Things weren't looking good for the Pine Creek football team.

It produced a run for negative yards on the opening drive. Then, its defense was called for an offside penalty twice.

"A little nervous at the beginning," Pine Creek coach Todd Miller pointed out, "but we kind of worked it out."

No. 1 Pine Creek quickly recovered, exploding to a 50-0 win over No. 16 Heritage on a cold Friday night in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs at D-20 Stadium. Max Lofy rushed for two touchdowns and caught another, and teammate Eddie Kyle was a defensive stud with two interceptions — including returning one some 35 yards for a TD.

But the shortened game didn't come without a scare.

Pine Creek's star running back, David Moore III, injured his elbow on a rush. His coach said he did not know his status following the game, adding that the junior would be evaluated.

But Moore only left after he ignited Pine Creek's scoring surge with 3 minutes, 58 seconds remaining in the first quarter. He ran in a 30-yard TD, seemingly untouched.

And it was all Pine Creek (10-1) from there.

Heritage (8-3) did not have an answer all night.

Pine Creek erupted for a 36-point second quarter, thanks to Lofy's short TD, quarterback Gavin Herberg's 29-yard TD pass to Lofy, DJ Armstead's 38-yard TD run, Kyle's pick-6, a safety and for insurance purposes, a 9-yard TD run by Spencer Peterson.

The last score put a running clock in effect — with a minute left in the first half. And with a 20-minute halftime, the game lasted under two hours.

Lofy scored one more TD early in the third quarter — a 48-yard run — to put Pine Creek up 50-0. At that point, Pine Creek removed most of its starters to allow reserves to get some action.

"It was a well-rounded game," said Miller, the Pine Creek coach. "But you can't get caught up on that. You enjoy this for a little bit, but you have to start thinking about your next opponent."

And Pine Creek won't find that out until Saturday afternoon, when No. 8 Pueblo West and No. 9 Skyline face off. Pine Creek shut out Pueblo West to advance to last year's state title game — which it lost to Pueblo South 25-14.

What does Friday's win say about this year's Pine Creek team?

"I think we're ready for the next round," said Kyle, Pine Creek's defensive star. "I think our defense really stepped up. Our offense stepped up as well. We played as a team, we played as a unit. We got the job done."

Chhun Sun is a sports reporter with an emphasis in preps. He joined The Gazette in April 2015 and covered public safety for three years before joining @gazettepreps staff. The Thailand-born Cambodian-American has been in journalism for nearly two decades.

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