LOUISVILLE — Monarch football is 5-0 for the first time since 2011. The eighth-ranked Coyotes put an emphasis on the ground game to beat Broomfield 24-14 on Thursday night.
"Our kids, they have moxie," Monarch coach Phil Bravo said. "They don't quit. They'll play hard for four quarters. If we're going to be in a tight ballgame, I put my money on ours, because they really hard for four quarters."
The last time Monarch was 5-0, Bravo's 2011 team lost in the semifinals to Pine Creek after starting the season 12-0.
"It's a great feeling," outside linebacker Trey Storm said. "Coach was telling us how all these other players before us have put in all this work. It's great to come out and do this for them."
Monarch's defense iced the game with a fumble. Storm came in and knocked the ball out, and Ben Cole came up with it. The defensive effort set up Ty Lanphear with a 35-yard field goal to sink Broomfield.
"That's one of those gamechanger moments where you get the ball back, and that momentum is back in your hands," Storm said. "That was huge for us."
The Eagles did score with just over three minutes remaining to cut it to 17-14, but the ensuring onside kick went out of bounds. Monarch's Justin Kiss then scored on a 49-yard touchdown with 1:39 to play.
"When you play a cross-town team, you take away records," Bravo said. "No records are of any validity when you get on the field with these guys. It's very rewarding."
It was Kiss who started Monarch's night off right. He punched in the first rushing touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter to put Monarch up 6-0 on Broomfield. A big-gain connection between quarterback C.J. Schmanski and Brenden Christensen put Monarch inside the 20, setting Kiss up.
Broomfield was threatening on the Monarch 23, but Storm sacked Steven Croell to knock the Eagles out of field goal range.
Broomfield elected instead to go for it. Croell looked deep to the endzone, but his pass was picked off by Jack Kapushion.
Monarch took advantage of the miscue and pushed down the field yet again. Ernesto Chavez capped the 80-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run to give Monarch a 14-0 lead.
"Our offensive line works so hard," Storm said. "I can't stress that enough. I watch them in practice every day, and I believe they work the hardest out of everyone in our league."
However, Broomfield was able to get in the endzone just before halftime. Sam Godwin took a handoff and followed his blocks for a touchdown from nine yards out.
A field position battle ensued in the second half, and Monarch forced Broomfield into long drives. Monarch's Ben Cole pinned Broomfield back at it's own eight-yard-line, and the defense did it's job.
Monarch took over at the 30 after a punt, and went to work on the ground yet again.
"We did a lot of things on the field that we practiced," Bravo said. "That might sound a little redundant, but we executed things on the field that we felt that we could do very effectively against Broomfield."
And again, Cole pushed Broomfield to a drive start deep in its own territory.
The Coyotes took the next drive down to the 15, trying to sink Broomfield. Chavez converted a huge fourth-down-and-one from the 44 to keep the drive going, then Broomfield committed a personal foul that continued the Monarch drive.
"We've shown some serious inconsistensies with our offensive line," Bravo said. "We've been manipulating the starting lineup to try to come up with some sort of rhythm. I think tonight we showed some strides and improvements in that area."
But, Lanphear missed a field goal to give Broomfield a chance. Storm's forced fumble shut down the chance and gave Lanphear a second shot to give Monarch it's best start since 2011.
"Our coaches work so hard to set us up for these games," Storm said. "They spent hours putting together film and tasks for each player. They really put in a lot of time for us.
"One game at a time. Keep working, study each team hard. Execute each task and we'll be just fine."