BROOMFIELD — With neither the Chatfield or Broomfield football teams sniffing 300 total yards of offense on Saturday afternoon, defenses largely won the day at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium in their Class 4A first round playoff game.
That also meant the precious few drives each team had carried a world's weight. For Chatfield, seeded 13th in the bracket, two time-consuming marches in each half was all it needed to upend a tight-knit No. 4 Eagles team, 10-7, and advance to the quarterfinals.
Broomfield's defense made plays to keep it a 3-0 game at half, then stepped up when it mattered in the fourth quarter as the Eagles crept back to within three points with less than five minutes to go.
But after the Chatfield defense grabbed a big turnover with 1 minute, 43 seconds left on the clock, the Chargers were able to kneel it out and wrap up an extraordinary effort on the road.
Broomfield ended its season 8-3.
"They had the 13 next to their seed, but we kind of knew they were a top-5 team especially with their quarterback coming back," said Broomfield coach Blair Hubbard, whose offense totaled 249 yards — only 89 in the first half. "They changed up tempo, going fast at times to keep us off guard and then slowing down other times to milk the clock.
"We just needed to play a better four quarters against a team like that."
Coming off a 72-point performance against Longmont in the regular season finale, Broomfield was expecting to be able to move the ball at will against a Chargers team that had allowed almost 20 points a game this season.
It just never developed for Broomfield. Caden Peters' 57-yard catch-and-run was the only big highlight of the afternoon, and while Dylan Torres did manage 112 yards on the ground, the senior had just two carries go for more than 10 yards. In the passing game, Steven Croell was pressured often and on a windy day, finding any success deep was minimal.
Yet they still had a chance because of the defense.
Peters' scoring play made it 10-7 with 4:57 to go. Chatfield's next drive was extended because of a questionable pass interference call, but the Chargers were still forced to punt and give the ball back to Broomfield with 2:41 left.
The Eagles secured two first downs, one by a give-it-all-you've-got run for 10 yards by Croell on fourth down. However, with 1:43 left, a Croell pass hit off the shoulder pads of a receiver and bounced into the hands of Zack Yanda to effectively seal the game.
"We just could never get an offensive drive going like we're used to," said Broomfield senior Ryan Capasso, who is a sure thing to play at the next level. "We worked so hard, but I think we may have overlooked them. We might have been looking forward to Longmont or Ponderosa and just didn't take these guys seriously."
Chatfield's double-wing attack was prominent in its game plan, but with the senior quarterback Yanda back in the fold after a mid-season injury, the Chargers were a more diverse team to deal with, Hubbard said.
The numbers posted by Chatfield weren't electrifying, but enough. The Chargers opened the game with a methodical 20-play drive that ate 10:30 of game time and resulted in a Charlie Wildermuth field goal.
It stayed that way until the Chargers took their first drive of the third quarter for another 12 plays, got closer to the end zone on a defensive holding call, and put one in for six on a Malcolm Boyd 3-yard run.
"They had a great game plan, they took a lot of time off the clock and converted a lot of third downs into first downs against us," Hubbard said. "To their advantage, they had to live in that double-wing when their quarterback went down in the season, and in getting him back that created a two-headed monster where we had to prepare for both all week long. It makes it tough on a defense."
Chatfield moves on to play Ponderosa, which defeated Longmont on Saturday afternoon.
Chatfield 10, Broomfield 7
At Elizabeth Kennedy StadiumChatfield (8-3) 3 0 7 0 — 10
Chatfield — Charlie Wildermuth 20 field goal.
Chatfield — Malcolm Boyd 3 run (Wildermuth kick).
Broomfield — Caden Peters 57 pass from Steven Croell (Matthew Eich kick).
RUSHING — Chatfield: Hunter Barnes 20-70, Malcolm Boyd 6-33, Derian Smith 6-13, Zack Yanda 4-21, Jack Wells 2-4, Jake Metzger 2-9, Carson Gibler 1-5. Broomfield: Dylan Torres 23-112, Steven Croell 6-8, Caden Peters 4-3, Trey Ortega 2-5.
PASSING — Chatfield: Yanda 16-27-0-125. Broomfield: Croell 9-20-1-121, Ortega 0-1-1-0.
RECEIVING — Chatfield: Braeden O'Connell 5-51, Daniel Nickels 3-15, Boyd 3-18, Charlie Wildermuth 2-22, Metzger 1-14, Gibler 1-10, Barnes 1-(minus-2). Broomfield: Peters 4-78, Mitchell Morales 3-24, Ortega 1-10, Grant Swenson 1-9.