BY FREDA MIKLINSTAFF WRITER
Football’s Cherry Creek Bruins dominated the Columbine Rebels for most of the state championship game played at Empower Field at Mile High on a warm Dec. 7 afternoon. The win capped a perfect 14-0 season for Creek, something they only accomplished once before in their history, in 1996, according to school principal Ryan Silva. For their highly gifted and always humble coach, Dave Logan, still the most storied three-sport athlete (when he played for the Wheat Ridge Farmers) in Colorado preps history, it was his eighth 5A state championship with four different high schools over 22 years.
Columbine’s offense started out running the ball well, but when they faced a third down and twelve after a false start penalty, they used a quick punt to get rid of the ball to avoid kicking it when Creek was expecting it.
Columbine was not anxious to give talented return man Myles Purchase a chance to return the ball. He did so for a touchdown in the last game Creek played.
Creek started on their 36-yard line. They moved the ball down the field, getting the first score of the game nine minutes into the first period when James Walker II ran it in for a touchdown from the 15-yard line. It was 7-0 Creek after the PAT by Alexi Sanchez Ventura and it stayed that way when the first period ended after a Columbine punt.
Five minutes into the second period, Creek wide receiver Chase Penry, who had a total of five receptions for 70 yards in the game, caught Julian Hammond III’s pass on a third down and 23 and ran for a touchdown, making it 14-0 Creek.
Columbine made two first downs in the next series, but eventually had to punt. Creek started at their 32 and made it down to Columbine’s 19-yard line before trying and missing a field goal on fourth down. The half ended with no change in the score.
After a 51-yard run by Creek running back Jayle Stacks, who won the Most Outstanding Player of the game award with 14 carries and 145 yards in total, Myles Purchase ran the ball in from the 11-yard line for a touchdown less than two minutes into the third period, making the score 21-0 Creek.
Columbine got their first touchdown on the next series after strong runs by Adam Harrington, Tanner Hollens, and Braeden Hogan. Creek defenders Al Ashford III, Chavis Nourse, Dade Bissell, Myles Purchase, and Delonte Dickey (who had five solo tackles and ten assists during the game), didn’t make it easy for them, but the Columbine runners wanted to get back in the game. Hollens ran in for the score with just under five minutes left in the third period. After the PAT by Adam Tasel, it was 21-7 Creek.After a penalty on Creek not long after a 14-yard run by Stacks on the next series had Creek facing a third and 16, Hammond III threw an interception to Columbine’s Tanner Hollens that he ran back to the Creek 39-yard line. After a face mask penalty on Creek and a holding penalty on Columbine, Columbine was on Creek’s 19-yard line before Purchase got in the way of Columbine QB Jadon Holliday’s pass to Osirus Smith on a third and 16. Columbine had to settle for a field goal, making it 21-10 with ten minutes left in the game.
Two more penalties on Creek on the next series, for pass interference (that looked questionable on replay on the Broncos’ scoreboard) and a false start led to a punt by Gunnar Helm. Soon after they got the ball back, Columbine
got called for holding and they had to punt. Everyone was getting tired.
After long runs by Walker II and Stacks in the next series, Creek had a first down on the six-yard line that Stacks converted easily. A successful PAT by Sanchez Ventura made it 28-10 with just under five minutes left in the game.
Columbine’s Harrington returned the Creek kick-off to their own 22-yard line before being wrapped up by four Creek players. Holliday completed a pass to Hollens, who was quickly tackled by linebacker Marcus Alexander. On a third and 17, Holliday threw a pass that was intercepted by Purchase, who ran it in for a Creek touchdown, making it 35-10 after the PAT with 2:42 to go.
That’s how the 2019 5A Colorado state football championship game ended. Creek players completed a perfect season after losing that championship game in 2018.
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