ARVADA — After jumping out to a three-touchdown lead in the opening quarter of the season, Pomona’s football team had to be thinking it …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
ARVADA — After jumping out to a three-touchdown lead in the opening quarter of the season, Pomona’s football team had to be thinking it couldn’t be this easy.
Turns out it wasn’t.
What started out with the makings of a potential rout turned into a dogfight Friday evening at the North Area Athletic Complex. Broomfield hung with the Panthers, narrowing the gap to a field goal before falling 41-38 to Pomona in a non-league battle between two teams expected to contend in the Class 5A and 4A ranks.
The game was broadcast live on Altitude and lasted just short of three hours.
“Playing on TV, making a million mistakes, having penalties that are unacceptable,” Panthers coach Jay Madden said of a marathon evening. “But, you’ve also got to give Broomfield credit. They’re a solid football team. They hung in there and they kept fighting back.”
Pomona led 20-0 less than 11 minutes into the game. Will Halligan returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown on the opening possession, and after the Eagles then fumbled the ball away, Alec Feland capped an eight-play drive with a 1-yard sneak into the end zone.
Chris Benefiel added a 6-yard scoring run late in the quarter.
“I think we relaxed a little bit,” Madden said of the early lead. “But we were our own worst enemy — we know that.”
Broomfield got on the board with a 2-yard touchdown run from quarterback Angelo Perez after converting a fourth down on the opening drive of the second quarter. Pomona answered right back with an 8-yard touchdown from Konner Burns, but a 12-play drive before the half gave the Eagles some new life.
On three occasions a Pomona penalty handed Broomfield a first down. An illegal participation call on a punt gave the Eagles the ball back, and a personal foul for roughing the quarterback negated an interception by Pomona’s Ricky Rodriguez.
“We were really excited coming out,” Rodriguez said. “We just lost some momentum coming out in the second quarter.”
Pat Lalancette knocked down a 26-yard field goal just before the half to make it 26-10.
“We gave them life,” Madden said. “To their credit, they took advantage of it. A lot of teams would have been like `oh, we’re down 20, it’s over.’ They fought and fought and fought and we made enough mistakes.”
Perez and Burns traded touchdown runs early in the third quarter, and Perez and Feland then each tossed touchdown passes to make it 41-24 early in the fourth quarter. Feland’s second interception led to a Perez touchdown run, and after a 20-yard Panthers punt, the Eagles took advantage of an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to help set up a 16-yard touchdown pass from Simeon Combs to Dan Perse to make it 41-38.
Benefiel finally ran out the clock with a 10-yard run on fourth down.
“It was an intense game,” Benefiel said.
Feland was 11-of-12 passing in the first half for 101 yards, but was just 4-for-11 with two interceptions over the final two quarters. Benefiel rushed for 54 yards and caught five passes for 44 yards, and Dominic Martinez added five grabs for 56 yards.
Next up for Pomona: A trip to the Stutler Bowl in Greenwood Village to face Cherry Creek and new coach Dave Logan, who will be making his home debut with the Bruins.
“We’ve got some things we’ve got to fine-tune, but that’s what the first games are for,” Madden said. “You just hope you can get a `W’ while you’re learning what you did wrong.”
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.