LAFAYETTE —Broomfield linebacker Preston May scooped up the loose ball at his feet in the early minutes Friday and was escorted by a blockade of teammates into the end zone.
Nothing would get in the way of the Eagles on this night.
May's scoop-and-score helped Broomfield run out to a big lead in the opening minutes and the Eagles put the mercy rule into effect by the third quarter in their 40-0 win over Monarch at Spangenberg Field.
The senior linebacker recounted his first varsity touchdown with a chuckle.
"I felt a hand on my back and thought it was a Monarch player," he said. "I saw the goal line and was like 'I have to get in.' Then I looked back and it was my whole team.
"I got to share it with everyone."
There was plenty of kudos to go around.
Steven Croell was effective at quarterback — finishing 16 for 24 with 179 yards and a score — and Caden Peters had a pair of touchdowns in the first half to help push the lead to 30-0. Trey Ortega added a kickoff return for a touchdown to start the second half and Matthew Eich kicked his second field goal of the game to start the running clock up 40-0 with 4:11 left in the third.
"We're all playing as a team," Ortega said. "That's what I'm happy about. If we play as a team I know we're going to go farther and farther and farther in the playoffs."
The Eagles' defense led the way, turning in another strong performance by stalling Monarch's struggling double-wing offense. The Coyotes' first three drives on the night resulted in a turnover on downs, a three-and-out and a fumble for a score leading to a 20-0 lead for the Eagles (3-1) only 5 minutes and 38 seconds into the game.
The talented unit has allowed 21 points in the team's three wins this season. It responded in dominance after giving up 415 rushing yards in a 47-0 drilling at the hands of Loveland in Week 2, allowing a combined seven points over the last two weeks.
The difference has been in preparation, Broomfield coach Blair Hubbard said.
"We talked about it as we broke it out that this didn't happen because we stepped on the field," he said. "It happened because of the hard week of practice they put in."
Monarch (1-3) looked energized as it shot out of an inflatable helmet and flew across the field to the delight of its fans and the roar of a student section layered in bleached-white T shirts.
The noise quickly faded, though. The air had been let out.
"We're still in the 100 class and you hope by week four you'd be in the 400 class," Monarch coach Phil Bravo said. "But we're not. We're definitely not. We're still making 101 mistakes and it'll be my job to get this thing going."
Broomfield began the night by stuffing Monarch on fourth-and-1 and then drove 29 yards for the score. Croell connected with Grant Swenson and Aaron Martinez to push inside the 5, and Matt Foster swiveled around the line and tip-toed inside the far pylon to put the Eagles up 7-0.
A 30-yard touchdown run by Peters capped off a two-play drive when Broomfield touched the ball next. And Monarch's third drive imploded when May & Co. took a fumble 19 yards for the score to make it 20-0 with 6:22 left in the quarter.
Monarch, meanwhile, went without a first down on its first four drives.
The Coyotes didn't move the chains until their fifth drive with 2:36 left in first. On it, they moved the ball inside the red zone with three of their four first downs of the half, but the drive dismantled when Hall Edmonds recovered a fumble for the Eagles.
"We're not a team of a superstar, we're a whole team," Hubbard said. "Seeing a lot of kids touch the ball and execute on defense, that's what we're all about here."
Brent W. New: email@example.com and @brentwnew
Broomfield 40, Monarch 0
At Spangenberg FieldBroomfield (3-1)2010100—40Monarch (1-3)0000—0
Broomfield — Matt Foster 3 run (Matthew Eich kick). Broomfield — Caden Peters 30 run (Eich kick). Broomfield — Preston May 19 fumble return.
Broomfield — Peters 16 pass from Steven Croell (Eich kick). Broomfield — Eich 36 field goal.
Broomfield — Trey Ortega 98 kickoff return. Broomfield — Eich 23 field goal.
RUSHING — Broomfield: Dylan Torres 14-128, Dax Bustamante 3-17, Angeilo Nieto 3-15, Steven Croell 3-(minus-11), Trent Finnegan 2-26, Caden Peters 1-30, Collin Sheridan 1-4, Matt Foster 1-3, Zach Kapushion 1-(minus-1). Monarch: Ricky Stimac 12-36, Austin Fiala 9-20, Will Ponder 4-16, Jackson Petitte 4-14, Kyle Gordon 3-6, Ryan Shaughnessy 2-2, Tyler Smith 2-0, Caden Poulson 1-4.
PASSING — Broomfield: Croell 16-24-1-179, Kapushion 2-3-0-19. Monarch: Gordon 4-9-0-74, Gage Majure 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Broomfield: Aaron Martinez 5-62, Peters 3-37, Grant Swenson 3-32, Foster 3-21, Torres 2-27, Aedan Collins 2-19. Monarch: Trey Stewart 3-69, Ponder 1-5.