LAKEWOOD — Pomona wasted no time getting its season back on track after a Week 1 loss to Regis Jesuit.
Junior Jack Pospisil took the opening kickoff 98 yards to the end zone late Friday afternoon at Jeffco Stadium to begin an impressive 49-6 victory over old Jeffco rival Bear Creek (0-2 record).
“We worked on it a lot in practice this last week,” Pospisil said of the special team touchdown. “It was a whole kickoff team effort. It wasn’t just me. Everyone made their blocks and I made one guy miss.”
Pospisil has the challenge of filling the shoes of his older brother, Billy Pospisil, who is playing at Washington State University with another former Pomona standout in running back Max Borghi.
“They blocked it so well and Jack read it perfectly,” Pomona coach Jay Madden of the opening kickoff return. “I thought the kicker was going to get him, but Jack is so strong he ran right through him.”
Pospisil found the end zone three times in the first half. Following the kickoff return, the junior receiver had touchdown catches of 36 and 27 yards to help the Panthers (1-1) take a 42-6 lead at halftime.
Junior quarterback Brady Ritzmann threw four first-half touchdowns. Two that Pospisil hauled in and another two caught by senior Chase Lopez.
“He (Ritzmann) did really well today. I’m really proud of him,” Pospisil said. “He had a great week of practice and had a great game.”
Pomona’s new starting quarterback didn’t play much football last season due to an injury, but Madden was impress with what he saw in the opening half Friday.
“We have to be able to throw and run the ball,” Madden said. “Brady hadn’t played a lot of football since his freshman year. He broke his finger Week 1 last year. He needs reps.”
Junior running back Ben Cruz had the sixth touchdown in the first half for the Panthers, ranked No. 9 in the CHSAANow.com 5A football poll.
Bear Creek prevented a shutout with a 56-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Jaedon Minter to Joseph Alejo midway through the second quarter. Alejo’s made a juggling catch over a Pomona defender before racing down the sidelines for the Bears’ lone score in the first half.
Pomona’s defense forced a pair of turnovers to give the Panthers’ offense plenty of opportunities to pile up the points.
“Our defense is good,” Pomona senior linebacker Kyle Moretti said. “We just need to work on some stuff to get better each week.”
The game — which started late due to a 45-minute lightning delay and had another weather delay in the first quarter — went to a running clock early in the third quarter when senior Dominic Orona gave Pomona a 49-6 lead on a 5-yard touchdown run.
Now, Pomona heads into a back-to-back weeks against the top ranked teams in 5A. The Panthers have their home opener at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada next Friday night against No. 1 and defending 5A state champion Valor Christian.
Madden then takes his squad to Stutler Bowl the following week to face No. 2 Cherry Creek.
“The key is we need to get better and stay healthy. We can’t afford to get banged up in those two games,” Madden said. “Those (Valor and Cherry Creek) are two great programs. It’s fun and that what we’ve always wanted to do. We’ll enjoy next week. Get as prepared as possible and let it rip.”
The 5A Metro West League looks to be one of the deepest conferences in 5A once again. No. 3 Columbine, No. 8 Ralston Valley, Lakewood and Mullen are already hold 2-0 records through the first two weeks of action. Columbine and Ralston Valley have outscored their first two opponents a combined 183-36.
After playing a pair of old Jeffco rivals, Bear Creek hosts Vista Ridge back at Jeffco Stadium on Friday, Sept. 13.