DENVER — The Longmont football team couldn’t quite cross the finish line ahead of the pack in Class 4A.
Nevertheless, falling short in the state championship game failed to dim the remarkable turnaround the Trojans were able to execute in 2014. Longmont’s stellar run ended Saturday with a 45-20 defeat against Pine Creek in the 4A finale, marking the end of the line for the Trojans’ 11 seniors.
“It’s a tribute to everybody,” Longmont coach Doug Johnson said. “I could speak specifically to Clint (Sigg) and to Sean Glenn. Those kids held us together, but the younger kids did too. I told the kids there’s no seniors here. We’re all seniors. And that’s a credit to everybody in the room.”
With an athletic array of skill position players on offense and good size up front, Longmont entered the season cultivating legitimate expectations of putting together a state title run.
Those expectations were almost buried when the Trojans stumbled to a turnover-infused 1-3 start, putting the team in playoff mode in Week 5. Instead of spiraling out of control, however, Longmont’s leaders kept the club focused on a single, unified purpose. The Trojans managed to reel off nine consecutive wins before stumbling on Saturday.
“It’s been a great season and I love all these guys,” Sigg said. “If we were going to go down, we were going to go down together. And that’s what we did.
“I’m very proud of our season. We started 1-3, but our seniors had a meeting and we said that this is our senior season and we can’t let it go. We had our backs against the wall for eight weeks and tog through, so that’s definitely a successful season.”
Sigg and lineman Tanner Wilkey likely will be the most difficult players to replace on the field for the Trojans. Both seniors have received Division I offers and hope to make a decision regarding their futures within a few weeks.
Among Longmont’s other seniors, the Trojans will lose a key vocal leader in Glenn; hard-hitting defenders Ethan Hitchcock and Barrett Ingvaldsen; and third-leading receiver Filippo Swartz.
While it’s folly to assume any team can get back to the pinnacle in a given year, on paper it appears Longmont should remain competitive in 2015. The offensive triggerman will be gone with Sigg’s pending graduation, yet the Trojans are set to welcome back a stellar junior class that includes leading rusher Conlan Berger, leading receiver Eli Sullivan, leading tackler Logan Goodner, and ball-hawking cornerbacks Cooper Rothe and Ryan Rulon.
“Our team was really resilient and we had faith all the way that we could get here,” Wilkey said. “We didn’t pull it out today, but overall it was a special year. Faith was the number one thing coach Johnson said to keep us together. We were able to stick together when everyone else counted us out.”
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PINE CREEK 45, LONGMONT 20
At Sports Authority Field
Longmont (10-4) 0 0 6 14 — 20
Pine Creek (14-0) 10 21 14 0 — 45
Pine Creek — JoJo Domann 32 field goal, 2:51. Pine Creek — Tommy Lazzaro 8 run (Domann kick), 0:00.
Pine Creek — Josh Odom 28 run (Domann kick), 9:00. Pine Creek — Domann 19 pass from Lazzaro (Domann kick), 1:23. Pine Creek — Domann 19 fumble return (Domann kick), :27.
Pine Creek — Odom 2 run (Domann kick), 4:10. Pine Creek — Travis Meachum 13 interception return (Domann kick), 4:04. Longmont — Conlan Berger 37 run (kick failed), :13.
Longmont — Berger 1 run (Cooper Rothe kick), 4:37. Longmont — Clint Sigg 2 run (Rothe kick), 1:19.
RUSHING — Longmont: Conlan Berger 10-80, Eli Sullivan 5-27, Clint Sigg 15-22, Ethan Gabrielle 2-19, Logan Goodner 1-0, McCartney Coyle 1-3. Pine Creek: Josh Odom 21-291, Tommy Lazzaro 14-105, JoJo Domann 4-36, Bailey Kuiper 5-29, Avery Anderson 1-11, Connor Miller 1-7, Collin Willis 2-4, Ryen Kahl 3-4, Pete Isais 1-1, Joey Long 1-2, Brock Domann 3-(minus-7).
PASSING — Longmont: Sigg 10-22-3-157, Sullivan 0-1-0-0. Pine Creek: Lazzaro 8-15-1-73
RECEIVING — Longmont: Sullivan 5-39, Trevor Cook 1-33, Gabrielle 1-1, Ryan Rulon 1-6, Dallas Smith 1-60, Berger 1-18. Pine Creek: JoJo Domann 6-70, Jared Savage 1-7, Anderson 1-(minus-4).