There are seven classifications of football in Colorado but 4A is the only division this year to send their top two seeds to the state championship game. Pine Creek (12-1) is the highest seed in the pairings and Broomfield (13-0) number two and Saturday will determine which set of Eagles fly higher and earn the state crown.
Both clubs as expected have been dominant this year. Pine Creek has outscored opponents 561-169 and Broomfield 422-122. Eliminating a forfeit to Palmer, Pine Creek has played nine games against 4A rivals and outscored them 385-64. Their lone loss is against 5A Valor Christian. Broomfield played just one 5A opponent but handled Legacy 34-13 in their season opener.
In the playoffs, Broomfield has had a more difficult road including a 17-15 win over Dakota Ridge in the semifinals last week. The Eagles booted a short field goal as time expired to reach their first state final since 2016 and just their second since 2001. Pine Creek meantime rolled past Pueblo West 34-0 last week and has outscored three post-season opponents by 107 points combined.
Concerning statistics, both teams feature a 2,000-yard rusher so many fans will expect this game to be determined in the trenches. But both clubs also have a quarterback that has thrown for at least 13-hundred yards and at times through the season, led their team to a critical victory.
But the offense for both clubs does start on the ground. Saturday marks the final game in the outstanding career of Pine Creek tailback David Moore. He’s rushed for 2,490 yards and 34 TD’s this year and each week, he continues to move up the all-time rushing charts. The senior has 7,515 yards in his career and last week moved past Dusty Quick of Fort Morgan and into fourth place on the all-time charts. He needs 81 yards this week to get past Jace Logan of Soroco (7,595) and into third place. Weld Central’s Kyle Bell holds the all-time record (8,248) and Chatfield’s Lendale White is second (7,802). Moore would need 297 yards in his final game to catch White.
Even though Broomfield’s Caden Peters can’t match Moore’s career numbers, he’s been with him yard for yard in 2019. Peters ran for 194 yards in last week’s win over Dakota Ridge and enters the state championship with 2,568 yards and 22 TD’s on the season. He rushed for a season best 309 yards in a win over Greeley West and has been over 200 in five other games. Both he and Moore have rushed for at least 100 yards in every game this season.
Now to the quarterbacks. Zac Kapushion (1,330 yards and 17 TD’s) of Broomfield has thrown for at least 200 yards in three games; including 259 against Grand Junction in the playoffs. Other such efforts came in the first two weeks of the season with 267 against Legacy and 250 versus Loveland. His favorite target is Grant Swenson with 37 catches for 711 yards and seven scores. River Juarez (13) and Aedan Collins (10) are also in double figures in receptions and have combined for seven scores.
Pine Creek senior Gavin Herberg has 24 touchdown passes against just three interceptions this year. He’s totaled 1,670 yards overall and has also been above 200 on three occasions. His season high of 282 came in a mid-season win over Mesa Ridge.
15 different players have caught a pass for Pine Creek; a group led by Eddie Kyle with 23 catches for 424 yards and six scores. Max Lofy (17) and Zach Barnes (14) are also threats on the outside with 479 yards and three scores combined.
With all the success, it’s a bit surprising that neither defense has posted excellent numbers in forcing turnovers. Pine Creek has forced 12 and Broomfield just nine. Despite those low totals, both groups have been stingy in the post-season with Broomfield giving up 37 points in three wins and Pine Creek 30.
Individually, Pine Creek is led in tackles by Beau Fryler with 64. He’s also the team leader with three interceptions. Elias Rolfe is next with 60 stops including ten for loss which is tied for the team lead with Rece Rowan. Aiden Lala has also recorded 58 tackles.
Hall Edmonds and Simon Worthley each have 74 tackles to lead the Broomfield defense. Antonio Welch-Soto is third (69) and Zach Zerr fourth (67).
Kickoff is set for 11:00am at Empower Field at Mile High. Coverage will be available online at www.nfhsnetwork.com and through local radio at 104.3 The Fan.
- History: The teams have met just twice previously in the playoffs including the 2016 state championship game. Pine Creek picked up a win there (36-14) and also topped Broomfield 28-7 in a first-round game in 2008. Pine Creek is appearing in their sixth state championship game and all have come since 2011. Their last trip resulted in a 25-14 loss to Pueblo South two years ago. Their last title occurred in 2016 with the win over Broomfield and that win finished off three championships in a four-year span. Pine Creek is 30-12 all-time in the post-season including 3-2 in championship games. Broomfield is in the finals for the seventh time and are 3-2-1 in their previous six appearances. Before 2016, the Eagles last qualified for the finals in 2001. Their last championship came in 1984 in a 20-15 win over Longmont. That was their fourth title in five years including a tie with Mullen (22-22) in 1980. Broomfield is 42-34-1 in the playoffs.
PINE CREEK – Championship History
- 2017: Lost to Pueblo South 25-14
- 2016: Beat Broomfield 36-14
- 2014: Beat Longmont 45-20
- 2013: Beat Montrose 49-14
- 2011: Lost to Valor Christian 66-10
BROOMFIELD – Championship History
- 2001: Lost to ThunderRidge 7-3
- 1984: Beat Longmont 20-15
- 1983: Beat Loveland 14-7
- 1981: Beat Loveland 22-3
- 1980: lost to Mullen 21-8
- 1979: Tied Mullen 22-22