DENVER — Boulder, fresh off consecutive wins for the first time in three years, arrived at All City Stadium as a program on the rise. It left in loss, the same way it had in victory.
"The next step is come back Monday and get ready for Westy (Westminster)," said Boulder first-year coach Ryan Bishop following his team's 30-6 loss to Denver East on Saturday. "If we let this define our season it's going to be a long season. And we're trying to move forward every game."
In a matchup of Metro 10 League teams in search of traction following disappointing 2017 seasons, the Panthers, who had three wins last year and haven't had a winning season this decade, and the Angels, coming off two wins, both appear to be headed in the right direction.
But on a sunscreen-kind-of afternoon in Denver, Boulder (2-2, 2-1) sputtered on offense and wore down on defense. East (3-1, 3-0), led by former Boulder coach Spencer Colter, were simply the "better team today", Bishop said.
In the waning seconds, Colter was drenched with ice water by his team. Winning shouldn't be taken for granted.
"When you're a program trying to establish yourselves, you got to get out of your own way before you can start heading in the right direction," Colter said. "And I think we're doing that. We're not turning the ball over. We're not jumping offside and doing all the stupid things that hold teams back."
Boulder, meanwhile, was its own worst enemy.
"We beat ourselves," two-way player Shane Provost said. "You see penalty after penalty. Me, offense, fumbled three times. ... They came out and popped us in the mouth and beat us. But we ate ourselves alive."
East led 24-0 before Provost's 1-yard touchdown run put Boulder on the board with 5:37 remaining. The Angels were dominant in all three phases — shutting down a mistake-filled offense and taking advantage of a seemingly gassed defense, which had dominated in its prior two games.
The opening score came on a 2-yard touchdown run by East quarterback Myles Patterson that capped off a 17-play drive. On it, the Angels converted three fourth downs and pedaled 65 yards to take a 7-0 lead with 11:55 left in the second.
It was the first points allowed from Boulder's bend-not-break defense since it gave up two touchdowns in the opening quarter to Northglenn in Week 2. The Panthers, who were torched by Fairview and its big-armed quarterback, Aidan Atkinson, in Week 1, had turned the corner before Saturday. They held the Norsemen scoreless through the final three quarters two weeks ago — not including a self-imposed safety in the waning minutes — and then blanked Mountain Range last week.
"Our defense, tackling, we got tired and we were trying to use the heat as an excuse," Bishop said. "We got to get better in all three sides of the ball."
Following a turnover moments after East's lengthy scoring drive, the Angels benefited from a short field and pushed inside the 10. But Boulder held strong and East came up empty-handed after a missed field goal.
The Angels then got the ball back 1:36 later after the Panthers went three-and-out — and this time they took advantage. East needed only four plays to go 61 yards to push its lead to 13-0. A Boulder defensive back appeared to lose his footing in coverage as Patterson 17-yard touchdown strike floated over the fallen defender and into the arms of Corey Tate in the end zone.
Patterson finished 16 of 31 with 221 yards and a touchdown. Boulder, meanwhile, had less than 200 yards of total offense.
Brent W. New: firstname.lastname@example.org and @brentwnew
Denver East 30, Boulder 6
At All City StadiumBoulder (2-2) 0 0 0 6 — 6
Denver East (3-1) 0 13 11 6—30
Denver East — Myles Patterson 2 run (Jack Garner kick). Denver East — Corey Tate 17 pass from Patterson (Garner kick no good).
Denver East — Jatarrious Woods 6 run (Woods run conversion). Denver East — Jackson Howes 28 field goal.
Denver East — Shane Provost 1 run. Denver East — Jay Barry 8 pass from Dylan Wigglesworth.
RUSHING — Boulder: Shane Provost 14-63, Daniel Feenstra 13-66, Preston Stansel 9-29, Cade Travis 2-(minus-13), Hale Chargois 1-3, Parker Patchett 1-(minus-3). Denver East: Jatarrious Woods 13-78, Myles Patterson 6-(minus-15), Malik Jones 4-7, Kieran Reilly 1-(minus-13).
PASSING — Boulder: Stansel 3-18-0-24, Alvin Rodriguez 2-5-0-12, Chargois 2-4-0-9. Denver East: Patterson 16-31-1-221, Dylan Wigglesworth 1-1-1-8, Reilly 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Boulder: Cade Travis 2-17, Drake Arthur 2-8, Shane Provost 1-14, Daniel Feenstra 1-8, Luke Werner 1-(minus-2). Denver East: Corey Tate 6-98, Brock Anderson 3-51, Elijah Ewing 3-30, Robert Roseberry 2-29, Woods 2-13, Jay Barry 1-8.