In what seemed the story of the game, neither team wanted to win as each team had three turnovers, Cherry Creek two in the fourth quarter. Columbine's Tyler Monteath intercepted Cherry Creek's Joe Murt at the three yard line with 3:59 remaining in the fourth quarter and it looked as if Columbine and their rushing attack were going to seal the deal.
Cherry Creek would hold and get one more chance. Murt drove Cherry Creek down the field one more time. With first and goal from the ten yard line, Murt would throw four straight incompletions and Columbine held, taking over on downs with eleven seconds remaining.
After going 10-13 for 104 yards and a touchdown (rushing) in the first half, Murt would finish 13-26 for 139 yards and 93 yards rushing, left wondering what might have been.
"We played hard and I am real proud of my teammates. Coach Critchett gave us the right calls, we just didn't get it done. Turnovers killed us late and that was the game," said a disapointed Murt.
The game started with three straight turnovers, two by Columbine, and each team hitting big plays for touchdowns. A 43 yard toss and run by Cherry Creek's Brent Dickinson and an 83 yard run by Columbine running back Scott Sheffield. Cherry Creek's balanced attack kept them in the game as Columbine dominated in the trenches, rushing for an amazing 279 yards in the first half, finishing with 382 on the ground and 61 in the air.
Columbine's Tyler Monteath was drained after the game, but excited with the win. "That interception saved us and when we had to go back out on the field we knew we could stop them. I am just real happy we won. We had the lead and momentum and knew would couldn't make any mistakes."
The defending state champion Columbine rebels definitely looked beatable but held firm against Cherry Creek who is now in their longest finals appearance drought (3years) since 1977.
Columbine will advance to the quarterfinals against the winner of Boulder vs. Mullen (Saturday DeLaSalle Stadium).