No. 1 Cherry Creek football wins OT thriller versus No. 4 Pomona

ARVADA — Cherry Creek sophomore Myles Purchase sent the Bruins’ sideline into victory-celebration mode late Thursday night at the North Area Athletic Complex.

Purchase intercepted a pass from Pomona quarterback Riley Welsch intended for all-state receiver Billy Pospisil on a two-point conversion attempt to end the overtime football thriller.

“I knew I had to stay with my assignment No. 9 (Pospisil),” Purchase said of the final play of the game in the Bruins’ 35-34 victory. “They did a crossing route and I just jumped it.”

Cherry Creek senior Marcus Miller, left, breaks through the tackle of Pomona senior Javier Crespin on Thursday night at NAAC. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

Cherry Creek, ranked No. 1 in the Class 5A football poll, scored on a 14-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Alex Padilla to sophomore Chase Penry with 2:48 left in the fourth quarter to tie it up 28-28. No. 4 Pomona had scored 21 unanswered points to take the lead.

The Bruins (4-0 record) scored on a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Padilla on the opening drive in overtime. Pomona (2-2) answered with a 10-yard touchdown run by senior Therious Robison and elected to go for the win with a two-point conversion attempt.

“We knew going into overtime it would be tough to stop (Creek),” Pomona coach Jay Madden said. “Going for two was the right call. We almost had it.”

Creek forced a pair of huge turnovers in the fourth quarter and overtime to rally on the Panthers’ home field. Pomona had driven inside Creek’s 10-yard line midway through the fourth quarter holding a 28-21 lead. However, senior Alec Pell recovered a fumble by Robison to give the Bruins a chance to score late and send the game into overtime.

“We made a couple of key plays (defensively) and were able to go down and score,” Cherry Creek coach Dave Logan said. “Credit our sophomore corner for stepping up and making a big, big play. It would have been a hell of a fun game to watch if I wasn’t coaching.”

Pomona might have found its new starting quarterback in Welsch. After two offensive possessions for the Panthers, Welsch came in at quarterback. He connected with senior quarterback/receiver Colten Muller for a 48-yard touchdown to open the first-half scoring.

Cherry Creek junior Jayle Stacks (2) is taken down by Pomona junior Kyle Moretti in the first quarter Thursday night. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

Welsch had an 18-yard touchdown run and second touchdown pass to Muller in the third quarter to put Pomona up 28-21.

“Colten is just so dynamic in space we’ve got to get him out there,” Madden said about going to Welsch at quarterback moving forward and moving Muller from quarterback to receiver. “Now we have four guys in space that people are going to have a hard time dealing with.”

It is a second straight loss for Pomona, who lost to No. 2 Valor Christian last week. Pomona will be back at NAAC next Thursday night to host Highlands Ranch before getting into its 5A Metro West League schedule.

“That would stink,” Madden said of needing a win next week against Highlands Ranch to prevent a 3-game losing streak heading into conference play. “We’ve just got to take care of Pomona. Keep getting better and better.”

The Panthers open league play against Lakewood on Sept. 28.

Cherry Creek wraps up its non-league schedule next Thursday against Chaparral at Stutler Bowl.

“The good news is it’s a regular-season game and I’ll enjoy this for about 12 hours,” Logan said. “I know Pomona will be there in the end.”

Pomona senior Colten Muller, right, hauls in a 48-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter Thursday at NAAC. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)