LAKEWOOD — Andy Lowry walked off the field Oct. 4 at Jeffco Stadium unaware until moments earlier when he learned that Columbine’s 38-15 victory over Chatfield was his 200th victory. But in all fairness to the modest Lowry, he’s never been one to concern himself with such facts
“It’s never really been about that to be honest with you. We just plug away one week at a time. … Longevity pays (off) I guess,” Lowry said. “God has blessed me so much with my assistant coaches and (principal) Frank (DeAngelis). It starts up at the top with two great ADs, super, super kids and the support that I’ve had. It’s one of those things that if you don’t have support you don’t last at one place for 19 years.”
His Rebels, who found themselves in a shootout six days earlier against Arapahoe, provided more than enough support against their nemesis, turning two second-half turnovers into 13 points, and Dean Chavez returned an onside kick for 46 yards for a TD as Columbine won its third straight in the series.
“It was coming out time. We called out our defense. That’s on us. Last week going back and forth that doesn’t happen unless that’s on us. We came out, the defense came out with a fiery mentality. We made it happen,” said senior quarterback/defensive back Michael Burns, who rushed for a pair of touchdowns, including a 59-yarder in the fourth quarter, and threw a 14-yard scoring strike in the first quarter to Kyle Lopez. “Tonight was a lot different, and we came out and played Rebel ball.”
Columbine (5-1, 2-0 5A Super 6), which has won four straight, also got TD runs from Jeremy Aparicio and Garrett Hyde.
It was a far cry from Columbine’s game with Arapahoe, which, if not for a touchdown being called back by penalty and another being denied by a fumble at the 1-yard line, would’ve had a chance to send the Rebels to their first league defeat since 2010. But the Rebels’ defense responded against Chatfield.
“I think we just tackled better tonight. Last week was very humbling. Arapahoe took it to us. The kids responded today, played with pride and played with some fight,” Lowry said. “ … They came out played very, very physical and very, very tough. I was very proud of them. The defense had to step up, and they did a good job today.”
Chatfield (4-2, 1-1), coming off a 29-6 win a week earlier over last year’s other 5A state finalist Lakewood, had won four straight. But the Chargers had no answers for Columbine’s ground game, not to mention its own mishaps.
“We were confident, but we just didn’t want to show up. We let the mentality of Columbine get in our head,” Chatfield junior running back Brendan Murphy said. “We just need to come back and work next week.”
The Chargers pulled to within 18-8 late in the third quarter on Tim Banning’s fourth-down touchdown run from 1 yard out, but an attempted onside kick was snagged in midair by Chavez. He returned it down the Chatfield sideline to put Columbine up 17 points entering the fourth quarter.
“We just shot ourselves in the foot and they took advantage of it,” Chatfield head coach Bret McGatlin said. “You do stuff like that and it takes the wind out of your sails. It’s tough to fight back when you do that.”
Chatfield got a late 2-yard touchdown run from Michael Harris.
Columbine’s Bernard McDondle rushed 14 times for 170 yards, but he left the game early in the third quarter after a 14-yard run and didn’t return for precautionary reasons.
COLUMBINE 38, CHATFIELD 15
CO: Jeremy Aparicio 2 run (kick failed)
CO: Kyle Lopez 14 pass from Michael Burns (Aparicio kick)
CO: Burns 1 run (no kick)
CH: Tim Banning 1 run (Blake Ellis pass from Kyle Winkler)
CO: Dean Chavez 46 onside kickoff return (run failed)
CO: Garrett Hyde 5 run (pass failed)
CO: Burns 59 run (Aparicio kick)
CH: Michael Harris 2 run (Matt Robak kick)