Cherry Creek’s offense was bottled up in its own territory most of the second half and the Bruins were ushered out of the Class 5A state football playoffs after a 26-7 quarterfinal loss to unbeaten …
Cherry Creek’s offense was bottled up in its own territory most of the second half and the Bruins were ushered out of the Class 5A state football playoffs after a 26-7 quarterfinal loss to unbeaten Eaglecrest.
The Bruins only trailed 6-0 for most of the first three quarters of the game played Nov. 18 at Legacy Stadium in Aurora, but the Raptors took advantage of good field position and Creek mistakes to pull away.
Cherry Creek, which has won eight state championships, ended the campaign with a 9-3 record.
“I’m proud of my kids for the kind of year they have had with the injuries we’ve had,” Creek coach Dave Logan said. “They played hard all year. I’m proud and thankful for the effort. We’ll be back. You can’t win it every year.
“There are other good teams, other talented teams. This is the best Eaglecrest team that I’ve seen. We are still a young team. We don’t have many seniors, especially on offense. We have to learn from this, go back to work and try to take the next couple steps next year.”
Creek never managed to take the needed steps against Grandview in what was a close game until the end of the third quarter.
The Bruins’ defense was stiff and held the Raptors to two field goals in the first half. The offense, playing without leading rusher Jayle Stacks, moved the ball in the first half but had a 24-yard field goal blocked at the end of the second quarter.
“We kind of struggled a little bit on offense,” senior Dimitri Stanley said. “They kind of kept us on one side of the field most of the game and unfortunately that did not turn out too well for us. They were just the better team.”
Cherry Creek started four drives deep in its own territory, which gave Eaglecrest a field position advantage.
A Creek recovery of a fumble on a punt was nullified by a Bruins’ penalty, which eventually led to an Eaglecrest touchdown that gave the Raptors a 13-0 lead with 23.1 seconds remaining in the third period.
Two interceptions set up Eaglecrest for two more touchdowns. The Raptors scored twice in 57 seconds and three TDs in a 6:38 span to seal the win.
“We had a couple really in opportune penalties that backed us up in the third quarter,” Logan said. “When you play this late in the season against really good teams, you can’t make as many mistakes as we did. We had a field goal blocked. There were some plays there that we needed to make.”
Cherry Creek, thanks to squib kickoffs by Eaglecrest with a 26-point lead, finally took advantage of field position and managed a touchdown drive that concluded with 4:41 remaining in the game. Quarterback Alex Padilla threw an 8-yard scoring pass to Marcus Miller.
“The overall season was a success,” Stanley said. “We did our thing when we needed to except for the last game unfortunately. I just feel bad we couldn’t send all our seniors off on a good note.”