Columbine Surprises No. 3 Pomona

*Reposting some of my clips from life as a sports reporter as I find them. These are exactly as they appeared in print/online minus photos. 

Printed in the Rocky Mountain News – October 8, 1994

By Tiffany Trott
Special to the Rocky Mountain News

LAKEWOOD – Not many people expected Columbine to beat No. 3 Pomona — except those on the Rebels sideline.

Columbine stunned Pomona 28-20 Friday afternoon at Jefferson County Stadium in the first class 5A Jeffco League game of the season.

“(In) high school football anything can happen,” Columbine coach Andy Lowry said. “These kids have found a will to win. It’s down in that heart and we just have to keep getting it. No one expects anything.”

Even though Pomona (4-2, 0-1) gained 509 yards offense to Columbine’s 332, key defensive plays by the Rebels made the difference.

Running back Paul Boykin also was a hero for Columbine, scoring twice on long runs (78 and 73 yards) and making a key special teams play late in the game.

After taking a 28-6 third-quarter lead, Columbine held on in the final period with two goal line stands. The key play came with 5:16 left after Boykin booted a 60-yard quick kick on third-and-7 to put the Panthers back at their 32.

“We were down buried (at the 8-yard line) and I didn’t want a return so it worked out great,” Lowry said.

Boykin got Columbine of to a fast start, taking the Rebels first play from scrimmage 78 yards for a touchdown with 4 minutes gone in the game.

Boykin, who sat out last week against Highlands Ranch because he was ineligible, ran for 179 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns to lead Columbine rushers. “Boykin had a challenge to face after sitting out last week, so he was hungry to play,” Lowry said.

Boykin struck quickly again to open the second half, bolting 73 yards for a score to give the Rebels a 21-6 lead 52 seconds into the third quarter.

After Boykin’s first TD, Pomona scored its first points of the game.

Jeremy Close scored on a 3-yard run and capped an 11-play, 84-yard drive with 3:08 left in the first half.

Columbine took only 1 minute to extend its lead to 14-6 after a 61-yard run by running back Mike Schmidt.

Columbine’s defense came up with a big play after Boykin’s burst to open the second half.

The Rebels recovered a fumble by Pomona quarterback Matt Smiley at the Panthers’ 30, and Schmidt ran the ball in on Columbine’s first play to put the Rebels ahead 28-6 with 8:58 left in the third period.

Schmidt ran for 102 yards on only four carries. But the tide started to turn with Pomona’s next possession.

Running back Scott Schaefer completed a 5-yard scoring pas to tight end Brad Gomer.

Then Columbine’s Bryan O’Neill fumbled the ball at the Rebels’ 45 and Pomona recovered. With 9 seconds left in the third period, Smiley connected with wide receiver Mike DiGiosio on a 28-yard touchdown pass to pull Pomona within eight.

But the Rebels defense held in the final period, stopping the Panthers on downs at the Columbine 6 and 12 to preserve the victory.

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