DENVER -- Pine Creek senior Matt List gave a kiss to the Class 4A state football trophy and proudly handed it off to a teammate Saturday afternoon at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
“This is indescribable,” said List after his Eagles defeated Montrose 49-14 in the 4A final. “We played our hearts out and the score shows it. We played a great game. I’m so excited for the guys, happy for the seniors and the community.”
It was the second trip to the state championship football game for Pine Creek (12-2) in three years. The team from Colorado Springs lost in the 4A title game to Valor in 2011. List, who started in the 2011 championship game, pointed out a group of seniors from the state runner-up squad who came out Saturday to support this year’s championship team.
Montrose (12-2) was attempting to win its first football title since 1950.
No. 3 Pine Creek’s rushing attack of seniors Austin Schultz, Lavanson Coffey and Scott Savage was too much for top-seeded Montrose to handle. The trio combined for 334 yards on the ground and five touchdowns. List and junior Avery Anderson both added rushing touchdowns. The Eagles scored all seven touchdowns on rushes.
“It’s all the O-line,” List said. “They played a great game.”
Pine Creek coach Todd Miller broke propensity on Pine Creek’s first scoring drive, calling on Coffey to run the ball. The fullback had three carries for 40 yards on the drive, including a 21-yard touchdown run to cap things off.
“(Coffey) is our heart and soul,” Miller said. “He blocks and does all the things nobody wants to do. If he was at any other school he’d be carrying the ball.”
Coffey finished the game with 79 yards on just seven carries.
“(Coffey) is such a great fullback and he deserves to get his own highlights,” Schultz said.
Just over a minute after Coffey’s touchdown, Pine Creek scored on a 30-yard touchdown run by Schultz to widen the Eagles’ lead to 14-0.
Schultz had a monster first half with 11 carries for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Schultz’s second touchdown carry in the first half capped off a 13-play, 93-yard scoring drive. The Eagles took a 21-7 lead in at halftime. He finished with 178 yards on 20 carries.
“Austin just runs hard,” Miller said. “If you know the kid you’ll like him even better. He has great passion.”
Pine Creek scored two quick touchdowns on both 1-play drives in the second half to take a 35-7 lead. Savage took a reverse for a 59-yard touchdown and Schultz scored on a 45-yard run after Montrose turned the ball over on downs.
“We didn’t play great, but Pine Creek is a reason why we didn’t play great,” Montrose coach Todd Casebier said. “Give them credit. It was their day.”
Montrose senior Angelo Youngren was instrumental in both of Indians’ touchdowns. The tailback scored from 2 yards out to finish a 16-play, 51-yard touchdown drive early in the second quarter to cut Pine Creek’s lead to 14-7.
Youngren caught a 57-yard touchdown pass from Montrose junior quarterback Kameron DeVincentis in the fourth quarter on a fourth-down play. The Indians’ tailback missed a handful of games this season with a broken hand and broken collarbone finished with 64 yards rushing and two catches for 63 yards.
“We came up short, but we left it all out on the field,” Youngren said. “Our seniors are happy that we got Montrose here to play on this field.”
Junior Mike Rocha led the Indians in rushing with 84 yards, but Montrose had just three carries over 10 yards.
“We tackled very well,” Miller said. “We didn’t want to give up big plays and we did.”
Pine Creek’s defense also forced four Montrose turnovers to aid in the Eagles winning their school’s first state football title.
“Our defense is phenomenal,” Schultz said. “A great core of linebackers really leads the team with Matt List, Josh Odom and Kacin Nowlin. I could not ask for a better defense.”