Thornton football beats Northglenn to capture I-25 Bowl for first time in 14 years

(Courtesy of Thornton HS)

Thornton beat rival Northglenn on Friday night, 27-21, securing the I-25 Bowl for the first time in 14 years.

The Trojans had been 0-11 against the Norse since 2005. Their last victory in the series came via a 44-33 win on Oct. 21, 2005.

But, on Friday night, as both teams opened the 2019 season, Thornton raced out to a 20-7 lead after the first quarter, and added a third-quarter touchdown to push their advantage to 27-7 going into the final frame.

Northglenn rallied with two fourth-quarter touchdowns, but a final pass into the end zone fell incomplete as time expired, setting off a celebration on the Thornton sideline.

Ethan Gonzales threw threw touchdown passes to lead his team.

The game, which was delayed an hour by lightning, didn't started out well for Thornton. Northglenn grabbed an early 7-0 lead following a Thornton fumble. The Trojans also fumbled away their second possession, but were unfazed as they forced the Norse to punt.

Two possessions later, Gonzales threw a 15-yard touchdown with five minutes to play in the first quarter. Then, in the final minute of that quarter, Thornton recovered a fumble at their own 35-yard-line, and promptly threw a long touchdown pass to take a 14-7 lead.

Thornton then recovered another fumble on Northglenn's next possession, this time deep inside Norse territory, and punched it in with 50 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Suddenly, it was 20-7.

Things stayed that way until Gonzales' third passing TD of the night with seven minutes left in the third quarter.

Northglenn scored a touchdown with six minutes remaining in the final quarter, and another with two minutes to play to cut it to 27-21. Thornton recovered ensuring the onside kick, but Northglenn forced a punt.

The Norse had one final shot at the end zone from the 30-yard-line with seconds to play, but the pass fell incomplete:

(Courtesy of Thornton HS)

(Courtesy of Thornton HS)

(Courtesy of Thornton HS)