LAKEWOOD — D’Evelyn was about as efficient on offensive that any football team can wish for in the opening half Saturday night at Trailblazer Stadium.
The Jaguars (7-2, 4-1 in the 2A Flatirons League) ran 14 offensive plays from scrimmage in the first half against Denver West. D’Evelyn scored touchdowns on six of those plays to take a 42-0 lead at halftime.
“It’s actually really good that our offense did that well today. We needed that confidence,” D’Evelyn running back Kyle Klataske said. “We weren’t putting up a lot of points the last couple of games.”
D’Evelyn, No. 8 in the current CHSAANow.com Class 2A football rankings, rolled to a 42-8 victory over the Cowboys in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Klataske got things going for the Jaguars with a 50-yard touchdown run to atone for a fumble on D’Evelyn’s first drive of the game. The senior tailback finished with 10 carries for 113 yards to go over the 1,000-yard mark on the season.
“I was very happy because I missed three games,” Klataske said of going over the century mark. “To do it in six games, I’m really happy with that.”
Sophomore Luca McIntyre (11-yard TD) and senior Rome McIntyre (23-yard TD catch from junior quarterback Chad Dines) scored to give the Jaguars a 21-0 lead after the first quarter.
Senior Dante Lombardi scored on a 77-yard run, Klataske scampered into the end zone from 14 yards out and senior quarterback Josh Brinkerhoff had a 16-yard touchdown run to close out the first half.
“We got to see the first couple of series of what we want to do on offense and we got a lot of guys on the field,” D’Evelyn coach Jeremy Bennett said. “That was important.”
While the Jaguars have been known for its high-powered passing attack over the years, D’Evelyn’s ground game is what will likely carry the load heading into the playoffs. Evidence of that came last week when Klataske had 22 carries for 371 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-7 win over Middle Park.
“We had to look in the mirror as a staff and say, ‘This is what we have and what we can do,’” Bennett said. “We’ve got a couple of guys who can throw it, but it’s still not the same. We’ve got a good running back and a couple of quarterbacks who can run. We’ve got receivers who can block and we’ll get them involved in the running game.”
D’Evelyn was in decent shape going into the regular-season finale when it comes to making the postseason. The Jaguars were No. 6 in the RPI rankings thanks to a tough non-league schedule, which includes a victory over Sterling (6-3), 2A Patriot East League champion.
A loss two weeks ago to Faith Christian cost D’Evelyn its own league title. The Eagles (6-3) will receive the automatic playoff bid in winning the 2A Flatirons. The Jaguars should finish in the top 16 in the RPI and not get bumped out by a league champion that is outside the top 16.
“My guess is we’ll be on the road. I think we could be anywhere from an 8 to 13 seed,” Bennett said. “Humans are now going to seed this thing and you get what you get, but we are excited to be in. We’ll get after it.”
The 16-team 2A state playoff tournament bracket is scheduled to be release on CHSAANow.com tomorrow, Sunday, Oct. 30. First-round games will be played Saturday, Nov. 5.
“I don’t know if it is pressure, but we want to come out and show what we’ve been through these last four years,” D’Evelyn senior linebacker Nolan Balbin said about the playoffs. “There are 17 of us seniors. We want to show what we are capable of doing.”