LAKEWOOD — Aaron Torres has enough eye-black strips on his face to block out the sun at high noon in Phoenix.
Considering those patches have Danny Spond’s name on it and the injured Columbine quarterback’s favorite Bible verse, Torres’ face is kind of like a living shrine for the senior he replaced in Week Seven
“To come off the field having Danny tell me what I did wrong, it’s good,” Torres said.
There wasn’t a lot to critique Nov. 6 as the 10th-seeded Rebels (7-3) opened the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs with a 56-0 rout of No. 23 George Washington (5-5) at Jefferson County Stadium.
With the victory, the Rebels will play seventh-seeded Chaparral (8-2) at noon on Nov. 14 at Burt.com Stadium for a chance to advance to the state quarterfinals.
Running backs Demetrius McDondle and Phil Romero scored three touchdowns apiece, and backups Jonathan Beverly and Raj Randolph both ran for scores under the clock that ran nonstop nearly the entire second half.
A week after being demolished by Pomona, the Rebels executed much better against the Patriots, who played hard but were clearly overmatched.
“I‘d have to give it to our coaches,” Romero said. “Our coaches are busting our butts. We mess up on one little thing, and they‘re making us pay for it.”
Said Torres: “This week of practice was probably our hardest by far. I think the team really came together.”
With tougher competition to come and offensive chemistry to hone, every snap Torres got in the Columbine’s read-based offense was big. Of course, Torres’ best play was just to give the ball to McDondle and Romero and watch the offensive line rip open big holes.
McDondle rushed for 90 yards, scoring twice on 1-yard dives and taking a Torres screen pass 60 yards for a touchdown.
Romero ran for 142 yards on eight carries and scored touchdowns on runs of 37, 26 and 47 yards. The senior has battled some injuries this season, but declared himself 90-percet fit.
“I ran, and I may have looked fast, but I can feel it in myself that I’m not as fast as I usually am,” Romero said.
The clock never stopped running after Romero’s 47-yard touchdown run with 9:54 left in the third quarter. The Rebels didn’t stop running either, as a whole host of backs got to carry the ball.
The Rebels rushed for 300 yards on the dot, while the defense held the Patriots to just 57 yards on the ground and 45 in the air. Tony Campton recovered a fumble on the third play to set up the Columbine’s opening touchdown, and Justin Brown grabbed an interception and returned it 50 yards to the George Washington 4 to set up Beverly’s 1-yard touchdown dive.
G. Washington 0-0-0-0—0
C — Demetrius McDondle 1 run (Tyler Thomas kick) 8:04. C — Phil Romero 37 run (Thomas kick) 5:33. C — McDondle 1 run (Thomas kick) 11:01. C — McDondle 60 pass from Aaron Torres (Thomas kick) 6:32. C — Romero 26 run (Thomas kick) 3:30. C — Romero 47 run (Thomas kick) 9:54. C — Jonathan Beverly 1 run (Austin Krueger kick) 5:09. C — Raj Randolph 2 run (Krueger kick).