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Rooney: Loyalty Longmont’s driving force in title game return

The dedication of his players practically brought Longmont football coach Doug Johnson to tears.

In late September Longmont’s big plans for the 2014 season seemingly were on life support. The Trojans had sputtered to a 1-3 start and looked bad doing it, turning the ball over at a rate more befitting a last-place team than one that had legitimate expectations of a deep playoff run.

Yet Longmont found a way to stick together. Not long after the Trojans extended their winning streak to nine games with a 21-14 win Saturday against Broomfield in the Class 4A semifinals, clinching the program’s 13th title-game appearance, an emotional Johnson lauded the way his players and coaching staff stuck together during the rough times.

“It says they’re loyal. It says they didn’t give up on their teammates, on their coaches, or themselves,” Johnson said. “Loyalty is one of the best qualities you can have, because when things don’t go well it doesn’t take very long for people to turn. When you’ve got the guys inside your team devoted to the covenant, and devoted to doing what need to be done, it’s huge.”

Longmont has gone 5-6-1 in its previous championship game appearances and will be looking to win the program’s first title since 1991. A 16-0 loser against Colorado Springs in Colorado’s first sanctioned high school football championship game in 1921, here is a look at Longmont’s title-game history.

1921: Colorado Springs 16, Longmont 0

1940: Longmont 6, Grand Junction 6

1952: Fort Collins 26, Longmont 7

1954: Longmont 40, Grand Junction 7

1955: Longmont 32, Grand Junction 6

1984: Broomfield 20, Longmont 15

1986: Skyline 27, Longmont 0

1987: Pueblo Centennial 34, Longmont 14

1989: Longmont 20, Thompson Valley 14

1990: Longmont 28, Thomas Jefferson 14

1991: Longmont 26, Pueblo Centennial 0

2009: Heritage 42, Longmont 28

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