LAKEWOOD — Chatfield offense changed like a chameleon Saturday night at Jeffco Stadium.
Whatever the situation was the Chargers’ offense was able to adapt, lifting Chatfield to a 35-26 victory over the visiting Rampart Rams from Colorado Springs. Chatfield used its ‘tempo’ offense led by senior quarterback Matt Canino and its signature ‘psycho’ offense steered by senior Jack Wells to get Class 4A’s No. 8-ranked Chargers into the win column.
“Jack is a great quarterback and runs the ‘psycho’ offense really well. Matt runs ‘tempo’ really well. He has a great arm and is a great leader,” Chatfield senior running back Malcolm Boyd said. “We are really lucky to have both of them be able to do both things.”
Boyd rushed for three touchdowns, including a quick striking 60-yard scamper in the second quarter to answer Rampart’s first touchdown.
Canino and senior receiver Daniel Nickels added another critical quick scoring play with a 37-yard touchdown with 1.5 seconds left before halftime to push the Chargers’ lead to 28-14 at the break.
“We needed a big play and our coach made the right call,” Nickels said of his touchdown to end the first half. “We executed the play and scored.”
The Rams answered with their most impressive drive of the night. Rampart marched 80-yards in 14 plays on the opening drive of the second half. Senior Chris Yoo scored from 2-yards out to trim the Chargers’ lead to 28-20 midway through the third quarter.
The Chargers offense almost identically mirrored Rampart’s long, time-consuming drive with one of its own. Chatfield went 80 yards on 14 plays with Wells behind center to chew up the remainder of time in the third quarter. Boyd closed out the drive with his third touchdown run of the night to push the Chargers’ lead to 35-20.
“Our o-line and d-line guys are awesome, but we wore them down pretty thin in the first half. They got tired,” Chatfield coach Bret McGatlin said about what he learned about his team in the victory. “We had adjust and slow things down a little bit because we didn’t want to kill our guys.”
Rampart wouldn’t go away. Yoo found the end zone again on a 2-yard touchdown with 6:58 left in the fourth quarter, but a failed 2-point conversion left Chatfield holding on to a two-score lead, 35-26.
“(Chris Yoo) is a good back. We were worried about him,” McGatlin said. “I think he is one of the best backs in the state.”
Chatfield wasn’t able to score again, but a 12-play drive that eventually ended in a punt milked more than five minutes off the clock in the fourth quarter. Chatfield senior Shane Compton sealed the victory with an interception of Rampart junior quarterback Cale Cormaney in the final minutes.
“Utilizing both offenses is good,” McGatlin said. “This is going to be a good group when we can get them in shape. They can compete with the best of them.”
Boyd capped off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown with 11:18 left in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve got tons of linemen who go both ways. If we can slow it down and let them get their energy back nobody can stop our ‘psycho’ offense,” Boyd said. “If everyone does their job and knows what to do we can just run it down team’s throats.”
Hunter Barnes and Ben Frenette nearly went back-to-back years in 2018 and 2017 with 1,500-yard on the ground for Chatfield. With both gone, Boyd is clearly the top running back for the Chargers this season.
“Malcolm has been waiting for his turn. We’ve had some good backs the last couple of years. I knew it was coming for him,” McGatlin said. “He is a great leader. His mom passed away last year, so this means a lot to him to come out and perform.”
It was a hectic Week 1 for Chatfield. Hurricane Dorian derailed a short cruise schedule to the Bahamas. The Chargers were supposed to take the cruise after suffering a 20-12 loss to Jensen Beach on Aug. 29, but had to change plans and went to Universal Studios in Orlando instead before heading back to Colorado on Monday, Sept. 2.
“It was kind of a big distraction, but we just tried to focus on the game and took it day-by-day,” Nickels said of the experience in Florida. “It wasn’t ideal, but we had fun any way.”