4A: PINE CREEK 36, BROOMFIELD 14
A football season can be a long slog, one bruising battle after another. Saturday unfolded much the same in the Class 4A championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. They clawed and plodded, with a 3-yard run here and a 5-yard pass there. It multiplied.
And a long, drawn-out drive to open the second half snowballed Pine Creek to a patient but dominant 36-14 victory over Broomfield.
“It’s eye-opening,” Pine Creek senior Pete Isais said. “Two rock-solid football teams. And when it’s going back and forth like that, you’re thinking, ‘Oh wow.’ We just had to band together.”
Even if Pine Creek’s 75-yard drive ended with only a field goal in the third quarter, the gates began swinging open. It broke a halftime tie at 14. Three more scores quickly followed. And Pine Creek, a team that has dominated the Colorado Springs scene for four years, restarted its dynasty.
Pine Creek won its third state title since 2013. The Eagles (12-2) have won 49 of their past 52 games. An upset loss to Loveland in last season’s 4A semifinals was the only hitch in a four-year run.
“Our kids never flinched,” Pine Creek
coach Todd Miller said.
Brock Domann’s pass to the flat connected with Peter Isais with nine minutes remaining and Isais jived around a Broomfield cornerback, then dived past the pylon for a 17-yard touchdown. It put Pine Creek ahead 23-14. A 32-yard touchdown sprint from Thomas Dantzler three minutes later put Pine Creek ahead by 15. And Domann’s 60-yard quarterback dash for a score with 2:30 remaining was an exclamation point.
David Moore III churned out a game-high 196 yards rushing on 26 carries to lead Pine Creek, in- cluding a 73-yard scoring run in the second quarter. Domann threw for 108 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 76 yards and another score.
But Pine Creek’s title trek was never predetermined. In the first quarter, Pine Creek drove to about two feet from Broomfield’s goal line. But in four plays, Pine Creek got stuffed. Broomfield’s defense held strong, with Jaxon Pallone and Mason Keeler stopping a final Pine Creek dive try on fourth down.
Broomfield got a 7-yard touchdown run from Jalon Torres and a looper of a 29-yard pass down the right side from Steven Croell to Keeler in the second quarter that helped keep the game even at halftime. Croell led Broomfield with 152 yards passing on 10-of-18 completions.
Broomfield (11-3), behind firstyear coach Blair Hubbard, was looking to restart its own legacy. Broomfield won three 3A titles in the 1980s, but is title-less since 1984. And Hubbard arrived after helping 2A Faith Christian to three championships.
“All year long we’ve had close games at halftime and we’ve been able to come out and play well,” Hubbard said. “Just a few things we didn’t convert on in the second half. Against a solid team across the board in Pine Creek, if you don’t take advantage of opportunities when you have them, those things come back to bite you.” Nick Groke: firstname.lastname@example.org or @nickgroke
Pine Creek quarterback Brock Domann celebrates after beating Broomfield for the 4A state championship. Joe Amon, The Denver Post
Pine Creek receiver Peter Isais dives into the end zone to stretch the Eagles’ lead to 23-14 over Broomfield in the fourth quarter of the Class 4A state championship game Saturday in Denver. Pine Creek claimed the title with a 36-14 victory. Joe Amon, The Denver Post