McDondle, Rebels run over Chargers

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Columbine senior rushes for 265 yards, 4 TDs in win over archrival Chatfield

By Michael Hicks

LAKEWOOD — It’s probably safe to say that Cameron McDondle is back to his old self. It’s also safe to say that the Columbine senior running back loves playing rival Chatfield. After all, he’s had his way with the Chargers the past two years.
McDondle rushed for a season-high 265 yards and four touchdowns — the second straight year he’s rushed for more than 200 yards and scored four times against Chatfield — as Columbine remained unbeaten with a 34-7 victory at Jeffco Stadium on Sept. 30.
McDondle, who rushed for 1,583 yards and 25 touchdowns a season ago, was off and running on the Rebels’ second offensive play, running over the Chatfield defense for an 84-yard score. And that was only the beginning. He added a 38-yard TD run early in the second quarter and scored on runs of 5 and 15 yards in the fourth quarter to put the game away for Columbine (5-0, 1-0 5A Big 6).
“We went out there and started rolling them up right from the start and we stayed on it,” said McDondle, whose 24 carries was also a season best.
But it wasn’t as quite as easy as McDondle made it sound. Chatfield (1-4, 0-1), which has lost three straight and was outscored 83-7 in its previous two defeats to Fountain-Fort Carson and Ralston Valley, took the opening kickoff 94 yards for a Race Fenimore touchdown only to have it called back because of a penalty.
Not deterred the Chargers drove 60 yards to the Rebels’ 11 before Austin Ihm, on a 1st-and-10 run, scrambled to the 5 before fumbling the ball — the first of three Chatfield turnovers. Columbine’s Jaxon Mohr recovered and two plays later McDondle was breaking free down the right sideline for a 7-0 Rebels lead.
By the time Chatfield’s Erik Gaytan scored on a 1-yard run just before halftime, the Chargers trailed 21-0, which included a Justin Brown 6-yard scoring run. It was a far different cry from last year’s game, in which Chatfield rallied from a 14-0 deficit to force the Rebels into overtime, only to stumble 31-24.
“We just wanted to avoid that hole like last year,” McDondle said. “We went out there and played our hardest and it got us out of here with a win.”
If there’s one thing Chatfield can hang its hat on it’s the running game. The Chargers rushed for 217 yards against Columbine, including 22 carries for 141 yards from Gaytan.
“He needs to be the guy to carry the ball the most, the guy with the ball in his hands the most,” Chatfield head coach Bret McGatlin said of Gaytan, who had primarily been playing wide receiver before shifting to tailback against the Rebels. Gaytan had just 25 carries for 167 yards in the Chargers’ first four games combined.
But Gaytan can only do so much, especially when turnovers and penalties served to stymie Chatfield drives for much of the night.
“We can get our offense going. It’s those little mistakes, little mistakes that keep beating us,” Gaytan said.