LAKEWOOD — While the final score didn’t indicate it, but Columbine was in a battle late Friday afternoon at Jeffco Stadium.

Columbine — No. 3 in this week’s Class 5A Colorado Preps Select Media Football Poll — was tied 14-14 against Arvada West with 9:20 left in the third quarter. A successful on-side kick by the Wildcats led to a 3-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Logan Duhachek to sophomore Ayden Garcia.

A 2-point conversion by A-West (4-4, 1-2 in 5A Jeffco) tied the game up.

“I was a little frustrated,” Columbine senior Josh Snyder said. “I still had faith in our team that we would come out, fight and persevere.”

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

Columbine (8-0, 3-0) did just that scoring 28 unanswered points to take an eventual 42-14 victory to stay undefeated on the season. The Rebels were coming off the big and emotional victory the pervious week against No. 4 Ralston Valley (6-2, 2-1).

“It was defintely a wake-up,” Columbine coach Andy Lowry said of the Rebels being tied 14-14 early in the third quarter. “I have to give Brad (A-West coach Brad Pyatt) and his kids a ton of credit. They played hard.”

The Rebels had two touchdowns runs by Snyder in the first half to give Columbine a 14-0 lead, but A-West responded just before halftime with a 1-yard touchdown run by sophomore Adrian Symalla in the final minute before halftime to cut the lead to 14-6.

The quick touchdown by A-West to start the second half grabbed Columbine’s attention.

“We started out slow. We didn’t have a great week of practice,” Snyder admitted. “We were sluggish in that first half. Our coaches figured it out at halftime.

Snyder started the 28-0 run with a long kickoff return and his third touchdown of the game on a 7-yard run with 5:54 left in the third quarter. Senior running back Mason Moreno got into the scoring action with a 1-yard run on the final play of the third quarter to push the lead to 28-14.

“It defintely wasn’t as clean as we would like to be. Especially in that first half,” Moreno said. “It was great defense by Arvada West in that first half. At halftime we fixed it. Our hoggies (offensive line) were dominate in the second half.”

Moreno actually had the defensive play of the game with a strip-sack and fumble recovery early in the fourth quarter on Duhachek.

“It was a corner blitz that we just installed this week in practice,” Moreno said. “It was just a great coaching scheme to give me an opportunity to make a play.”

On the next play, Columbine junior quarterback Brennan Goodwin tossed his first touchdown pass of the season with a 21-yard strike to senior Spencer Houle. Goodwin is still filling in for senior quarterback Reeve Holliday, who missed his second game after having emergency appendectomy surgery last week.

The hope is to have Holliday back on the field this season.

Snyder finished off the scoring with his fourth touchdown run with 3:12 left in the game.

“All the backs ran hard,” said Lowry, who wasn’t happy with the first-half performance. “We just took turns making mistakes. Those are just drive killers.”

Columbine has two regular-season games remaining. The Rebels have home games at Jeffco Stadium against Lakewood (Thursday, Oct. 19) and Chatfield (Friday, Oct. 27). The rivalry game during the final week of the regular season against the Chargers (5-3, 3-0) will determine the 5A Jeffco League championship.

“We just need to maintain the focus we had during the Ralston week for these next two weeks of practice,” Snyder said. “Then carry it on to playoffs.”

A-West was No. 22 in the 5A football CHSAA Selection & Seeding Index before the start of play Friday. The Wildcats face their two rivals to close out the regular season. A-West has Pomona (0-8, 0-3) on Friday, Oct. 20, at the North Area Athletic Complex before getting a shot against No. 4 Ralston Valley (6-2, 2-1) on Oct. 26 at NAAC.