BROOMFIELD — It’s on Page One of the running back’s handbook: Make sure you give all the credit in the world to the offensive line for your success.
The big guys up front are essential to the success of not just their running backs, but the entire team. Win the trenches … win the game.
Broomfield running back Jalon Torres knows it and while he isn’t likely to run out and buy his guys Isotoner gloves for holiday gifts like Dan Marino back in the day, he will be an essential piece in trying to get some something else for their hands … a championship ring.
“All of us, we really have that special bond between us, and we’ve been playing together since our freshman year,” said Torres, who rushed for 160 yards and two scores in the Eagles quarterfinal route of Ponderosa last week in Parker.
“I believe that it is that friendship bond that we have with each other that allows us to work so well together.”
The Eagles whole process is working well together at this point and in Saturday’s semifinals they will play for the right to go to the Class 4A state championship game when they take on Windsor at 1 p.m. at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium.
The names and faces in the Broomfield backfield have changed over the last few years, but the one constant has been Torres. Over his three season starting for the Eagles he has amassed 3,500-plus yards, including over 1,300 each of the last two seasons.
The guys that allow Torres to work his magic up front — Toby Godwin, Caleb Kennedy, Jaxon Pallone, Korey Viburg, Michael DeCamillis — are more than happy to keep paving holes for their buddy.
And maybe the one thing — maybe even more so than the guys up front — that has allowed Torres to be a mainstay is his football acumen. It’s something that first-year Eagles coach Blair Hubbard was able to pick up on from the first day.
“The discussions we can have on the sideline after a series and discussing when things went well or when something needed to be tweaked,” said Hubbard, who team beat Windsor during the regular season in Week 3. “He is very comfortable in recognizing what the defense does and that helps us make adjustments as the game is going on.
“And he does a good job of translating what we talk about on the sideline to the field as the game goes along.”
At 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, Torres — who is a big fan of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s style — is capable of grinding out the tough yards between the tackles, taking on a bigger defender in space or simply out-running would-be tacklers.
“The thing that I have tried to coach into him is that, especially in the playoffs, is that it is a 10 yard battle and it’s not an 80 yard battle,” Hubbard said. “We want to keep getting those first downs and he’s done a great job these last two weeks of really putting his head down, getting those four yards and trusting that eventually its going to pop.”
Said Torres: “I just try and hit the hole as hard as I can, get that forward lean and fall forward and when I do that, it’s going to get me an extra yard or two.”
In the Eagles first game against Windsor, a 37-25 victory away from home, the Wizards defense surrendered just 59 yards to Torres and 103 total on the ground to the Eagles.
Obviously at this point in the season, both teams will have a completely different look and feel to them, thus making their first meeting — at least in football terms — ancient history.
But confidence is brewing in the Broomfield camp and with a potential trip to Sports Authority Field at Mile High on the line, the focus is really high right now.
“Throughout the season the kids have really bought in to what we want to do and they have trusted what we as a coaching staff want,” Hubbard said. “They have seen that payoff and their are a lot of team in the playoffs that raise their level of preparation and focus and those are the ones that advance.”