LAKEWOOD - The first one's always the sweetest ... no matter where you are.
In his 18th season as a head coach, Blair Hubbard can still be moved by football players and he was on Friday night. His Broomfield Eagles secured a rousing 21-14 road decision over Wheat Ridge in Class 4A nonleague at Jefferson County Stadium for his first victory in Boulder County.
"Definitely sweet," Hubbard said. "These kids have worked hard, but we have to play with more discipline, we can't put the ball on the ground and have penalties. But those guys are excited and it's fun to see."
Fun? It wasn't early for the Eagles, now 1-1. They botched assignments, missed plays and were getting handled up front by the Farmers, who led 14-7 at halftime. Broomfield also lost starting senior quarterback Mason Keeley to what Hubbard said afterward was probably a high-ankle sprain.
However, the Eagles came out in the third quarter and looked like they wanted to get their new coach his first victory. They took command up front, sophomore Steven Croell came in and handled the controls and the Broomfield defense made plays when it had to in all but shutting down Wheat Ridge.
Basically, it was a direct reflection, said senior wide receiver-linebacker Ryan Mazzola, of the Eagles wanting to get their new coach on the board.
"We wanted to show him how Broomfield does it," Mazzola said.
And Broomfield did it - after Croell connected with Mazzola on a 30-yard touchdown pss with 10.6 seconds to play before halftime, he engineered an all-running-play drive to start the third quarter to tie it at 14, capped by the first of two Tyler Lefkowicz scoring runs, this one 13 yards.
Lefkowicz added a 23-yarder two series later - and after Trace Jarmillo picked off a Wheat Ridge pass to make it 21-14 and the heat was on. Both teams flirted with scoring again, but penalties or defensive stands took charge.
Jalon Torres topped Broomfield with 141 yards rushing on 21 carries and Mazzola had five receptions for 90 yards and seemed to be in - or near - every tackle in the second half.
"(Coach Hubbard) gave us confidence and coming into my senior year a new coach can kind of deter you and shake you up, but he gave me confidence in myself and it has been a smooth transition," Mazzola said.
Said Hubbard: "I'm really proud of these kids for what they've done."
Lefkowicz scored on two of his three carries, totaling 43 yards.
Broomfield next will be at Windsor.
Both of Wheat Ridge's scores came in the second quarter.
Broomfield 21, Wheat Ridge 14
At Jefferson County StadiumBroomfield 0 7 14 0 — 21 Wheat Ridge 0 14 0 0 — 14
Wheat Ridge — Carlos Shippley 58 pass from Payton Dietrich (Ben Garner kick), 4:45. Wheat Ridge — Dietrich 4 run (Garner kick), 1:05. Broomfield — Ryan Mazzola 30 pass from Steven Croell (Luke Coffman kick), 0:10.6.
Broomfield — Tyler Lefkowicz 13 run (Coffman kick), 10:17. Broomfield — Lefkowicz 23 run (Coffman kick), 8:15.
RUSHING — Broomfield: Torres 21-141, Lefkowicz 3-41, Garner 5-38, Foster 1-2, Croell 1-minus-4, Keeler 4-minus-36.
PASSING — Broomfield: Keeler 6-4-52-0, Croell 11-6-82-0.
RECEIVING — Broomfield: Mazzola 5-90, Lefkowicz 2-minus-1, Garner 1-33, Betty 1-22, Torres 1-1.