• Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Boulder's TJ Jones runs the ball for a touchdown during a game against Montbello on Thursday at Recht Field in Boulder. More photos:

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Boulder's Cleveland McCarty runs the ball after making an interception during a game against Montbello on Thursday at Recht Field in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Boulder's TJ Jones runs back the opening kickoff for a touchdown during a game against Montbello on Thursday at Recht Field in Boulder.



Usually it’s a pretty good night when a football team can rack up three interceptions, a fumble recovery and a blocked punt through the course of a game.

That was all accounted for in the first half for the Boulder Panthers in their 45-0 Flatirons League rout of Montbello on Thursday night at Recht Field.

Add in an 85-yard kickoff return from TJ Jones on the opening play of the game, and it made for a quick affair that sets up next week’s showdown with league front-runner Westminster.

This time, the league finale at the Wolves’ home field means more than it ever has after the Panthers moved to 5-1 in the league.

“Coming into the (league) season, we had some tough losses but it’s been great to turn things around,” said Cole Peterson, who was just one of several Panthers who were flying around on defense against the 0-8 Warriors. “We’re not league champs yet, but we know that next week is big for this program and the future.

“We were just having some fun tonight. It was a great defensive day.”

Even without starting defensive back Dana Sullivan (oral surgery), Boulder raised its level of play defensively to beat a struggling Montbello team, and it began soon after running back Kesean Parker broke off a 56-yard run on the visitors’ first play of the game.

After that and a punishing hit by running back Torrese Gill on a Boulder defender on the second play, the Panthers seemed to wake up. They forced a missed field goal, and then over the next five possessions made simply huge play after huge play.

Peterson blocked a punt and recovered the football at the Montbello 1-yard line with 5 minutes, 19 seconds left in the first quarter, giving Jones a chance to punch in the first of his five rushing touchdowns. On the next drive, Peterson was in on a caused fumble recovered by Cleveland McCarty, and then McCarty intercepted two passes between the second and third quarters.

Sophomore Ryan Travis got in on the action, too, making an athletic play for yet another interception in the second quarter while his team already held a 28-0 lead.

“We had it in mind that we could get a shutout this week, so I think we went all out tonight, and every big play they had we just made it a point to settle down in the huddle,” said McCarty, who was honored along with 16 of his teammates on senior night. “We kept finding a way to keep them out of the end zone with big tackles, interceptions… once we got the other guys in, they did just as good.”

In the rout, Jones needed just three quarters to get his fifth 200-yard game, and Max Bajza only had seven passing attempts, completing three of them for 96 yards.

Adam Dunivan: or

Boulder 45, Montbello 0

At Recht Field

Montbello (0-8, 0-6)



Boulder (5-3, 5-1)



First quarter

Boulder — TJ Jones 85 kickoff return (Ismael Bouchta kick).Boulder — Jones 1 run (Bouchta kick). Boulder — Jones 69 run (Bouchta kick).

Second quarter

Boulder — Jones 2 run (Bouchta kick). Boulder — Jones 8 run (Bouchta kick). Boulder — Bouchta 23 field goal.

Third quarter

Boulder — Jones 10 run (Bouchta kick).


RUSHING — Montbello: D’heaven Domena 24-114, Kesean Parker 8-79, Torrese Gill 5-27, Devontay Tobe 1-1, Kheshaun Brown 3-(minus-2), Hunter Conaghan 2-3. Boulder: TJ Jones 22-220, Patrick Fletcher 5-22, Max Bajza 1-(minus-3).

PASSING — Montbello: Brown 3-11-3-26, Jose Tovar 0-3-0-0. Boulder: Bajza 3-7-1-96, Aidan Chandler 1-2-0-4.

RECEIVING — Montbello: Tobe 2-8, Parker 1-2, Domena 1-16. Boulder: Jake L’Heureux 2-49, Kobi Boynton 2-51.