Alive is Broomfield’s lengthy regular-season winning streak.
“Mathew Eich” kicking and screaming are its playoff hopes.
The foot guru split the uprights on Broomfield’s first offensive play in overtime Thursday night, sending the CHSAA sixth-ranked Eagles to their 17th straight regular-season win, beating No. 9 Windsor 17-14 in a survival of Class 4A unbeatens.
“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting coach (Blair Hubbard) to send me out there on first down,” Eich grinned minutes following his third game-winning kick in high school. “But I was ready.”
After Windsor tied the game at 14-14 with 50 seconds remaining in regulation, Broomfield’s defense tightened in the extra frame and AJ Wheeler recovered a fumble on the Wizards’ third play.
The 5-foot-11, 240-pound lineman immediately sprinted to the sideline with the ball, paving the scene for 5-9, 175-pound Eich. Hubbard, who earlier chose to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1 and failed, didn’t hesitate in the call.
“All the trust in the world” in Eich, Hubbard said. “It was my fault for not kicking the field goal when we were down on the 1-yard line to start the third quarter. We should have kicked the field goal there and we wouldn’t have gone into overtime.”
Like he said, Broomfield (5-0, 4-0 4A Northern 1) missed opportunities to close Windsor out earlier in the night. No bigger than in the third when it was stopped on the goal line after traveling 80 yards and erasing 8 minutes.
The defense held, though — again and again. Forcing four three-and-outs on the night, it finally cracked in the waning seconds as Dax Polka capped off a last-ditch drive with his second TD run of the night for Windsor (4-1, 3-1).
“There’s just times when we need to play more disciplined if we want to make the playoffs and advance in the playoffs,” Hubbard said. “It’s going to come down to playing with a lot of discipline from here on out.”
Earlier in the week, Hubbard talked about the fragility of the season for all teams with their mini schedules up against a condensed postseason bracket.
With eye-drops clarity in the realization that a lot of strong programs will undoubtedly be left out, it’s especially true in 4A where the field only got stronger with the arrival of former 3A champ Palmer Ridge as well as 5A Fountain-Fort Carson, and where the spots available have slimmed to eight.
Undefeated with its back up against the wall, Broomfield (which showed up to Windsor late due to traffic) survived.
Sophomore quarterback Cole LaCrue used his arm and legs to lead the Eagles on a pair of scoring drives in the opening half. He ran for one and junior Dom Bustamante had the other to push the lead to 14-0 with 9:23 left in the second quarter.
They wouldn’t score again until Eich’s winner in OT … a kick that sent his teammates screaming onto the field.
Broomfield wraps up its regular season against Erie next week.