DHS Football Reflects on final 3A Season

November 29, 2023

With a new Head Coach, a new Quarterback and a new offense the DHS football team continued racking up wins in 2023. Durango ended the season with players in the top-5 of Colorado’s rushing and passing stat leaders. A 39-30 loss to Lutheran in the quarterfinals of the Colorado 3A tournament bracket marks the final season Durango will play in Class 3A as the Demons are scheduled to jump to 4A beginning next season. By Connor Shreve. This story is sponsored by Happy Pappy's Pizza & Wings and Tafoya Barett & Associates

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The Durango High School football team is reflecting on its season and getting ready to take on a new challenge as it moves to a tougher league next season. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by Happy Pappy's Pizza N Wings, and Tafoya Barrett and Associates. I'm Connor Shreve. A quarterfinal loss to fifth-seated Lutheran disappointed those in the program. But head coach, Matt Burton, says it doesn't take away the accomplishments his team achieved.

These guys played incredibly well all season. I don't think many people gave us a chance to have the final record that we did and beat some of the teams that we did, but it's because our players grinded, and played hard for each other, and just kept executing and building all along the way.

The Demons finished 9-2 with a 4-0 league mark, which was good enough to win the Western Slope League. Quarterback, Tyler Harms, finished fourth in the state with almost 2,200 yards passing, and running back, Jaxon Fancher, finished sixth in rushing, despite only playing in nine games. Harm says it all started up front.

Oh yeah, our line's amazing, they open up holes for Jackson. He's able to run wherever he wants. And then, they're able to do it both ways, they can do it in the run blocking, they can do it in pass blocking too. They're amazing.

Coach Burton says he learned a lot as a first-year head coach, and he'll continue to be challenged as the Demons are scheduled to move up a class next season.

Yeah, we're bumping up to 4A. It's going to be tough, a new set of opponents, some really good opponents that we're going to be facing, but we've got some time to get to where we need to be to get where we can compete with those teams.

The Demons will spend the off-season getting ready for the jump in competition. Coach Burton says the focus will be on getting his players bigger, faster, and stronger.

I think we'll have more time to, you know, really get kids into some more complexities of the offense. But really it's just about trying to create young men who are tough, both mentally, and physically, and emotionally, but you're really just trying to make 'em the best young men they can be outside of football as well.

After a short break to reflect on this season and celebrate individual accomplishments, that work will begin with an eye on next fall. It will kick off a new era for Durango Football in the 4A Southern Colorado League, facing teams mostly based out of Colorado Springs. For more information about this and other stories, visit durangolocal.news. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Connor Shreve.


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