ARVADA — The defending Class 5A state football champions looked impressive, but did have some issues in their home opener Thursday night at the North Area Athletic Complex. Pomona defeated old …
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ARVADA — The defending Class 5A state football champions looked impressive, but did have some issues in their home opener Thursday night at the North Area Athletic Complex.
Pomona defeated old Jeffco rival Bear Creek 49-6 despite turning the ball over four times.
“We’ve got to quit making mistakes,” Pomona coach Jay Madden said bluntly. “We had 378 yards of offense in the first half and you only have 28 points, that’s not good.”
The Panthers opened their season last week with a 32-14 victory over Oak Ridge (FL) in Orlando, but had turnover problems there too. Pomona senior quarterback Colten Muller finished 13-for-16 passing for 268 yards and three touchdowns, but he also was intercepted twice.
Pomona senior receivers Dominic Bettini and Billy Pospisil both were stripped of the ball on long catches to account for the other two Panther turnovers.
“It’s all about effort and control what you can control,” Pospisil said. “I think there are a lot of little things we can fix.”
Pospisil had six catches for 144 yards and a touchdown. He also had the longest play of the game with a 95-yard kickoff return for a score that put the Panthers up 42-6 with 5:31 left in the third quarter. The big special teams play came 13 seconds after the Bears’ lone points off a 1-yard touchdown catch by senior George Martinez from quarterback Isaiah Romero.
Bear Creek senior Nate Madrid picked off Muller and returned to the 1-yard line to set up the Bears’ lone touchdown.
“I was just going to go out there and do the best I could,” Pospisil said of his 95-yard kickoff return. “Thankfully the blocks made a humongous hole and I just ran right through it.”
Senior David Ross had three catches for 79 yards. Two of the grabs going for touchdowns in the first half.
“Coach Madden talked about it all week,” Ross said of the Panthers going to the air. “We knew if the safeties were going to play up we were going to go over the top on them.”
Muller was solid on the ground with eight carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Therious Robison added a dozen carries for 132 yards and put in the Panthers’ final touchdown to close out the third quarter with Pomona leading 49-6.
“We are a work in progress, but we do have a lot of skill guys who can take it the distance if we get them the ball in space,” Madden said.
Defensively, the Panthers were impressive. Pomona’s defense didn’t allow the Bears’ offense to get much going. Senior Trent Padia intercepted a pass to put an end to Bear Creek’s longest drive of the first half. Seniors MJ Allen Luke Rowheder both had first-half sacks on Romero.
Bear Creek has a pair of tough non-league challenges against Rampart and Windsor — both ranked in the top-10 in 4A — before starting conference play in the 4A Jeffco League against Dakota Ridge on Oct. 4.
The non-league schedule really heats up for Pomona starting this week. The Panthers have a three-week stretch of No. 2 Valor Christian, No. 1 Cherry Creek and Highlands Ranch.
“This is going to be an interesting stretch,” Madden said of the next three games. “We’ll see what we are made of. We’ve just got to say healthy and get better these next two weeks. Obviously, you would love to win, but the key is to find out what you are made of so coming into league you are ready to go.”
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