LAKEWOOD — The Class 3A state semifinal loss on the road against Roosevelt is something Green Mountain’s football team has had to live with for nearly 12 months.

“We were this close last year. We still have that bitter taste,” Green Mountain senior captain Austin Contreras said thinking back at the Rams’ 30-3 loss against the Roughriders in Johnstown back on Nov. 26, 2022. “We worked hard during the off-season and now we are here.”

The No. 1-seeded Rams will get their shot next week to get some redemption when they face the defending state champions in the 3A quarterfinals next week. Green Mountain remained undefeated on the season with a 52-7 first-round playoff victory against No. 16 Glenwood Springs on Saturday afternoon at Jeffco Stadium.

“We have been talking about it for a while. We want that rematch,” Green Mountain quarterback Blake Weslin said about facing the Roughriders next week at Jeffco Stadium. “We’ve got to get through them to keep on going through state.”

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

The No. 9 Roughriders punched their ticket to the quarterfinals with a 55-20 win over No. 8 Riverdale Ridge on Friday night.

Roosevelt is still led by quarterback Bronco Hartson and running back Xavier Ramirez who combined for over 150 yards rushing and three touchdowns against the Rams a year ago.

“Last year we struggled against Xavier and Bronco,” Contreras admitted. “This whole week is going to be tough to stay as focused as possible and do what needs to be done.”

Green Mountain returned the majority of its starters from last year’s team that were 12-0 before the loss to Roosevelt in the semifinals.

“That made this game even more intense,” Contreras said about Roosevelt winning last night and knowing a win over Glenwood Springs would give the Rams the rematch. “We want to get back what was taken from us last year.”

On a sun splashed Jeffco Stadium on Saturday, the Rams (11-0 record) bolted out to a 38-0 lead early in the second quarter against Glenwood Springs. Green Mountain got touchdown runs from Weslin, George Soppe, Nowell Dacres and Dalton Poulignot, along with a touchdown pass from Weslin to Dax Gomez.

“It was really important to come out and execute our jobs,” Weslin said of the Rams quick start that yielded a 30-0 lead after the first quarter.

Glenwood Springs prevented the possibility of a running clock in the first half thanks to a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by junior Mason Markovich with 9:39 left in the second quarter to cut the lead to 38-7.

“I liked that our starters got a little more reps,” Green Mountain coach Jesse German said of the Rams not getting it to a running clock until midway through the fourth quarter. “We need to be conditioned to play a full four quarters.”

The Rams have outscored their opponents 545-to-37 through 11 games this season.

Green Mountain did have some offensive struggles with a missed field, along with a pair of fumbles after building the 30-plus point lead.

“We had self-inflicted errors,” German said of the penalties and a few turnovers. “We left a lot of meat on the bone, which is good. We know we have things to clean up. We’ve got a super tough match-up last week.”

Dacres scored his second touchdown run of the game to cap off an 88-yard touchdown drive for the Rams in the third quarter to push the lead to 45-7. Weslin tossed his second touchdown pass of the game with a 21-yard strike to Poulignot with 8:55 left in the fourth quarter to get the clock running with a 52-7 lead.

It will more than likely be a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday, Nov. 18, at Jeffco Stadium for the showdown between Roosevelt (8-3) and Green Mountain.

“They are a really good team and they beat us last year,” German said of Roosevelt. “They’ve got to have some confidence because they beat us last year. We are going to have to work our tails off this week to make sure we are prepared.”

The Rams are attempting to end more than a two-decade drought of winning a football state title. Green Mountain won a pair of 4A state titles back in the 1990s. The Rams lifted championship trophies in 1999 and 1995.