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‘Snow kidding’: Boulder football remains perfect

Panthers are 4-0 for first time in recent history

  • Tim Hurst/Staff Photographer

    Boulder junior running back Declan Culberson (30) breaks free for a long touchdown run against Adams City on Monday, April 19, 2021, in Boulder, Colo.

  • Boulder senior quarterback Alvin Rodriguez (2) attempts a throw against Adams City on Monday, April 19, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Boulder senior Ben Mulenda (64) and junior Julian Mechels (81) sack Adams City junior quarterback Miguel Hernandez (19) on Monday, April 19, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • The Boulder High School football team huddles up to celebrate a 41-0 win over Adams City on Monday, April 19, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • A volunteer helps clear the field markers during halftime of a game between Boulder and Adams City on Monday, April 19, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Tim Hurst/Staff Photographer

    Boulder senior running back Parker Patchett (34) cuts upfield against Adams City on Monday, April 19, 2021, in Boulder, Colo.

  • Snow clings to Boulder head coach Ryan Bishop’s eyebrows during a game against Adams City on Monday, April 19, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Boulder junior running back Declan Culberson (30) has to leave the field after he lost his shoe in a play against Adams City on Monday, April 19, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Boulder senior Parker Patchett (34) tackles Adams City junior Dillon Gonzalez (10) to the snow on Monday, April 19, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Boulder senior outside linebackers Drake Arthur (7) and Devin Kunkel (5) tackle Adams City junior running back Bo Lapenna (7) for a loss on Monday, April 19, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

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Shovels sped from one side of Recht Field to the other in desperate hopes of unearthing the field lines for the Boulder-Adams City football game. The snowfall didn’t let up, so neither did the plow work.

With visibility minimal each play, and the possibility of making a quick snow angel at its utmost after each tackle, high school’s take on Monday Night Football was served up in a ‘Mother Nature’ mess. And yet the Panthers managed to come out of it clean.

View it as another bout of the unexpected for coach Ryan Bishop and his football program, as their road through the state’s spring season remained unblemished in a powdery 41-0 win over the visiting Eagles.

“This is something they’ll never forget, playing in the snow,” said Bishop, whose team moved to 4-0 in CHSAA’s Season C. “It can’t be easy. We’ve had something every single week. It’s teaching these kids the lesson of adversity.”

Boulder will take the weather over the other major trials it has faced this spring.

Opting out of the fall season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Panthers came into the spring season and were hit by the effects of the virus anyway. It ruled them out of their week one matchup against the Far Northeast Warriors.

Then two days later, on March 22, the community was rocked by the mass shooting at the Table Mesa King Soopers that left 10 people dead. Their season opened in grief seven days later.

“I think it’s one of the things, we have great senior leadership and a great staff,” Bishop reflected. “For four quarters, they just want to put what’s going on in this outside world away. And they’re relishing just getting the chance to play football.”

Against Adams City, Boulder’s balanced offense leaned heavy on the run with the snow up to players’ ankles.

Declan Culberson rushed for more than 150 yards and four touchdowns. In his previous three games, he’d racked up 140 rushing yards and one score.

Parker Patchett added an interception and rushing TD, while the defense as a whole totaled three picks and a fumble recovery in a second straight shutout. Through four games, the Panthers have allowed just 21 points.

The drubbing unfolded quickly.

Less than 30 seconds into the game, Culberson broke out for a 40-plus yard TD scamper. The junior finished with three TDs in the first quarter alone to give Boulder a 21-0 lead. He added his fourth with 30 seconds left in the third to push the margin to 41-0, which effectively clicked in the mercy-rule, running clock.

Adams City (1-4), meanwhile, finished with around 100 yards of total offense.

“The snow just sticks to the bottom of your feet,” Culberson laughed afterward on the field, pointing to the powdered cleat he’d just extracted from the snow. “I just tried to lift my knees like my coaches told me.”

The four straight wins to open a season is the best start by Boulder’s football program in recent history, and better than any of the past 16 seasons readily available on the team’s MaxPreps page.

The latest came via a replacement game in a school year accustomed to these unforeseen and last-minute changes.

The Panthers had postponed last Friday’s game as opponent Fort Collins was put in quarantine. They’ll face Adams City again Friday, this time in Commerce City for a chance to win at least a share of the 5A North League title.

No snow is currently in the forecast.