BROOMFIELD — Maybe it was the home opener that Broomfield football had been deprived of for nearly two years. Maybe it was the rivalry with Monarch.
In each of the first three weeks of the season, Broomfield football struggled to contain its opponents’ offenses. Each of those campaigns ended in losses of nine points or less. On Friday night at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium, the defense finally figured it out as the Eagles soared to a 28-7 victory.
“We’re very young on defense and we know that those guys are going to be playing better week in week in week, and we’re just really trying to encourage them to do their jobs, work on tackling and the fundamentals,” Broomfield head coach Blair Hubbard said. “We’ve seen a lot of really good quarterbacks, really good offenses that have challenged us.”
The Eagle offense, as always, was there to back its defense up.
Broomfield junior quarterback Cole LaCrue exploded with 213 passing yards as junior running back Kadin Quintana backed him up with 80 yards of his own, mainly on the ground. Senior wide receiver Josh Dunn added 83 yards to that total on just three plays.
Monarch, on the other hand, relied more heavily on the run. The Coyotes counted on senior running backs Cole Carlucci and Keiran Singh to lead the way as they collected 84 and 90 yards, respectively.
Monarch, too, had been waiting to find that first win, but finally broke through during week three with a 56-0 beatdown of Hinkley last week. The Coyotes believe their strength lies in the trenches in their offensive and defensive lines, but they struggled to ground the Eagles.
“We’ve made some changes with our lineups and we’re still kind of moving kids around here and there,” Monarch head coach Phil Bravo said. “We think we hit a little continuity last week.”
Broomfield’s offense came out fast and furious in the first half as both Dustin Detwiler and LaCrue scored on short runs. Its defense aided it in that effort to lead 14-0 at the half.
The Coyotes, however, weren’t satisfied with getting blanked. They pushed and pushed in the third until Carlucci was finally able to find the back of the end zone with four minutes left in the quarter.
“It’s tough, because they’re our rival. We want to beat them,” Carlucci said. “I feel like we moved the ball well. We made dumb mistakes at the wrong time — fourth downs — on offense and defense, so we just need to clean up those and we’ll be OK.”
That 14-7 score was much too close for Broomfield’s comfort.
The Eagles spent the next 12 minutes putting the pressure on Monarch’s defense, and their efforts paid off on two big scoring plays from LaCrue to Dunn that accounted for 60 total yards.
Now 1-3, the Eagles will look to carry the momentum they established on Friday night into their home matchup against Loveland next week. Monarch will now refocus in practice in the week leading up to its Friday home contest against George Washington.
“It feels great. We’ve had a tough three weeks and being back home, I think it energized us to now build from this point to go against Loveland,” LaCrue said. “We got Charlie Nevin back, we got Ryland Boehmer back (on defense) and it’s great to have them back. Defensively, they knew they were struggling and this week … we really wanted them to just push themselves. I think they did and they just took that step.”