AURORA — By no means was this supposed to be the scripted ending to Austin Apodaca’s storybook career at Silver Creek.
But while Apodaca was unable to deliver a state championship, his legacy will be enduring in the Colorado record book.
Apodaca completed his senior season, as well as his career, with a dizzying array of statistics. This season, the Washington State recruit completed 256-of-364 passes for 3,834 yards and 44 touchdowns. Among single-season marks, Apodaca ranks fifth in attempts, second in completions, third in yards, and he finished in a second-place tie for touchdown passes.
Apodaca’s final completion percentage of 70.3 also was good for a tie for the fifth-best single-season mark in state history.
Overall, Apodaca finished his career ranked ninth in attempts (811), seventh in completions (517), eighth in passing yards (7,620), sixth in completion percentage (63.7), and ninth in touchdown passes (81).
“In terms of Austin, it has been a joyous ride as a dad,” Raptors coach Mike Apodaca said. “I couldn’t ask for anything more from a kid, for a quarterback. It will be fun to watch him in the future, too.”
One of the key plays of Silver Creek’s 14-7 loss in the state final was a 42-yard touchdown from Windsor quarterback Joe Sanger to Jacob Molina with 5.5 seconds remaining in the first half.
Molina had barely played all season after suffering a broken collarbone early this year and breaking it again when he returned against Fort Lupton on Oct. 28. Molina, a senior speedster, was cleared to play on Monday and practiced only one play all week — the one he used to torch the Raptors on Saturday.
“I said ‘go.’ We max-protected it, and he’s faster than anybody they have on that team,” Windsor coach Chris Jones said. “Joe Sanger, who’s a running quarterback, put it right where it needed to be.”
Apodaca offered no excuses for his below-average 22-for-40 effort with two interceptions. Yet many of his teammates believed the Raptors’ prolific passing attack was limited by the weather conditions, with temperatures dropping into the teens by the end of the game.
“It was cold and your fingers hurt. It made it hard to catch the ball,” said senior tight end Wyatt Knechtel, who caught six passes for 81 yards. “We were trying our best, but it was tough. My fingers were numb. Every time I got to the sideline I had to go to the heater and try to warm them up.”