Every now and then a game lives up to the billing.

Don't get me wrong, I look forward to and enjoy every single event I cover, but rarely do I get that sense of anticipation like I did on Saturday afternoon at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

The champs vs. the up-and-comers. Perfection vs. spoiler.

In every way and no matter the outcome, the Class 5A state title game with Boulder and Broomfield was going to be a great story.

The way it played out, made it epic and unforgettable.

In my 25 years of covering high school sports in Colorado, Boulder's shoot-out victory quite easily vaulted into my top three all-time and over time may claim the top spot.

"(Broomfield coach) Jim (Davidson) and I said before we walked on the field 'Of course, it was going to be the two of us here,'" Boulder coach Hardy Kalisher said.

Without question.

Boulder established itself very early on in the season and scored its signature win against six-time Delaware champion and nationally ranked Salesianum High.

Not only did the state begin to take notice, so too did the rest of the country and the Panthers vaulted into various national ranking including the No. 1 spot in the MaxPreps poll.

The Panthers lived by the mantra of 'La Familia' and its showed on the field. A 25-man roster that flowed seamlessly no matter who was on the field. Guys that were comfortable moving around the field and playing wherever they needed to, kind of like the famous Dutch national teams, for the betterment of the whole.


Boulder didn't have a superstar, but more the perfect mix from goalie Djibril Doumbia to defender Quinn Frankovsky and from the midfield prowess of Omar Castruita to any number of forwards that were capable of finishing from anywhere in the final third.

Broomfield, coming off back-to-back big school titles after joining the ranks in 2014, started the season at No. 1 and, after an early season setback to Cheyenne Mountain raised a few eyebrows, the Eagles responded the only way they knew how. They won.

Davidson's team fought and scrapped their way to a Front Range League showdown with Boulder in the final match of the regular season and proved on that night at Recht that they were going to have a say the Panthers' run at perfection.

The stage was set and the match had absolutely everything we could have hoped for. Goals. Saves. Drama. Controversy

After going 1-1 through regulation on goals from Boulder's Simon Julien and Broomfield's Armando Ocampo — who ironically both missed their PK tries — the shoot-out was a dual between Doumbia and Broomfield keeper Jose Ogaz, who was absolutely brilliant in the late stages of regulation time.

Boulder’s Sean McElveen holds the state championship trophy after the Panthers knocked off rival Broomfield in the 5A state title game Saturday at
Boulder's Sean McElveen holds the state championship trophy after the Panthers knocked off rival Broomfield in the 5A state title game Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

Through 10 rounds it was knotted up 9-9 and in the 11th, Broomfield sent Ogaz to the dot and his shot, maybe the most well hit of Eagles PK's, put his team up 10-9. He turned around to face Blaise Werner and when he guessed correctly by moving to his left and denying the shot, it sent the Eagles into their third-straight state celebration.

But is was short lived. The officials huddled and deemed that Ogaz had come off his line by an extra step and sent the Broomfield players back to the midfield stripe.

I've seen the pictures, the video and still can't say with any shred of credibility whether or not it was the right call.

What is done is done and three rounds later when Mitchell Graesser, who stayed in Boulder to be a part of something magical despite the fact his mother took a job with Disney in Seattle over the summer, ended the marathon it sparked a celebration that was five-months in the making.

"It was the prefect season for a perfect bunch of boys and I truly believe they represent everything that is best about America and high school sports," said Kalisher, whose team could join the 2000 Horizon team as the only other mythical national champion from Colorado.

"Not only to put together a perfect 20-0 season, but also perfect in scrimmage ... they only know what it means to be successful for each other with the hard work they put in. That is why we train this hard in July."

Jon Yunt: or