LAKEWOOD — In the age of up-tempo, spread and pass-happy offensives, Columbine football is simply “old school.”
Offensively, the Rebels and longtime coach Andy Lowry hasn’t gone away from its “3 yards and a cloud of dust” mentality. Really no reason to argue with Columbine’s style. It has yielded five big-school state titles since 1999.
“I think we’re OK with it. The success that we’ve had doing it,” Columbine junior quarterback Logan DeArment said of the Rebels’ punishing ground attack. “Tonight we just rolled up our sleeves and won the line-of-scrimmage. That was big part of the win tonight.”
The latest sign that Columbine’s style isn’t going out of style came Friday at Jeffco Stadium. The Rebels, ranked No. 9 in the currently CHSAANow.com Class 5A football poll, knocked off previously undefeated No. 5 Fairview 35-14.
The signature stamp the Rebels (5-1, 1-0 in Mt. Cameron League) put on the top-10 match-up was an 89-yard, 18-play touchdown drive that chewed up more than 10 minutes off the clock in the second half. DeArment dove in from 1-yard out to cap the drive that extended Columbine’s lead to 28-7 early in the fourth quarter.
“That was a beautiful piece of work,” Lowry said of the longest touchdown drive for the Rebels. “I’m proud of our offensive line. They are getting better every single day. The backs ran hard. It was great.”
Columbine had 53 rushing attempts that netted 306 yards on the ground. The Rebels did it without their biggest running threat. Senior Ted Mullin dressed, but didn’t see the field for the second straight week after suffering an injury a few weeks ago against Chatfield.
Lowry said he hopes to get Mullin back in action soon. Without Mullin, senior Conner Snow led the way with 17 carries for 114 yards. Snow’s 9-yard touchdown run with under 4 minutes to play pushed the Rebels’ lead to 35-7.
Sophomore Tanner Hollens had an impressive game in the Rebels’ full-house backfield. Hollens carried 16 times for 86 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a key 6-yard touchdown pass from DeArment on the fourth-down play in the second quarter.
“I was a little nervous,” Hollens said of his touchdown catch. “I was screaming for the ball. I just had to catch it and get in there.”
Hollens was able to shed tackle attempt and dive to the pylon for the score that gave Columbine a 21-0 lead.
Fairview’s two touchdowns came in the final minute of the first half and with under 2 minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Fairview senior Mariano Kemp had a 7-yard touchdown catch from sophomore quarterback Aidan Atkinson to close out the first half. Kemp scored on a 1-yard run late in the game for the final score.
DeArment, who also plays defensive back, got an up-close look at Kemp when he faced a one-on-one situation with the 230-pound running back.
“I knew I had to take him down low. He is a big load,” the 170-pound DeArment said. “I just held on and waited for my teammates. I wrapped up hung on for dear life.”
The Knights (5-1, 0-1) drove inside Columbine’s 20-yard line on two other occasions, but the Rebels’ defense came up with some big stops to turn the ball over on downs.
“The defense played great,” Lowry said. “(Fairview) has a great offense.”
The Mt. Cameron League should be one of the toughest conferences in 5A this year. Right now, league members Fairview (No. 5), Mullen (No. 7) and Columbine (No. 9) are all ranked in the top-10 of the CHSAANow.com poll.
No other conference has more than two teams in the top-10 rankings.
The Rebels host Mullen next week at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, at Jeffco Stadium. The Mustangs won their league Cameron League opener yesterday in a high-scoring affair — 55-41 at North Stadium.
“I don’t mind it. I think it’s good for us,” Hollens said of facing Mullen next week. “We come out here and get the W and next week we’ll be ready to get it again.”
Fairview heads back to Boulder to host ThunderRidge at 7 p.m. next Friday night at Recht Field.