PARKER — The Broomfield defense secured the Eagles a spot in the Class 4A football semifinals with a commanding 61-32 win over No. 4-seeded Ponderosa on Saturday.
Ponderosa conceded three turnovers in the first half but still held a 21-17 lead. Every sign pointed to a close finish between the fifth-seeded Eagles and the Mustangs.
But Broomfield came out strong on defense in the second half. The Eagles put points on the board in four of the first five drives of the third quarter, with pick-sixes coming from Tanner Garner, Trace Jamillo, and Brady Pavlicek, and an offensive touchdown where Steven Croell connected Ryan Mazzola.
The Eagles never looked back.
"This was an upset not many saw coming. We came out and were knocking on the door. We said 'Hello,'" Broomfield senior Mason Keeler said. "(This game) means a lot, it means the north is where the ballplayers are at."
Northern Colorado is showing a lot in the 4A field, with next week's semifinal between Windsor and Broomfield both hailing from the north.
"We expected to win," said Broomfield coach Blair Hubbard. "Our kids have played with a lot of heart, they played in some gritty games this year and it prepared us for this.
"I've never seen three pick-sixes, especially in a playoff game like that," Hubbard added. "Our defense prepared well all week long and it payed off."
Hubbard also had high praise for Windsor but expects a big-time battle as all games are at the semifinal stage.