BROOMFIELD - After a dispiriting one-point loss last week, the Broomfield football team was eager to recapture its groove.
Niwot paid the price.
The host Eagles ran, passed and defended their way to a 54-20 homecoming win Friday night at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium, scoring in various ways en route to the Longs Peak League rout.
"The kids really responded well from last week," Eagles first-year coach Blair Hubbard said. "We didn't feel that we started well last week, obviously, so the kids really focused and wanted to get out and start well in this one."
Jalon Torres ran for two first-quarter touchdowns - including a 78-yarder on the Eagles' first offensive play - and three overall on the way to 192 yards on a mere eight carries. Ryan Mazzola scored touchdowns on a pass reception and fumble return in the second quarter, and sophomore Steven Croell tossed three first-half TD passes.
The win didn't fully extinguish the sting of a 30-29 loss to Greeley West last week, in which the Eagles were halted on a late two-point conversion attempt, but the performance served as a steppingstone to move forward.
"Last week hurt us all, but you always have to come back out with that energy to come out with the next win," Torres said. "That's what we did."
Broomfield (6-2, 3-1), ranked No. 6 in the latest CHSAANow.com poll, was ahead 26-0 by the time Niwot got on the board. Cougars quarterback Trae Gomez scored on a nine-yard run to briefly carve into the deficit near the 5-minute mark of the second quarter, but Broomfield produced two more touchdowns before intermission.
"It was just another day at work," Torres said. "Our linemen had great blocks - all five of them."
It marked the second consecutive high-level opponent for Niwot (3-5, 0-3), which was blanked by 2015 state runner-up Loveland last week. The Cougars had flashes of success, mostly from Gomez, who rushed for 174 yards and all three of Niwot's touchdowns.
"I've got to do what I can," Gomez said. "I gave it all my heart realizing we were down by such a big margin and had to punch in a few by myself. But we're a team and we're improving throughout the year."
The lone downer for Broomfield was knee injuries incurred by offensive linemen Toby Godwin and Dylan Pokorny in the first half. Although Godwin stayed on the sideline with a walking boot and Pokorny was carted off, Hubbard believes neither injury is long-term.
The coach was pleased at the variety of ways his Eagles found the end zone.
"What I liked was the balance," Hubbard said. "We were able to spread the ball around, which is what we always want to do and not focus on one player offensively."
Broomfield 54, Niwot 20
At Elizabeth Kennedy StadiumNiwot 0 6 7 7 — 20
Broomfield 13 27 7 7 — 54
Broomfield — J. Torres 78 run (run fail). Broomfield — J. Torres 42 run (Coffman kick).
Broomfield — R. Mazzola 7 pass from S. Croel (Coffman kick). Broomfield — R. Mazzola 17 fumble return (kick fail). Niwot — T. Gomez 9 run (run fail). Broomfield — M. Keeler 21 pass from S. Croel (Coffman kick). Broomfield — G. Bety 16 pass from S. Croel (Coffman kick).
Broomfield — J. Torres 25 run (Coffman kick). Niwot — T. Gomez 58 run (Lerner kick).
Broomfield — D. Torres 2 run (Coffman kick). Niwot — T. Gomez 10 run (Lerner kick).
RUSHING — Niwot: Gomez 16-174, Hollingsworth 14-46, Kinnison 1-2, Oelsner 1-(minus 1). Broomfield: J. Torres 8-192, Garner 3-32, S. Godwin 2-37, Lefkowicz 2-34, D. Torres 4-14, Young 1-11, Foster 1-10, Croell 3-1, Mazzola 1-1.
PASSING — Niwot: Gomez 7-13-1-81. Broomfield: Croell 8-15-0-179, Finnegan 1-1-0-9.
RECEIVING — Niwot: Nielsen 5-70, Hollingsworth 1-9, Oelsner 1-2. Broomfield: Mazzola 3-36, Garner 2-68, Keeler 2-54, Betty 1-21, Langston 1-9.