his second stint at Pikes Peak Christian, he spent time as the middle school coach, helping mold and teach fundamentals to some of the players now on the high school squad.

"I think it's made all the difference in the world," Thorne said. "The fact that I've had these kids together, they trust me, but also because we've built success one step at a time."

The Eagles went 3-5 last year, but they've seen the work they put in then set the stage and pay off this fall. After losing its first game, Pikes Peak Christian has reeled off eight consecutive wins.

The Eagles' next test, Haxtun, is better than its record according to Thorne. Haxtun comes from the Plains Conference, where five of the six teams are in the final 16.

"They're an amazing team," he said. "We're playing a team with four losses that is a playoff-caliber team every year."

To deal with Haxtun, Pikes Peak Christian will look to use its team speed.

"Even though we're smaller, we're faster," Thorne said. "We're going to have to use our speed to try to outmaneuver them."

The Eagles are league champions for the first time in program history, and Saturday will also be the first home playoff game.

"We understand the importance of it, and also at the same time we're trying to simplify it," Sherman said. "It's going to be the same field that we've been playing on, the same goal posts, nothing's going to change, we just have to go out there and play our game."

"We just have to bring our effort and our work ethic to the game and we'll see what happens after that," added senior running back/linebacker Hunter Grant.

Thorne will post those stats, but after the season is over.

"Right now," Thorne said, "we're so focused on beating Haxtun that it doesn't really matter how we do it."