LAKEWOOD — It’s far from wrapped up, but Columbine football has taken a sizable advantage in the Class 5A Mt. Cameron League.
The Rebels, No. 6 in the CHSAANow.com 5A rankings, have back-to-back wins over conference foes No. 10 Fairview and No. 7 Mullen to grab the inside track to a league title and automatic berth in the 16-team state field. Columbine scored 38 unanswered points from the first quarter until late in the third quarter on the way to a 41-24 victory over Mullen on Thursday night at Jeffco Stadium.
“Every week we’re saying this is the league championship,” Columbine junior quarterback Logan DeArment said after the victory in the top-10 showdown. “We just have to win this one and then on to the next.”
Columbine (6-1, 2-0 in league) got first-half interceptions by seniors Andrew Arterburn and Espen Weber on Mullen sophomore quarterback Kyle Remington, who was making his first start of the season with junior Dominic DePizzol out with a thumb injury he suffered in practice this week.
“We had heard some rumors,” Arterburn said of Mullen being without its starting quarterback. “We were preparing for DePizzol, but it’s not about who we play. It’s about how we play.”
Injuries have hit Mullen hard. The Mustangs were also without starting running back Alonzo Moon because of injury.
The Rebels’ offense scored on all five first-half possessions. Senior running back Conner Snow had a 72-yard touchdown run to answer an early field goal by Mullen. It was the start of 31 unanswered points by Columbine in the first half after the Mustangs had taken an early 3-0 lead.
“The linemen just made the holes for me,” Snow said of his long touchdown run in the first quarter. “Everyone blocked. Everyone did their assignment. I did my job too.”
Snow had over 100 yards rushing on just his two touchdowns run. The senior had a 30-yard scoring run to opening up the scoring in the second half.
DeArment had a 5-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He was also effective through the air. The Rebels went to the air late in the second quarter with touchdown passes of 13 yards to senior Ted Mullin and a 38-yard strike in the final minute before half to senior Luis Rodriguez.
Columbine coach Andy Lowry had Mullin back on the field. It was his first action in a few weeks after suffering an injury in Columbine’s lone loss this season. The Rebels lost to rival and 4A No. 2 ranked Chatfield 35-14 on Sept. 22.
“It was important. We just have to score on every drive,” DeArment said of his touchdown pass to Rodriguez to close out the first half. “Once we did that we have the trust in our defense.”
The passing touchdowns gave the Rebels a sizable 31-3 lead at halftime.
“We just do what Coach Lowry tells us to do. He sees what’s open. The pass has been open,” Snow said. “We are still a running team — 5 yards and a cloud of dust — that is the way we do it.”
Columbine has league games remaining against Northglenn, Mountain Range and ThunderRidge on its quest for a conference title. The Rebels are on the road next Thursday night at Five Star Stadium against Northglenn.
“Our goal is one step at a time,” Arterburn said. “We’ll go on to the next week and prepare for them.”
Mullen (3-4, 1-1) has another big test when it hosts Fairview (5-1, 0-1) on Friday night at de La Salle Stadium.