PARKER — Trace Jaramillo has a family on the football field at Broomfield, but when the junior cornerback is out on the numbers against an opposing wide receiver, there is that on-an-island mentality.
On Saturday afternoon at EchoPark Stadium in Parker, the fifth-seeded Eagles' defensive backs were indeed spread out quite a bit by fourth-seeded Ponderosa's offense in their Class 4A quarterfinal playoff game. With the onus on them to succeed in 1-on-1 battles on the outside, it was that group that rose to the occasion perhaps even more than could have been expected in the Eagles' 61-32 rout of the Mustangs.
Not one, not two, but three times in the third quarter did the Eagles intercept Ponderosa junior quarterback Sterling Ostdahl and take it all the way to the end zone for defensive touchdowns, part of a 33-point third quarter that put Broomfield in complete control of the game and eventually into next week's semifinals against No. 8 Windsor.
Jaramillo strutted about 45 yards to pay dirt as the third pick-6 of the quarter, an amazing display reflecting a team that had really done its homework this week.
"I think the biggest part of this win is that when we faced adversity we found our hearts, and that's what I love about this team is the heart and family," Jaramillo said. "We have this thing about our defense we call the 'Dark Side.' When I kept seeing those pick-6's I just kept thinking, you know what, I'm on an island and I am confident in myself that I'm going to make a play."
"One of our big things on defense is practicing formations and calling things out so we know what might happen before the play even starts," said senior corner Brady Pavlicek, who followed Tanner Garner's antics to open the third stanza with one of his own. "It was a big factor. They came out and ran those plays a couple times on us the first half, and we just came out and knew what to expect. Fool me once, good for you, but you're not fooling me twice."
The overall defensive effort was on another level for Broomfield (10-2), which led 54-17 at one point in the second half before spotting a couple late scores to the Mustangs (10-2).
The Eagles had three turnovers in the first half, but a couple of fourth-down stops for Broomfield helped keep the game close until they could take advantage of any big opportunity they saw.
That came in the second quarter. Ponderosa's first of five turnovers occurred with about 5 minutes left in the frame leading 14-7, and Broomfield managed to tie it up at 14-14 on a Steven Croell pass to Ryan Mazzola for 32 yards with 3:47 left.
Already having been stopped twice on fourth down plays, Ponderosa oddly went for yet another do-or-die play 15 yards short of midfield with about 2:30 left and were snuffed out on a run by the Broomfield front.
Croell and the offense took advantage of that gift, with the sophomore quarterback's tough 11-yard TD run giving Broomfield the lead for good at 21-14.
It was a huge play call, one that swung momentum completely in Broomfield's favor.
Then, the Eagles just came together to provide a thorough whooping.
"To go into half with a lead after turning the ball over three times ... the kids showed grit and battled," said Broomfield coach Blair Hubbard. "We've always talked about living in that sweet spot (in emotion) and when we got down on the scoreboard we didn't get down on ourselves. We started turning them over and both offense and defense just kept pushing even more."
"Our defense has treated every week the same and we just want to come out and show everyone what we're worth and what we can do," Pavlicek said.
Garner also had a 56-yard TD run in the third quarter, and Jalon Torres finished the day with 160 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Croell overcame two interceptions to finish with 100 passing yards and two touchdowns.
Ponderosa had only allowed 96 points all year until Saturday.
Broomfield 61, Ponderosa 32
At EchoPark StadiumBroomfield (9-2) 7 14 33 7 — 61
Ponderosa (10-1) 7 10 0 15 — 32
Ponderosa — Sterling Ostdahl 1 run (Jaiden Machuca kick). Broomfield — Jalon Torres 43 run (Luke Coffman kick).
Ponderosa — Hayden Fowkes 10 fumble return (Machuca kick). Broomfield — Ryan Mazzola 32 pass from Steven Croell (Coffman kick). Broomfield — Croell 11 run (Coffman kick). Ponderosa — Machuca 39 field goal.
Broomfield — Tanner Garner 50 interception return (Coffman kick). Broomfield — Mazzola 13 pass from Croell (Coffman kick). Broomfield — Brady Pavlicek 39 interception return (kick failed). Broomfield — Trace Jaramillo 45 interception return (kick failed). Broomfield — Garner 56 run (Coffman kick).
Ponderosa — Mikey Thomas 11 pass from Ostdahl (Machuga kick). Ponderosa — Kade Ongna 6 pass from Ostdahl (Ostdahl run). Broomfield — Torres 28 run (Coffman kick).
RUSHING — Broomfield: Jalon Torres 26-160, Tanner Garner 10-90, Tyler Lefkowicz 3-47, Ryan Mazzola 5-13, Steven Croell 4-6, Dylan Torres 2-1, Matt Foster 1-1. Ponderosa: Mikey Thomas 18-83, Sterling Ostdahl 12-36, Garrett Dunn 2-4, Quinton Ostdahl 1-8.
PASSING — Broomfield: 10-15-2-100. Ponderosa: S. Ostdahl 23-47-4-214, Thomas 1-1-0-21.
RECEIVING — Broomfield: Mazzola 4-86, Lefkowicz 2-2, Garner 2-4, J. Torres 1-8. Ponderosa: Kade Ongna 6-50, Dunn 5-64, Cole Hall 3-38, Preston Mills 3-56, Jackson Hunter 1-4, Thomas 2-15, Tristan Sullivan 2-17, Nick Robins 1-4.