LAKEWOOD — After suffering a gut-wrenching loss a week ago to its biggest rival, Columbine looked to set the tone early in its homecoming game against Arvada West.
Defensive back Kevin Osborne sent the Wildcats a message that Oct. 2 was going to be a long night as he intercepted quarterback Gavin Glanz’s pass on the second play of the game and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown. The Rebels rolled from there and won the Class 5A Big 8 League game 34-10 at Jefferson County Stadium.
“It was a read we worked on all week in practice,” said Osborne, who also had a sack. “I had a feeling the receiver was going to break inside so I made a break on the ball. It was exciting to come up with a big play like that early in the game.”
The Rebels (4-1) stifled the Wildcats’ explosive offense all night. The defensive line created havoc in the backfield as they both shut down the running attack and pressured Glanz to rush his throws, which resulted in three interceptions.
“The defense, man, they made some big plays,” said Demetrius McDondle, who scored a pair of touchdowns. “It always fires the rest of the team up when you see the defense coming up with turnovers.”
Quarterback Danny Spond, who also plays safety, came away with Columbine’s second interception the night and his subsequent 28-yard return put the Rebels with 15 yards of the end zone. Three plays after the turnover, Spond found Kalvin Cruz alone in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown pass that gave the Rebels a 14-0 lead after Phil Romero (who left the game in with an ankle injury) converted the 2-point conversion.
Columbine pushed its lead to 21-0 with a dominating 10-play, 66-yard drive. Spond capped the drive with a 9-yard pass to McDondle.
“Danny just makes plays,” Columbine coach Andy Lowry said. “I thought he did a great job of leading the offense.”
After doing nothing most of the first half, Arvada West finally caught a break as they intercepted Spond and turned it into three points with a field goal just before halftime.
The Rebels opened the second half with a 9-play drive that features all runs by McDondle and Spond. Spond finished off the drive with a 21-yard touchdown run out of the shotgun formation. The score pushed Columbine’s lead to 28-3.
The lead swelled to 35-3 as McDondle broke free for a 25-yard touchdown run with 11 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Lowry called off the dogs after that as the fourth quarter featured Columbine’s second string.
“The offensive line, they did a great job opening up holes,” McDondle said. “It all starts with them. It was nice to come back with a win after that loss last week.”