COLORADO SPRINGS — As it stands right now, Cherry Creek has the most football players committed to Division I programs in the class of 2019.
Thursday night at Garry Berry Stadium, the Bruins put the full force of that talent on display. The end result was a 56-7 win over Doherty in game that the preseason Class 5A No. 1-ranked Bruins dominated from start to finish.
“We got out on them early,” Cherry Creek coach Dave Logan said. “They had an early miscommunication on a punt which gave us a short field. But I thought for game one, we played hard and did some good things.”
The Spartans (0-1 overall) stalled on the first three plays of the game then went to a heavy dose of Jayle Stacks on the ground. Stacks ran the ball four times for 23 yards to give Creek (1-0) its first touchdown of the season.
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After that, the air show started.
University of Iowa commit Alex Padilla went to the air often for the remainder of the first half. He found Air Force Academy commit Marcus Miller for a 27-yard strike to put the Bruins deep in Doherty territory. He found Miller again from 22 yards out to put Cherry Creek up 14-0.
In all, Padilla and Miller made for a deadly connection. Miller finished his night with 110 receiving yards and two touchdowns all coming in the first half.
“We just wanted to come out and make a statement to the state,” Miller said. “We’re here and we’re coming for it all. That’s what we wanted to prove, and I think we did that tonight, but we have to keep going forward.
Padilla finished the night 10 for 17 with 185 yards and four touchdowns. He found Chase Penry for touchdown passes of 22 and nine yards.
“Their safeties were up in the box for the majority of the game,” Padilla said. “We saw some things that would give us some deep shots and get the ball over the middle and on the outside. That opened some things up for us.
Doherty was limited offensively but looked to senior running back Gage Vanaman to carry the load. He was able to grind out tough runs, with a 29-yard run coming as Doherty’s longest offensive play of the night.
He followed that up with a 27-yard run to setup a six-yard touchdown run for CJ Puleo, ending Creek’s hope of opening the season with a shutout on the road.
“It’s always good to score at least one time on an amazing football team,” Doherty coach Jeff Krumlauf said. “They’re extremely well-coached, they have great players, they play hard. Early on we had a miscommunication on a punt and we had three or four drives where we’re a yard short of extending it with a first down.
Now, does that change anything? Who knows. The bottom line is we have to get better.”
It’s hard to imagine Creek looking better than they did in the opener. Damoni Jones and Myles Purchase provided defensive highlights, both hauling in impressive interceptions off Doherty quarterback Brandon Becker.
Add in the offensive balance and Creek looks every bit the part of a team with an eye on a state title run. At the bare minimum, it’s going to be a problem for the remaining nine teams on the schedule.
“A big one,” Miller said. “We can run the ball, we can throw the ball, we can do everything. That’s kind of what we focus on. We don’t want to be one-dimensional.”