DENVER -- Ten seasons later, another Clary is a champion.
Monarch defensive back Geoff Clary wouldn't indulge the topic much during the season, but he was well aware of the possibility. Clary's older brother, Matt, was a member of the Coyotes squad that knocked off Golden 42-35 in 2002 for program's only previous championship.
Matt Clary and a handful of his 2002 teammates were honored at halftime of a regular-season win against Golden in October. Now, after the Coyotes' 17-14 win against Denver South on Saturday made it official, Geoff Clary has a title, too.
"I'm so blessed and thankful for everything," said Geoff Clary, whose brother Nick was a freshman on the Coyotes squad that took runner-up honors in 2007.
"My dad always talks about his state championship, so now I have something special like that as well," Pape said. "I wouldn't trade it for the world."
MINISCULE PENALTY COUNT
Disciplined play is not optional at Monarch, and the Coyotes exhibited that quality to infinitesimal degrees in the postseason.
After going penalty-free in a 14-6 win against Pueblo West in the semifinals, the Coyotes committed a mere one penalty for 10 yards in the championship game. Denver South, meanwhile, committed nine for 78 yards.
"Heck yeah, we're a great disciplined team," Clary said. "Only having one penalty is still not perfection, but we still got the win."
Coach Phil Bravo told his team throughout the week that sound, exectuion-based football would eventually overcome South's athleticism.
"Eventually it will break, and it did," Bravo said.
BEND BUT DON'T BREAK
Monarch twice turned away Denver South inside the 5-yard line in the second half before the Rebels scored with 3:04 remaining. Had South opted for a field goal on either of the previous possessions, overtime might have been a possibility.
The Rebels went for it on fourth-and-goal from the 3 early in the quarter, but running back Trevonte Tasco was ruled down inside the 1 even though multiple replay angles showed him crossing the plane.
Monarch held again midway through the period, forcing quarterback Malik Tollerson into an incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal at the 5. South coaches were desperately trying to call a timeout before the play, to no avail.
It was a strong comeback for a Monarch unit that gave up a quick touchdown drive to start the game.
"We do that a lot
FUTURE HOLDS PROMISE
While Monarch undoubtedly will enjoy this one for awhile, a peek forward reveals exciting prospects.
Running backs Ethan Marks and Logan Soole return, as does fullback Braden Pape. Several defensive backs return in addition to standout linebacker Peter Mitchell.
"We're feeling good about next year," Soole said. "We're losing a lot of linemen, which is tough, but I think we have a lot of guys for next year who will step up and play great for us."
Bravo's daughter, Allison, is getting married next week, giving the coach two life events to cherish in a short span. "I wish every high school coach could have this feeling," he said. ... Allison made certain to schedule the wedding for Dec. 8 to make sure it didn't interfere with a potential championship. ... This season marked the first time since 2002 that multiple BoCoPreps-area teams were in football title games (Silver Creek upset No. 1 Rifle 32-15 in the 3A game Saturday). In 2002, Monarch won 4A and Holy Family won 2A while Fairview (5A) and Lyons (1A) were runners-up. ... Monarch threw only twice. Cole Watson was picked off by Denver South's Cameron French -- his state-leading 14th of the season -- and Logan Soole threw an incomplete halfback pass. French nearly picked off that one, too. . . . Hart gave a shout out to nearly everyone, including players, fans, surrounding towns and coaches, both current and former. ... Attendance for the day, including the 5A Valor Christian-Cherokee Trail final, was 11,794.
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