LONGMONT — Logan McCormick wasn’t about to miss this one. The Broomfield quarterback only wishes he would have been 100 percent.
The senior was questionable throughout the week after injuring his left ankle in the quarterfinals against Montrose, a contest in which backup Jack Burgesser entered and engineered Broomfield’s winning touchdown drive.
McCormick was under center for most of Saturday’s 21-14 loss to Longmont at Everly-Montgomery Field with a trip to the Class 4A championship game on the line. And while McCormick had spells of effectiveness against a stout Longmont defense, it wasn’t enough to will the Eagles to a win.
“He played his heart out and that’s all we can ask,” Broomfield coach Gary Davies said. “He wasn’t necessarily the threat he normally is running the ball, and that’s a big part when you’re a one-back running attack and your quarterback is the other guy.
“I mean, he ran and he did a good job. He just wasn’t as explosive as he normally is.”
McCormick ran for a six-yard touchdown on the Eagles’ opening drive, and capped their final drive with a 21-yard scoring strike to Dante Panicucci. The Eagles (9-4) had difficulties putting together substantial drives otherwise, but McCormick wasn’t about to make excuses.
“A lot of my ankle was mental,” McCormick said. “I learned this week in practice that if I didn’t think about it, I could focus on the real goal. I got taped up by our trainer real nice, did some exercises and did what I needed to do to be here.”
McCormick left the game briefly in the third quarter, but not because of the ankle. He experienced a momentary numb feeling in his right thigh after a hit. Burgesser entered and promptly connected with Nate Lehnerz for 17 yards and a first down near midfield, but the drive ultimately ended in a punt.
While McCormick might not have been completely at full strength, Longmont had a lot to do with Broomfield’s struggles.
“They just kept blowing up our line and we couldn’t run the ball,” Panicucci said.
Davies concurred, saying: “They stopped us on fourth-and-short twice and third-and-short once. We had some opportunities, but you can’t not capitalize in a game like this against a team like that.”
McCormick finished 12 for 24 for 164 yards with one TD and two interceptions. He rushed for 52 yards on 16 carries. The Eagles had 134 on the ground overall but averaged a mere 3.7 yards per attempt.
“They knew we were going to stick to our run game mostly,” McCormick said. “Their backers do a great job of filling holes, and that’s mostly what they did. They came up and they were physical and just stuck us. They played a hell of a game.”
An intriguing matchup on the outside was Longmont defensive back Cooper Rothe against Panicucci. Rothe, who has nine interceptions this season, largely won the battle other than Panicucci’s late score.
“He was a good defender on me,” Panicucci said. “It was an all-out battle for both of us.”
The 5-foot-11 Rothe was not reluctant to get physical with the 6-5 Panicucci.
“The guy did a great job of covering him, but our offense is not about throwing the ball to Dante,” Davies said. “If I were to say anything about Longmont, it’s that they took us out of what we do best, and that’s run the ball.”
Despite the fierce, longstanding rivalry between the schools, Davies said he will unwaveringly pull for Longmont next week in the championship game against top-seeded Pine Creek.
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Longmont 21, Broomfield 14
At Everly-Montgomery Field
Broomfield (9-4) 7 0 0 7 — 14
Longmont (10-3) 6 8 0 7 — 21
Broomfield — Logan McCormick 6 run (Bryan Tanigawa kick).
Longmont — McCartney Coyle 1 run (pass failed).
Longmont — Eli Sullivan 17 pass from Clint Sigg (Sigg run).
Longmont — Sigg 10 run (Cooper Rothe kick).
Broomfield — Dante Panicucci 21 pass from McCormick (Tanigawa kick).
RUSHING — Broomfield: Logan McCormick 16-52, Jalon Torres 11-39, Nate Knowles 7-38, Jack Sherwood 2-5. Longmont: Ethan Gabrielle 10-75, Clint Sigg 14-58, David Speidel 8-35, Eli Sullivan 5-19, McCartney Coyle 3-5.
PASSING — Broomfield: McCormick 12-24-2-164, Jack Burgesser 2-3-0-17. Longmont: Sigg 18-25-1-173.
RECEIVING — Broomfield: Payton Holloway 5-72, Dante Panicucci 5-62, Nate Lehnerz 4-47. Longmont: Sullivan 7-78, Filippo Swartz 3-44, Gabrielle 3-14, Coyle 2-16, Dallas Smith 1-9, Ryan Rulon 1-9, Trevor Cook 1-3.