BROOMFIELD — The injury-bitten Eagles were missing their starting quarterback, starting running back, starting free safety, a starting defensive tackle and a starting offensive tackle.
And what a start it was anyway.
No. 2 Broomfield led 23-0 after the first quarter and 37-0 at the intermission en route to a 51-0 victory over Littleton on Friday night at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium.
Michael Wristen caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Simeon Combs to cap the opening drive.
Gian Panicucci intercepted Nick McNamee’s first pass of the game and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead 3 minutes and 18 seconds into the first quarter.
Backup running back D.J. Zissimos added touchdown runs of 47 and 20 yards in the first half.
“It’s just a good way to get the ball rolling,” Zissimos said. “You’re always a little shaky those first few plays to see what’s going to happen, but once you get the ball rolling you can’t stop.”
Littleton’s best drive of the game, highlighted by pass plays of 23 and 12 yards, only resulted in a badly missed field goal attempt with nine ticks left in the second quarter.
Drew Johnston intercepted McNamee’s first pass of the second half and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown to make the score 44-0.
The clock didn’t stop and neither did the Eagles as Noah Tripp busted off a 41-yard touchdown run.
“It was very business-like and was exactly what we wanted,” Broomfield coach Gary Davies said.
Combs, who filling in for starter Angelo Perez, completed 5-of-7 passes for 68 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. He did not attempt a pass in the second half.
“I was pretty confident in the quarterback situation because he came in in the Pomona game and took us down the field and scored,” Davies said. “Little bitty dude, but he doesn’t care.”
The Eagles were playing without standout running back Ryan McCulley, who went down with knee injury during last week’s victory over Loveland. Davies said McCulley probably could have played if needed.
Zissimos had 87 yards on only six carries, Connor Eakes added 46 yards on five carries with a touchdown, and Tripp finished with 64 yards and a touchdown on five carries.
“Coach Davies says to always respect who you’re playing and we took that to heart,” Zissimos said. “We knew what we were going against, but we respected them none the less.”
Broomfield honored members of its first team from 1962 during the dominant Homecoming performance.
BROOMFIELD 51, LITTLETON 0
At Broomfield H.S.
Littleton (0-5, 0-1) 0 0 0 0 — 0
Broomfield (3-1, 0-0) 23 14 14 0 — 51
Broomfield — Michael Wristen 16 pass from Simeon Combs (Pat Lalancette kick).
Broomfield — Gian Panicucci 37 interception return (Lalancette kick).
Broomfield — Lalancette 34 field goal.
Broomfield — D.J. Zissimos 47 run (conversion failed).
Broomfield — Connor Eakes 15 run (Lalancette kick).
Broomfield — Zissimos 20 run (Lalancette kick).
Broomfield — Drew Johnston 21 interception return (Lalancette kick).
Broomfield — Noah Tripp 41 run (Lalancette kick)
First downs 9 17
Rushes-yards 33-67 25-264
Passing yards 91 68
Comp-Att-Int 12-27-3 5-7-0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards 2-10 3-25
RUSHING — Littleton: Austin Sonju 21-39, Justin Stroup 1-0, Nick McNamee 4-11; Broomfield: Simeon Combs 2-28, Connor Eakes 5-46, D.J. Zissimos 6-87, Dylan Plane 1-0, Noah Tripp 5-64, Nate Knowles 4-30, Alex Hohensee 2-9.
PASSING (comp-att-int-yards) — Littleton: McNamee 12-27-3, 91 yards; Broomfield: Combs 5-7-0, 68 yards.
RECEIVING — Littleton: Timmermeyer 9-61, Austin Bieber 1-23, Jake Bergman 2-27; Broomfield: Gian Panicucci 1-11, Dan Perse 1-9, Michael Wristen 2-31, Plane 1-17.