BROOMFIELD — What is the best way to ride an emotional roller coaster?

Just ask Broomfield senior Tanner Garner.

With your teammates of course.

With under five minutes to play in the Eagles' Class 4A quarterfinal game against rival Loveland at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium, Garner fumbled inside his own 5-yard line with the game tied 21-21.

"I had guys coming up to me and saying they had my back after that," Garner said.

Garner returned the favor in a big way.

After the Eagles thwarted a game-winning drive in regulation to force overtime, it was Garner that came off the edge on Loveland's PAT attempt and forced Cody Rakowsky's kick wide left.

It set the dramatic stage for the No. 15 Eagles, who took advantage, winning in overtime with freshman kicker Matthew Eich sealing their fate with his game-winning PAT after Mitchell Gorman's 2-yard scoring run.

"It was up and down. We fought, they fought and they kept coming back. We'd punch them in the mouth and they'd punch us right back," Gorman said. "It was a hard fought battle that came down to the very end ... it came down to one play."

For their efforts, Broomfield (8-4) will travel to No. 6 Pueblo South for a date with the Colts on Saturday at Dutch Clark Stadium. Pueblo South rolled Vista Ridge 35-14 on Saturday.


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On Loveland's potential game-winning drive that started at their own 4-yard line, the Indians did what they had done all game against the Eagles. The line opened up big holes for junior tailback Zach Weinmaster and it wasn't long before they were out of the shadow of their own goalpost.

But the sense of urgency for the Indians never really popped up until under two minutes and they weren't yet across midfield. Instead of sticking with their bread-and-butter, they opted to throw the ball and that decision backfired.

"I was a little surprised and I really though they would try to throw something different at us, the kitchen sink or a halfback pass or something like that," said Broomfield coach Blair Hubbard, whose team handed the Indians their last loss way back in October of 2016. "But as time went down I was happy to see us go into overtime."

Said Loveland coach Wayne McGinn, who watched Broomfield's Drew Worthley sack his quarterback with 45 seconds left: "I would've probably bet my house we could drive it down there and at least get a field goal. But they stepped up on defense. They're a good team. They're a really good team. They're coming on strong at the end."

Broomfield’s kicker Matthew Eich, celebrates after making the game-winning point after during overtime against Loveland in their Saturday 4A playoff
Broomfield's kicker Matthew Eich, celebrates after making the game-winning point after during overtime against Loveland in their Saturday 4A playoff game hosted by the Eagles. (Kira Vos / For BoCoPreps.com)

Loveland, which beat Broomfield 28-21 during the regular season, got the ball first in overtime and needed just two plays to punch it in. Broomfield had got pressure on the kicks all game and despite not getting to one, put enough pressure on the last one to force it wide.

"I just grabbed (Tanner) when we went to overtime and told him, you're going to win this game for us," Hubbard said. "And he brought that pressure off the edge that probably distracted the kicker.

"(Garner) always hustling is what got us the win there."

Said Garner: "We knew that our season was on the line and we came up big."

With momentum clearly on their side and a sudden burst of adrenaline, Broomfield wasted no time in answering with Gorman's tying touchdown to set up his freshman kicker.

Loveland attempted to ice Eich, who outside of having two blocked hasn't missed a PAT all season, but to no avail. Even after the wait, he was true and the celebration was on.

"We need a little rest for a couple of days and need to get a little healthy, but the kids have worked hard all season and have done a great job since that Week 6 loss to Loveland of just preparing and making sure there is nothing that will catch us off guard," Hubbard said. "We will get back to work as coaches, watching film and then the players on Monday.

"It's a lot of fun to coach these guys."

Jon Yunt: yuntj@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/JonEYunt

BROOMFIELD 28, LOVELAND 27, OT

At Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium

Loveland (11-1)014706—27Broomfield (8-4)77707—28

First quarter

Broomfield — Tanner Garner 7 pass from Steve Croell (Matthew Eich kick).

Second quarter

Broomfield — Croell 1 run (Eich kick).

Loveland — Trey Cardenas 26 pass from Riley Kinney (Cody Rakowsky kick).

Loveland — Zach Weinmaster 9 run (Rakowsky kick).

Third quarter

Broomfield — Garner 3 run (Eich kick).

Loveland — Cardenas 7 run (Rakowsky kick).

Overtime

Loveland — Kinney 4 run (kick failed).

Broomfield — Mitchell Gorman 2 run (Eich kick).

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Loveland: Zach Weinmaster 27-138, Riley Kinney 12-43, Cody Rakowsky 2-13, Isaiah Meyers 1-(minus-2), Trey Cardenas 3-(minus-5). Broomfield: Mitchell Gorman 17-49, Tanner Garner 10-39, Matthew Foster 3-33, Dylan Torres 5-15, Samuel Godwin 4-8, Steve Croell 3-(minus-25).

PASSING — Loveland: Kinney 3-8-0-70. Broomfield: Croell 6-1--0-64.

RECEIVING — Loveland: Cardenas 2-37, Caleb Smith 1-33. Broomfield: Garner 2-30, Hunter Nassar 2-23, Aaron Martinez 1-9, Foster 1-2.