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
Columbine-Hollens 22 run (Tasei kick)
Columbine:Harrington 3 run (Hollens conversion)
Columbine:Hogan from Holliday 18 pass (Tasie Kick)
Columbine:Tasei from Holliday (Tasei Kick)
Columbine:Harrington 36 run (Tasei kick)
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)
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