Cleveland hoisted its fourth blue trophy since 2011, taking down Rio Rancho 35-14 in Saturday’s 6A state football championship game at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Cleveland opened on a 21-0 run and didn’t look back, concluding the 2021 campaign at 13-0.

The Storm have won four state titles since 2011, including two of the last three seasons. CHS and RRHS previously squared off in the 2019 state finals, which the Storm won.

Descriptions for each photo are listed below, starting with the first one on the screen:
__________________________________________________

Rio Rancho football fans tailgate in the parking lot prior to the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Rio Rancho football fan Thomas Nelson cooks up some pancakes in the parking lot prior to the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Fans tailgate in the parking lot prior to the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Fans wait to enter Lightning Bolt Stadium for the 6A state football championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.

Rio Rancho football fans take their seats prior to the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Cleveland football fans brace for the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Rio Rancho football fans brace for the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Cleveland and Rio Rancho meet at midfield for the pregame coin toss on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Rio Rancho football fans are decked out in Christmas attire during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Cleveland takes the field for the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Rio Rancho’s Dominick Priddy fires a pass down the right side during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Rio Rancho’s Gage Victor catches the ball down the right side against Cleveland during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Cleveland’s Kendal Ulmer (60) makes the tackle against Rio Rancho during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Rio Rancho’s Dominick Priddy evades pressure rolling right and looks to throw the ball against Cleveland during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Cleveland’s Evan Wysong fends off Rio Rancho’s Isaiah Padilla (20) and picks up a first down during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Cleveland’s Devonte Shendo comes up with an interception against Rio Rancho during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Cleveland’s Josh Perry fights for extra yards down the left against Rio Rancho during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Cleveland’s Lucious Dickson picks up a first down against Rio Rancho during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Cleveland’s Evan Wysong picks up a first down as he’s grabbed by Rio Rancho’s Lucas Lucero during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Rio Rancho’s Dominick Priddy looks to pick up extra yards against Cleveland during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Rio Rancho’s Zach Vigil runs down the left side against Cleveland during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Rio Rancho’s Michael Wood fights for extra yards against Cleveland during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Cleveland’s Josh Perry gets smothered by Rio Rancho’s defense during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Members of the Cleveland High School drumline performs during halftime at the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Rio Rancho’s Dominick Priddy runs down the left side against Cleveland during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Cleveland’s Lucious Dickson run down the right side against Rio Rancho during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Cleveland’s Josh Perry breaks free and runs for a touchdown against Rio Rancho during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Rio Rancho’s Dominick Priddy looks to throw the ball downfield against Cleveland during the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Cleveland’s Max Gillert celebrates winning the 6A state championship over Rio Rancho on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Rio Rancho’s Elijah Garabedian processes the end result in the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Rio Rancho’s Diego Montano (30) looks on during the post-game trophy presentations following the 6A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Cleveland celebrates winning the 6A state championship on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lightning Bolt Stadium. The Storm defeated Rio Rancho, 35-14.

__________________________________________________
Photos by Rio Rancho Observer staff writer Matt Hollinshead.

About the author

Matt Hollinshead | Staff writer