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LAKEWOOD — It wasn’t picture perfect Friday night at Jeffco Stadium, but Columbine walked out of Jeffco Stadium with an important win to start the football season.
The Rebels, ranked No. 8 in the CHSAANow.com Class 5A football preseason poll, defeated Ralston Valley 21-7 in the all-Jeffco showdown in Zero Week on Aug. 25.
“We’ve got to go back and get better,” Columbine coach Andy Lowry said after the Rebels’ victory. “Zero Week games are hard.”
Columbine had its fair share of penalties and fumbled twice on the opening play of drives in the first half. However, a pair of touchdown passes from junior quarterback Logan DeArment to senior Ted Mullin in the first half and a 15-yard touchdown run by senior Conner Snow was all the offense the Rebels needed.
The Rebels’ first two touchdowns came less than two minutes apart and before the 6-minute mark in the first quarter. Columbine’s offense stalled at points and gave Ralston Valley opportunities, especially with the two fumbled snapped that gave the Mustangs the ball in Columbine territory.
“You would like to convert turnovers to points, but it didn’t happen,” Ralston Valley coach Matt Loyd said.
The Mustangs went 3-and-out on both possessions after the Columbine turnovers. However, Ralston Valley found the end zone at the end of its best drive of the game. Junior AJ Jergensen, making his first varsity start at quarterback, connected with senior Logan Schroeder on a 14-yard touchdown with 8:57 left in the second quarter.
“It was nice. It was wide-open because (Columbine) was biting on our runs,” Schroeder said of the Mustangs’ lone touchdown. “It was a great pass and great timing.”
Columbine answered with a touchdown late in the first half on a third-down play where DeArment scrambled out of the pock and found Mullin for the score.
The last meeting between Ralston Valley and Columbine was back in 2015. The Rebels won by the same score — 21-7 victory.
“It was a tough match-up, but that’s what I like. I like it tough,” said Loyd, who was also pleased with what he saw from his new quarterback. “We knew Columbine was going to be tough and physical.”
Ralston Valley has its home opener at the North Area Athletic Complex on Friday, Sept. 1. The Mustangs face Fountain-Fort Carson in a non-league game.
“Everything we did wrong is fixable,” Schroeder said.
Dennis Pleuss is a communications specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go online at CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.
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