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Cherry Creek’s Dave Logan vs Columbine’s Andy Lowry in Class 5A

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FORT COLLINS — Saturday’s Class 5A championship at Canvas Stadium is the next chapter in a friendly but fierce rivalry between two Colorado football icons that goes back three decades.

Dave Logan’s Cherry Creek Bruins take on Andy Lowry’s Columbine Rebels in the third title bout between the two head coaches with more than six decades of combined experience, and 16 combined championships.

It’s a rivalry rooted in mutual respect for the men who got their starts at humble Jeffco programs in the early 1990s, Logan at Arvada West and Lowry at Lakewood. And it’s a rivalry that’s given both men perspective — to the football-obsessed Logan that there’s more to life than the game, and to the Columbine mainstay Lowry a blueprint to emulate as he’s built the Rebels into a perennial contender.

“We’ve had some great battles over the years,” Logan noted. “When Columbine beat us in the 2006 state championship game (when I was coaching at Mullen), my mom had a heart attack the night before the game and had open heart surgery that morning. (Andy) was so great after the game, and checked in on her in the next few months.

“(We’ve both learned) he’s highly competitive and so am I. But it also gives you perspective when something like that happens (with my mom) that football is great, but football is not the end-all, be-all. We’ve had a great history of competition against each other for a long, long time.”

Logan won the first matchup against Lowry in 1994, when Arvada West beat Lowry’s first-year Rebels. Columbine was gashed for over 300 yards rushing that day, which had Lowry recalling the game as a “nightmare” during Tuesday’s media day in Fort Collins.

Fast-forward a few decades, and it’s Lowry who’s made smash-mouth football a staple of Columbine’s success over 30 years and 300-plus wins with the Rebels.

Logan, meanwhile, earned at least one title at each of his stops at Arvada West, Chatfield, Mullen and now Cherry Creek, which is the four-time defending Class 5A champions. The Bruins’ win over Valor Christian last December gave Logan his 11th ring as Colorado’s most successful coach, with now 16 title appearances in 31 years. Lowry has five rings with Columbine.

The Rebels beat Logan and Mullen that day in 2006, 13-10, but Logan paid Lowry back in Denver in 2019 in the start of the Bruins’ historic four-peat with a convincing 35-10 win.

Now, this year’s matchup is a Venn diagram of similarities and contrasts between the Colorado powerhouses.

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