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Put a ring on it: Broomfield football ends perfect season with 4A state crown

Broomfield's Nick Petrich, left, kisses the trophy while Cole Lacrue holds it after winning the Class 4A championship football game Saturday afternoon in Denver. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
Broomfield’s Nick Petrich, left, kisses the trophy while Cole Lacrue holds it after winning the Class 4A championship football game Saturday afternoon in Denver. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

DENVER — As soon as the scoreboard showed zeros at Empower Field at Mile High on Saturday afternoon, a wave of emotion came over Broomfield senior quarterback Cole LaCrue.

Not just for what he won — a 24-14 Class 4A state championship over No. 4 Loveland — but for what he lost. He wore his heart not just on his sleeve, but on his helmet with the sticker that read “R.I.P. Dad, 1974-2020”.

This win was for Joe LaCrue.

“I told coach (Blair) Hubbard as soon as I transferred, that I was going to win him a state championship and I’m just glad I finally fulfilled my promise,” LaCrue said. “First one since 1984 is definitely special but this is for my pops. Man, I wish he was here with me. Man, I wish I could give him a hug. I’m so happy. … He was my first coach and without him, there’s no Cole LaCrue. There’s no anything, man. He had my love of the game. He’s the reason why I’m out here and I’m just grinding.”

He wasn’t alone in sharing his joy. His brother, sophomore guard Ty, had a hand in the victory as their mother, Courtney Beghtol, cheered from the stands during the Eagles’ 14th and final win of 2022. They didn’t drop a single contest all season long.

“It means so much more because I think their dad was here with them the whole time and I think they wanted to do this for him. It’s the last time they’ll ever play together,” Beghtol said. “It’s so amazing. I can’t even describe it. I can’t even put it into words. I’m so proud of them.”

The second-seeded Eagles, however dominant their season may have been, knew the Red Wolves wouldn’t make things easy on them. After all, Loveland’s defense was nearly as suffocating as theirs.


Broomfield came out guns-a-blazin’ in the first half. LaCrue added his name to the scorebook quickly with two short runs as senior do-it-all Canon Juarez contributed his own short rushing touchdown. The Eagle defense held the Red Wolves to just a single touchdown through the first 24 minutes and led 21-7 at the half.

Senior kicker Dylan Duggan added a few more points to the scoreboard midway through the third quarter on a 31-yard field goal, and the defense took care of the rest, save for one short touchdown from Loveland quarterback Garrett Harstad in the final minute of the same frame.

Junior cornerback Brent Harris, after fumbling the ball on the very first offensive play of the game, more than made up for it. He collected 108 offensive yards, including a few monster plays to move the ball closer to the goal line. Cole LaCrue passed for 233 yards, going 15-for-25 overall, and ran an additional nine for those two scores. Juarez amassed 119 yards on top of his touchdown.

“I can’t do it without my teammates,” Harris said. “Flying down is fun but all that was in my head was winning this game and making sure we’ve got the rings.”

Everything came together for the Eagles, just as it had all season long. Hubbard earned a proverbial Gatorade bath for his efforts in leading the experienced group of seniors who, as freshmen, lost the state championship to Pine Creek.

He wore it with pride, despite the December chill in the air.

“I’ll take the water right now. It’s very enjoyable,” Hubbard said. “Just going to soak it all in literally and figuratively.

“The seniors were talking about it in the locker room, came back and said, ‘We were here as freshmen. We’re back in as seniors and we’re going to walk away with the trophy this year.’ The kids went out. … I said, ‘If you want this, you’ve got to go get it, because Loveland is a very aggressive team. They’re well coached. And if we don’t go out there and play aggressively, they’re going to take it. The kids did that today. They went out and took it.”