COLORADO SPRINGS — A rematch of the 2014 Class 4A state semifinals did not disappoint in week one of the high school football season.
CHSAANow.com's top-ranked Pine Creek, the two-time defending 4A champion, once again showed why they are the favorite to repeat as state champions as they beat No. 4 Falcon 35-13 at District 20 Stadium. It is Pine Creek's 27th consecutive win.
Unlike in their previous meeting, Falcon (0-1 overall) came out and was very disruptive defensively. The explosive Eagles (2-0) offense that showed up early in last week's win over Pueblo Centennial.
"Falcon is a hell of a defense," Eagles safety and Nebraska commit JoJo Domann said. "They put it to us in the first half and we made adjustments at halftime and that's how we were able to get rolling in the second half."
To start the first half, the offense was having a hard time moving the ball and it appeared two early turnovers were going to haunt the Eagles. A forced fumble was recorded by Falcon's David Palmer, but quarterback Ty Murphy and the Falcon offense couldn't capitalize.
They would capitalize on the second turnover as Luke Parson intercepted Brock Domann giving the Falcons the ball in Pine Creek territory. They drove down to the goal line where Cameron Grause punched it in for a one-yard touchdown run to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead.
"I think we're a doggone football team," Falcons co-coach Terry Poirier said. "If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best so this is the kind of game we wanted to play and we were confident in our guys."
The Eagles offense continued to struggle to move the ball, but with the playmakers they had on the field, it was only a matter of time before the dam broke. JoJo Domann finally found daylight, breaking off a 54-yard run to get the Eagles inside the Falcon 10-yard line. Connor Miller found the end zone shortly after, but a missed extra point still had the Eagles trailing 7-6.
"That backfield is new, so we're finding our way," Eagles coach Todd Miller. "We have to struggle a little bit, we have to grind it out a little bit. That's how we grow."
In waning minutes of the first half, the Falcons maintained control of the game and were looking to add points to the scoreboard and take a two-score lead into halftime. Facing a 4th-and-2, Falcon's Murphy dropped back and looked over the middle where the ball found the hands of JoJo Domann — who returned it nearly 65 yards for a touchdown.
The older Domann also converted a two-point conversion to completely swing momentum to Pine Creek as they took a 14-7 lead into halftime.
"It was a pivotal point in the game," JoJo said. "I just trusted the coverage and the technique and I made the play."
The play turned out to be the big swing that the Eagles needed. It took some time through the third quarter, but Brock Domann was finally able to find a seam and use his legs to scamper for a 23-yard touchdown run to increase the lead to 21-7.
The Falcons would strike back though as Murphy found Palmer with a beautiful back shoulder throw in the end zone to make it a 21-13 game.
"I thought the momentum swung back our way when we scored," Poirier said. "We made some great defensive stands and we were really proud of our guys."
But the Eagles controlled the game the rest of the way. JoJo Domann found the end zone two more times to give the Eagles a 35-13 win, getting through what may be their toughest road block this regular season.
"It's a big game for them, it's a big game for us," Miller said. "It was a great atmosphere and it was great high school football."