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Football: Niwot upsets Loveland on controversial play in end zone

LOVELAND — The Loveland High School football team had no answers whatsoever for Niwot quarterback Nate Merriman on Friday night at Patterson Stadium.

In fact, the only time he was even slowed was when the lights went out with 9 minutes to go in the third quarter.

In the end, it was a trick play and a controversial touchdown call much like that which ended the Seattle-Green Bay NFL game that gave the Cougars a 22-19 upset win on Loveland’s homecoming.

Brian Meek’s 35-yard pass to Elijah Noterman on a halfback option play with 3:18 left in the fourth quarter mirrored that of the ending of the NFL debacle Monday night. With Loveland’s John Freismuth defending the play, a simultaneous catch between the two occurred in the end zone. One official called it a touchdown, while the other called it a touchback.

After conferring, Niwot was given the touchdown and the win.

Merriman threw for 311 yards and two scores, erasing the fact that Loveland held the lead the entire game up until that miracle play.

Loveland’s rush attack was balanced, with three different players scoring touchdowns. Kris Garcia’s 31-yard score with 5:57 to go in the third quarter appeared to have given the Indians a nice cushion at 19-9, but Niwot continued to stay involved in the pass attack.

Garcia finished with 68 yards on eight carries, while Mike Zweigle led the team with 124 yards and a touchdown. Ryan McCloughan had 50 yards and a score for the Indians.

The Indians appeared to be rolling early, gaining a 13-0 lead.



At Patterson Stadium

Niwot (2-3, 2-0) 0 9 0 13 — 22

Loveland (2-3, 2-0) 6 7 6 0 — 19



First Quarter

Loveland — Ryan McLoughan 13 run (pass failed), 3:08.

Second Quarter

Loveland — Mike Zweigle 74 run (Brad Parsek kick), 11:46.

Niwot — Brian Meek 1 run (kick blocked), 10:47.

Niwot — Brian Toles 22 field goal, 2:39.

Third Quarter

Loveland — Kris Garcia 31 run (kick failed), 5:57.

Fourth Quarter

Niwot — Brian Meek 16 pass from Nate Merriman (Toles kick), 10:47.

Niwot — Elijah Noterman 35 pass from Nate Merriman (kick failed), 3:18.

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