Cherry Creek's defense forced two key second-half turnovers, providing the spark to help the Class 5A top-ranked Bruins stay unbeaten with a win over Eaglecrest on Friday.
The Bruins, down 13-0 at half, rallied to defeat No. 4 Eaglecrest 14-13. They are now 8-0, while Eaglecrest drops to 7-1.
"It was just heart," Cherry Creek senior Alec Pell told Altitude TV after the game. "(Nothing changed) scheme-wise, we knew what we were doing, it was just digging deep. Coming up with those fumbles was big, and just being a family and sticking together."
Eaglecrest had seized the lead in the first half by controlling the clock with long drives — and by finishing those drives.
Isaiah Emecheta had a 7-yard score midway through the second quarter, and then quarterback Dylan James raced 43 yards for another score after picking up his own fumble. But the extra-point after the second touchdown wasn't attempted after a snap and hold was mishandled.
The Raptors' defense also looked mighty impressive, ending the half with a sack when Cherry Creek had the ball at the Raptors' 20-yard-line.
But things changed as the second half opened.
Cherry Creek's Cormier Euell forced a fumble with 7:38 remaining in the third quarter, and Dade Bissell recovered. That led to the Bruins' first score: a 9-yard pass from Alex Padilla to Vance Brazile.
The Bruins' defense also forced a fumble on the next possession, and once again Bissell recovered. After converting a fourth-down from the Eaglecrest 29, Cherry Creek's Jayle Stacks rumbled in for a score to make it 14-13.
Eaglecrest drove down and had a shot to take the lead with 1:19 to play, but a 34-yard field goal attempt missed just to the right, and Cherry Creek held on.
"It just show what we are this year," Pell said. "We're just a different beast. We're all together, we're so close. And that closeness and that heart is what got us that win."
3A: Frederick 41, (7) Holy Family 23
Frederick made a statement with a big upset of Holy Family, and has now won six games in consecutive seasons. The Warriors are 6-1 in 2018.
"We showed up," Frederick coach Travis Peeples told the Colorado Preps Scoreboard Show. "Our kids are physical now. And, boy, are they excited. We're on the bus, and we're having a great ride home."
Frederick broke open a game in which they led 20-17 at halftime to pick up their biggest win of the season so far.
"Our kids had a great week of practice," Peeples said. "They just wanted to show what they could do against a quality opponent, and that was one of the questions everyone had: Could we beat a quality opponent? And this one was circled on Monday."
In the win, Peeples said his team "dominated the line of scrimmage tonight."
"I think we wore them down," Peeples said. "We started running the ball inside the tackles. Our offensive line, all seven of the guys up front were tremendous. We had some gaping holes, and we ran the ball really well tonight."
3A: (2) Discovery Canyon 39, (5) Thomas Jefferson 22
Marshall Pike rushed for three touchdowns to help Discovery Canyon stay unbeaten at 7-0, and hand previously unbeaten Thomas Jefferson (6-1) its first loss of the season.
Zack Anderson also tossed two passing touchdowns for the Thunder, one to Zach Surface and another to Kevin Pasion.
Discovery Canyon's Griffin Anderson went 2-for-2 on field goals, including a 51-yarder just before halftime.
1A: (1) Limon 48, (5) Burlington 0
The top-ranked Badgers continued to roll, this time picking up a top-5 win.
"It was just a great all-around effort by everybody," Limon coach Mike O'Dwyer told the Scoreboard Show. "Defensively, we got some turnovers, some interceptions, and we had some short fields to work with. It was one of those games where we just had some fortunate things go our way.
"I thought we did a great job defensively putting kids in places to make plays, and those kids made those plays."
- Greeley West, No. 5 in 4A, beat Brighton 48-17, and is now 6-1. "We've got a lot of weapons on offense," coach Jason Renouf told the Scoreboard Show. "I'm really proud of how they're performing."
- Aspen had one of the biggest upsets of the night, taking down No. 3 Rifle 20-19 in 2A. "It's a huge win," coach Travis Benson told the Scoreboard Show. "I am super proud of the defense. The eight guys in the box, they played hard, they fought, they played the run. And our secondary came up with some picks when we needed to."
- In 2A, No. 5 Resurrection Christian beat No. 8 Eaton 26-7. "The kids responded the way we wanted them to, and that was good to see," coach Jeff Van Winkle told the Loveland Reporter-Herald. "That's a tough Eaton team."
- Another top-10 game in 2A: No. 5 Basalt beat No. 10 Delta 13-0.
- In 1A, No. 10 Holyoke knocked off No. 8 Wray 30-14.
- Perhaps one of the lowest-scoring 8-man games in a long time: No. 4 Caliche beat No. 8 Akron 6-0.
- There were top-10 matchups all over the board in 6-man: No. 1 Stratton/Liberty beat No. 6 Arickaree/Woodlin 60-20; No. 2 Kit Carson beat No. 9 Granada 60-24 and No. 3 Otis beat No. 7 Idalia 68-56.
- No. 3 Montrose is now 7-0 after beating Denver South.
- Chatfield got a victory against Golden. Photos from the game are here.
- An updated top-10 football scoreboard after Friday's games, and Saturday's top-10 slate.
- All scores from Friday, and Saturday's full schedule.
- Re-live the night through our live coverage.