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December 1, 2009

Mullen looks to repeat as Colorado champions

MORE: German born HS baseball player does double duty as student and prospect

Dallas Jackson is the high school sports expert for RivalsHigh.com. Send him a question or comment at DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him at twitter.com/rivalshigh.

As a regular in the Colorado Class 5A finals, Denver (CO) Mullen High head coach Dave Logan knows what it takes to succeed.

Having won the title in 1998, 2004, and 2008 shows he also knows what it takes to win.

This Saturday, Mullen - the No. 24 ranked team in the RivalsHigh 100 - will take on Arvada (CO) Pomona with a chance to do what no other Mullen team has done: repeat as champions.

"We will have to buckle both chin straps," Logan said. "Pomona is a very, very, physical team. We will have to line up and be ready to beat them."

The mentality to line up and win has not been lost on this group of Mustangs.

Mullen, which played the toughest regular-season schedule in Colorado, has allowed just 56 total points in its 13 games leading to the title game on Saturday - the school's fifth final in the past six seasons.

"We have a great group of kids," Logan said. "I can count the number of bad practices we have had on one hand."

The seniors on the team can count the number of losses they have experienced on one hand. Mustang seniors went 12-1 as sophomores, 11-2 as juniors, and are currently 13-0 entering Saturdays contest.

"We had a lot of our leaders return," Logan said. "Understanding the system and playing in 15-to-20 games is invaluable."

Six of the front seven from Mullen's 2008 state title team returned, five of which are two-year starters.

It has been that unit that has paced the Mustangs in 2009.

The most points that Mullen has allowed was in a 37-15 victory over Greenwood Village (CO) Cherry Creek. The same Cherry Creek team that Mullen defeated to win the state title in 2008.

No other opponent was able to eclipse seven points and six opponents did not get on the scoreboard.

"This group understands it is a team game," Logan said. "They know what it takes to win. They know the sacrifices it takes to win. The hours in the weightroom."

The only player on the defense to receive a Rivals.com ranking is three-star linebacker Nduka Onyeali.

While Logan agrees that Onyeali brings a special ability and an 'explosiveness' to the team he thinks that there is a lot more to the team than one player.

"Sam (Wood) and Beau (Martin) have played exceptionally well for us," Logan said. "Those guys, along with Junior (Onyeali), have been tough to defend up front.

The next line of defense has been just as tough with Hunter Foraker, a three-year starter, and junior Connor Healy at linebacker teams have had a tough time getting the ground game going.

Offensively the Mustangs lean on junior runningback Adonis Ameen Moore and Syracuse commit Jonny Miller under center.

"Jonny is the leader of our team," Logan said. "He keeps us out of bad situations and makes good decisions."

With the end of the season in sight Logan thinks this will be a great test of his team.

"It is a perfect ending," Logan said. "This will be by far the best team we have faced this season."

Perfect, if they win.

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