ARVADA -- Broomfield wasted little time on its offensive opportunities Friday on the football field at the North Area Athletic Complex.
The Eagles used a trio of quick scoring drives -- four plays and a pair of three-play possessions -- before grinding out a 10-play, go-ahead scoring drive to open the fourth quarter against previously undefeated Standley Lake. Broomfield senior Noah Tripp scored on a 20-yard touchdown run for the final score in a 27-23 victory against the No. 3-ranked Gators in the Class 4A Mountain League tilt.
“Our defense was on the field way too much,” said Tripp, who finished with 15 carries for 133 yards and touchdown runs of 62 and 20 yards. “We had to make the most of our offensive series.”
Broomfield (4-2, 2-0) had only 37 offensive plays from scrimmage. Standley Lake (6-1, 1-1), on the other hand, ran 70 offensive plays.
The Gators got a solid night from junior quarterback Jacob Naranjo was 19-for-26 passing for 267 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to senior Matt Fujinami. The loss ended Standley Lake’s chance for a school record 7-0 start to the season.
“It hurts. You have to use that hurt to fuel you along the way,” Fujinami said. “We aren’t done. It’s only one loss.”
Fujinami had touchdown catches of 7 and 24 yards, along with a 16-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that gave the Gators a 16-7 lead.
Tripp quickly answered Fujinami with his 62-yard sprint to the end zone. The Eagles then had a key defensive stop at the end of the first half. Senior Kyle Tacoronte broke up a pass intended for Fujinami in the end zone. Standley Lake had to settle for a field goal attempt that sailed wide left just before halftime.
Broomfield coach Gary Davies called the defensive stop the "play of the game." The Eagles took the lead early in the third quarter on a 57-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Alec McLain to senior Simeon Combs. It was the second McLain-to-Combs touchdown connection of the game. The two hooked up for a 16-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
"We told these guys that this is probably the biggest game of their lives, which it was," Davies said. "Most of these guys weren't varsity last year."
Standley Lake drove down to the Eagles’ 5-yard line with under five minutes to play in the fourth quarter with a shot of regaining the lead. However, after a conference between the officiating crew, it was ruled that senior Trey Muller fumbled and Broomfield recovered on the 9-yard line.
The Gators got the ball back with less than three minutes to play, but eventually turned the ball over on downs on their last possession.
“We made mistakes along the road,” Fujinami said. “We are going to work on fixing those and control what we can control.”
Broomfield has a pair of tough tests coming up the following two weeks. The Eagles host a resurgent Montbello team at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 before going on the road to face Monarch, the defending 4A state champions, on Oct. 25.
Standley Lake faces Jeffco rival Golden at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at NAAC. The Demons are coming off their first victory of the season with a win against George Washington.