ARVADA — Even without starting quarterback Reeve Holliday, Columbine offense didn’t miss a beat Friday night in the Top-5 match-up against Ralston Valley.

The Rebels — No. 3 in the Class 5A Colorado Preps Select Media Football Poll — never trailed No. 4 Ralston Valley in a 30-14 victory at the North Area Athletic Complex. Holliday had emergency appendectomy surgery to remove his appendix earlier in the week. The senior quarterback was on the sidelines at NAAC, but will likely miss a few weeks.

“That was super unexpected. It was bad luck and terrible timing for that to happen,” Columbine senior Josh Snyder said of Holliday missing the game. “Coach always says ‘next man up’ and Brennan Goodwin stepped up. He was awesome tonight. Shoutout to him leading us to the win tonight.”

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

Goodwin way thrown in as the Rebels’ signal-caller and guided Columbine to touchdowns on four of its first five drives to open up a 27-14 lead in the third quarter.

Columbine coach Andy Lowry played some old-school Rebel offense with the full-house backfield. The Rebels had nearly an 8-minute, 15-play, 80-yard scoring drive to open up the game. Snyder scored his first of two touchdowns on the night with a 6-yard run with 4:05 left in the first quarter.

“Our guys played tough,” Lowry said about the Rebels playing without their starting quarterback. “We talk about being the toughest team on the field. Our guys are physical. That’s (Ralston Valley) is a really good football team.”

Ralston Valley (5-2, 1-1 in 5A Jeffco) did answer with a 7-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Logan Madden to senior receiver Jackson Hansen early in the second quarter to tie things up 7-7.

However, Snyder broke off a 47-yard touchdown run to give the Rebels (7-0, 2-0) a 14-7 lead with 7:43 left in the third quarter. After a Ralston Valley punt, senior Mason Moreno got into the scoring action with a 41-yard touchdown run to make it a 21-7 lead.

“This one is very special,” Moreno said. “It was very personal, especially with our starting QB out. This is a special group. I just love these boys.”

Madden guided Ralston Valley on a late first-half scoring drive hitting senior Wyatt Morwood for a 29-yard touchdown on a fourth-down play with under a minute before halftime, but it would be the Mustangs final score of the game.

“Logan Madden is a great player. Jackson Hansen was our key,” said Snyder, who played defensive back on Hansen’s side. “Our defense just played lights out. We tried not to let them get big plays and I think we were successful at that. That led us to victory.”

Moreno had a 22-yard touchdown run to close Columbine’s first possession of the second half to push the lead back to a 2-score game — 27-14. Ralston Valley had a couple of drives down deep in Columbine territory, but couldn’t punch it in.

Columbine’s offense couldn’t get much going in the fourth quarter and Moreno actually had two quick-kicks on third-down plays to keep the Mustangs from getting good field position.

“That is just great coaching with those two quick-kicks,” Moreno said. “Coaches knew what we had to do. The offensive line held up for me to get those quick kicks away.”

Moreno was supposed to had another quick-kick on a fourth-down play from midfield, but instead he took it for a 30-yard run that eventually led to a 27-yard field goal by Julian Ruiz with about 2 minutes to play for the final points of the game.

“I was supposed to kick it, but I saw the left side was wide-open,” Moreno said. “I just took off. I just ran the ball through a wide-open lane.”

The win actually ended a 3-game losing streak to Ralston Valley for Columbine. The Mustangs defeated the Rebels twice last year with a league-play and postseason win for Ralston Valley.

“We are super focused. Most of us senior haven’t beaten RV,” Snyder said. “It feels so good to get the W against them senior year.”

Ralston Valley will attempt to get back on track against rival Pomona (0-7, 0-2) next Thursday night at NAAC. Columbine will host Arvada West (4-3, 1-1) at 4 p.m. Friday at Jeffco Stadium next week.

“We never overlook our opponents. It’s always week-to-week,” Moreno said. “We’ll enjoy the win tonight, but tomorrow it’s next week and A-West.”