David Moore III had one major goof-up.
Pine Creek's star running back took the ball up the middle on a fourth down late in the second quarter. With defenders hanging onto his legs, he decided to toss it to his quarterback to save the play but Gavin Herberg didn't appear ready. And Vista Ridge, eager to get out of an early big hole, scooped it up.
"Something told me, in my head, to pitch it to my quarterback, so we can get a touchdown," Moore said.
That didn't happen, but it didn't matter.
It was one of the Eagles' few mishaps in a dominant 41-21 win over Vista Ridge on Thursday night at D-20 Stadium in the Class 4A Southern League finale. As for Moore, he was his cool, collective self as he had three of his four TDs in the first half to lift Pine Creek to a perfect 5-0 league record.
What's next? The postseason, of course.
And expect the Eagles (9-1) to make another run toward the state's biggest stage. Entering this week, Pine Creek was ranked No. 2 in the 4A RPI rankings.
The Eagles are coming off a season in which they advanced to the state title game but lost 25-14 to Pueblo South. This year, Pine Creek is aiming for another championship shot.
And on Thursday night, the Eagles made sure no one was getting in their way.
They led 27-7 at halftime, thanks to three TDs by Moore and another by quarterback Herberg. Two of the scores came after an interception by Jackson Grier and a fumble recovery by Sam Miller.
But the Eagles weren't finished. Moore had an 80-yard TD run and Herberg threw a 17-yard TD pass to Max Lofy (after an interception by Wesley Jennings) in the third quarter to expand the lead to 41-7.
The Wolves had a few bright spots. Running back Emmanuel Garcia had two short TD runs, and Keyon Burris busted out on a 50-yard TD run to cut the deficit to 41-14 late in the third.
But it wasn't enough.
Vista Ridge (5-5) entered this week as the No. 21 seed in the RPI standings; only the top 16 teams qualify for the playoffs.
On the other hand, the Eagles are focused on making another deep run.
In 2016, they won their third state title in four years during Moore's freshman season.
"With all the talent we have on our team, and we're still young, I still knew this game was in our favor," Moore said. "Just thinking back to the losses, we didn't want to feel that pain anymore."