ENGLEWOOD — He'll probably remember this one for a bit.
Kent Denver coach Scott Yates tied Colorado high school football's all-time winning record on Friday evening with his 306th career victory after his team's dramatic 18-8 victory over Eagle Valley.
"Just a bunch of great kids. Bunch of great kids," a reflective Yates said afterward. "I've been blessed to be at a great place. I mean, I can't say a whole lot more than that.
"These kids have a lot of heart, they can play, and we kind of stole that game at the end. But that's kind of been the way it's been here, a lot. That other stuff (like records), that's for bean-counters to worry about. To see how those kids grew in that game, that's what you really do it for."
It was a milestone made sweet by the manner in which it was done. Kent Denver, stymied by Eagle Valley most of the game, scored a go-ahead touchdown with 40 seconds left to snatch the record on a day when it looked like the Sun Devils might be beaten.
They sealed the game with a pick-six from Will Morland in the final moments. It was Morland's second defensive touchdown of the day.
"Just knowing how long coach Yates has been at this, and having an opportunity to play for him, and give him this particular win — especially in the manner that we did it — was absolutely amazing," said junior linebacker/running back Josh McDonald.
Yates started coaching the Sun Devils in 1981. He was asked afterward if he a milestone like this ever even entered his mind at that time.
"No," he said after a brief pause. "No, no. Not even close."
Yates entered the season with 304 career victories, two behind the mark of 306 held by longtime Denver East and Machebeuf coach Pat Panek, and current West Grand coach Chris Brown. Yates' Sun Devils opened with a 44-0 win against Prospect Ridge Academy in Zero Week to inch him closer to the mark.
Ten minutes after the final whistle sounded on Kent's win Friday, Brown and West Grand kicked off their season against Sanford in Kremmling. Yates and Brown spoke before the season, and he knew West Grand was about the play.
"I hope he breaks it," Yates said of the record. "That'd be good for him."