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Pine Creek knocks Falcon from unbeaten ranks 21-0
Pine Creek football has returned.
The Eagles didn’t allow a first down in the first half in handing Falcon its first loss of the season in a 21-0 performance on Friday that elicited memories of the program’s recent run of dominance.
“It brings back our confidence,” said fullback/linebacker Matt List, who was at the center of the defensive effort and scored on a rumbling 35-yard touchdown late in the third quarter. “We’re back to what we do.”
The question is, did the revival come in time for Pine Creek (2-4, 2-1 4A Pikes Peak)?
“I don’t think so,” said coach Todd Miller, whose Eagles finished second in 4A last year at 13-1. “There’s too many teams if you look at it. There’s so much that’s got to happen. We’ve just got to keep winning. And Ponderosa is so good. I can’t even put my mind around it. We’re just trying to get through Monday’s practice, we’re so banged up.”
Falcon (5-1, 2-1) was held under 100 yards and didn’t score after averaging 39 points in breezing to five victories to open the season.
Falcons coach Trevor Hudson lingered in the freezing drizzle at District 20 Stadium for a few extra seconds, looking at the scoreboard.
“You’ve got to take your wins and your losses, man,” Hudson said. “They’re a very good defensive team and did a good job of corralling us. Defensively we just had way too many penalties and gave them too many second-chance opportunities. They’re a good ballclub and won the game fair and square and we’ll prepare for next week.”
Falcon remains in prime position to qualify for postseason, though difficult games against Vista Ridge and Ponderosa remain.
Pine Creek’s outlook is far cloudier after opening with three games against quality 5A opponents and narrowly losing all three — including a pair on last-minute field goals to reigning state champion Columbine and runner-up Lakewood.
That the Eagles haven’t given up on the season was evident on the first drive, as they went 80 yards in 13 plays and 8 minutes, 17 seconds. Austin Schultz finished the drive with a 7-yard touchdown.
The score remained 7-0 until List broke several tackles on his powerful 35-yard run with 1:33 left in the third quarter.
“That was a man run,” Miller said. “That’s a grown man run. That’s a kid refusing to lose, just saying give me the ball. … That put the nail in the coffin.”
The Eagles added a score on Noah Held’s 22-yard interception return when Falcon went into desperation mode.
The Falcons never found holes for star runners Kalen Ballage and Keenan Britton to get going. The two combined for 71 yards on 22 touches.
“It was a grinding game for all of us,” List said. “Kalen and Keenan are great runners. We’re all going to be sore. It was a war out there. I’m just so happy that we came out with a win.”
Will those wins keep coming? Tough to say, but the Eagles’ brand of football should at least look familiar.
“It’s ugly football, but I love it,” Miller said. “It’s old time, smash mouth; a bunch of kids not giving up.”