All posts by Vann Noland

Columbine Advances to Quarterfinals With Win Over Smoky Hill

The Columbine Rebels (9-2, 3-2) defeated the Smoky Hill Buffaloes (11-1, 9-0) on Thursday night by a score of 43-14. The loss snapped the Buffaloes 11 game winning streak.

This was the first time these two teams had meet in the last 15 years, but the coaches knew each other well. Andy Lowry and Tom Thenell have been coaching against each other for a number of years in the Colorado preps ranks, dating back to Thenell’s days as head coach at Bear Creek.

The Columbine Rebels seized the momentum early in the game and did not look back. The Columbine defense forced a fumble on Smoky Hill’s ball carrier, Obie Sanni, on the first possession of the game. The Rebels would take over in plus territory and strike quickly.

Staying true to form, after three consecutive runs, the Rebels were in the endzone. Senior rusher, Tanner Hollens ran it in from 22 yards out to put the Rebels on top.

Smoky Hill put together a long 10 play drive in which they got the ball into the red zone. The Columbine defense would come up with a big fourth down stop to prevent the Buffaloes from scoring. This was the first of three times when the Buffaloes of Smoky Hill got the ball into the red zone but where unable to get any points.

Columbine would drive down the field in 10 plays and score another touchdown. This time it was a 3-yard run by senior Adam Harrington. Tanner Hollens ran it in for a two-point conversion to give Columbine a 15-0 lead.

Smoky Hill proved they could move the ball against the Columbine defense, again getting the ball inside the red zone. Again, Columbine’s defense would come up strong and prevent Smoky Hill from scoring.

On Columbine’s very next possession, Jadon Holliday found Braeden Hogan in the endzone, and Columbine took a 22-0 lead into the half.

Columbine received the second half kickoff and scored a quick touchdown. Holliday would throw it to junior wide receiver Adam Tasei for a 66-yard touchdown. Adam Harrington would score his second rushing touchdown of the night on Columbine’s next possession, from 36 yards out.

After another Smoky Hill trip deep into enemy territory, and a Columbine punt (one of only 2 on the night for either side), Smoky Hill found the endzone for the first time. Junior quarterback Leslie Richardson III threw a 35-yard pass to Deangelo Horn who caught the ball in the endzone.

Columbine would score one more time when senior Jadon Holiday threw it to Osirus Simpson. On the ensuing kickoff, Smoky Hill’s senior running back, Obie Sanni took the kickoff 96 yards to the endzone for a Buffalo touchdown. The Buffaloes went for the two-point conversion and Obie Sanni ran it in.

The Smoky Hill Buffaloes season comes to an end with an impressive 11-1 record, their first playoff win in three decades, and a second consecutive Metro 10 League championship, all under head coach Tom Thenell, who has gone 21-2 since taking over at Smoky Hill.

The Columbine Rebels advanced to the quarterfinals and await the winner of tomorrow’s game between Valor Christian and Mountain Vista.

Score by Quarter:
Smoky Hill: 0 0 0 14 14
Columbine 7 15 14 7 4

First Quarter:
Columbine-Hollens 22 run (Tasei kick)

Second Quarter:
Columbine:Harrington 3 run (Hollens conversion)
Columbine:Hogan from Holliday 18 pass (Tasie Kick)

Third Quarter:
Columbine:Tasei from Holliday (Tasei Kick)
Columbine:Harrington 36 run (Tasei kick)

Fourth Quarter:
Smoky Hill: Horn from Richardson III 35 pass (kick no good)
Columbine:Simpson from Holliday 12 pass (Tasei kick)
Smoky Hill: Sanni 96-yard kick return (Sanni Conversion)

Mountain Vista Defeats Mullen in First Round of Playoffs

The Mountain Vista Golden Eagles (4-7, 2-3) went on the road on Friday night and defeated the Mullen Mustangs (4-7, 2-3) 24-16 in the first round of the 5A State Playoffs.

The host Mustangs got on the board first when a bad snap on a punt went over the Mountain Vista punter Jacob Barrett’s head and set the Mullen offense up with good field position on their first drive. Junior running back CJ Smith carried it in from three yards out, but the 2-point conversion attempt was no good.

Mountain Vista scored late in the first quarter when senior quarterback (and punter) Jacob Barrett, who played his freshman year at Mullen before transferring to Mountain Vista, threw it to junior wide receiver Adam Holton for a 47-yard touchdown. #3, who is not listed on the team’s roster on, made the extra point and put the Golden Eagles up 7-6.

The teams traded interception to begin the second quarter. Sophomore Ben Martinez picked off a Jacob Barrett pass in the endzone. However, the Mustangs were unable to capitalize on the turnover and gave it right back. The interception for the Golden Eagles was returned all the way back for a pick 6.

Mullen answered with a 39-yard field goal from junior Aidan Lehman on the next possession. That cut the Mountain Vista lead to 14-9. Mullen even had a chance to score again before the half, but a 53-yard field goal attempt from Lehman was blocked as time expired on the first half.

Mullen opened the second half with the ball but was unable to do anything with it. They punted to Mountain Vista and the Golden Eagles were able to drive down and make a field goal to extend their lead.

Mountain Vista scored again in the third quarter when, sophomore quarterback who also saw significant time under center for the Golden Eagles on Friday, Dane Dougherty found wideout Carter Ortega from 2 yards out for a touchdown. The 24-9 lead the Golden Eagles had was the largest they had all night, but the Mustangs did not go away quietly.

The Mustangs fought back, led by Senior quarterback Kyle Remington. After yet another Ben Martinez interception, Kyle Remington threw it 81 yards to his best friend, and favorite wideout target, Ben Marcoux for a touchdown.

With about five minutes to play the Mustangs failed to convert on fourth down and, with only one timeout, it looked as though the game was over. But the Mustang defense forced a fumble from Matt Smith, the senior running back for the Golden Eagles.

Kyle Remington found senior Clay Barden on a fourth down for a gain of 19 and then on the very next play, threw it to Ben Marcoux for a gain of 21. A defensive pass interference and a defense holding set the Mustangs up with one last heave to the endzone.

Unfortunately for Remington and the Mustang it wasn’t meant to be on Friday night. The Hail Mary attempt fell incomplete in the endzone, giving Mountain Vista a road playoff victory.

For the second consecutive year, the Mustang season ended with a first-round playoff loss at home.

For the Mountain Vista Golden Eagles, they advance to face defending state champion Valor Christian in the second round of the 5A State Playoffs.

Score by Quarter:
Mountain Vista- 7 7 10 0 24
Mullen- 6 3 7 0 16

First Quarter:
Mullen- Smith 3 run (2 pt. conversion unsuccessful)
Mountain Vista- Holton from Barrett 47 pass (#3 kick)

Second Quarter:
Mountain Vista- Shells INT Return (#3 kick)
Mullen- Lehman 29 FG

Third Quarter:
Mountain Vista- #3 39 FG
Mountain Vista- Ortega from Dougherty 2 pass (#3 kick)
Mullen- Marcoux from Remington 81 pass (Lehman kick)

Fourth Quarter:
NO Scoring

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