Coach Tom Doherty and the Grandview football team finished the season 9-3 after a 24-3 loss to Pine Creek in a Class 5A state quarterfinal football playoff game on Nov. 19, 2022, at Legacy Stadium. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | The Grandview football team got off to a great start to Saturday’s Class 5A state quarterfinal against Pine Creek Saturday at Legacy Stadium, but the remaining three-plus quarters didn’t go as well.

Coming off a quarterfinal win over Rocky Mountain in which more than half of their offensive unit — including junior starting quarterback Liam Szarka — got injured, the fourth-seeded Wolves jumped in front of fifth-seeded Pine Creek with an early field goal by junior Kyle Chavez.

But Grandview found the going much tougher the rest of the way and never added to that early lead as the Eagles — in their first season in the 5A playoffs after a dominant time at the 4A level — scored 17 straight points to end the first half and added another touchdown in the second half for a 24-3 victory.

Pine Creek moves on to a semifinal matchup against top-seeded and three-time defending state champion Cherry Creek (which defeated No. 9 ThunderRidge), which suffered its only loss in Colorado to coach Tom Doherty’s Grandview team in the regular season. The Wolves — who had been in the hunt for a fourth trip to the semifinals in the past five seasons — finished the season 9-3.

Under the direction of senior backup quarterback Cole Swanson, Grandview moved down the field with its opening possession to the Pine Creek red zone, then settled for Chavez’s 31-yard kick and turned over a lead to its defense, which had posted shutouts in two of its last three games.

Pine Creek attacked Grandview with a physical running game and had a quality drive late in the opening quarter that ended with a missed field goal, but got a new set of downs due to a personal foul penalty. The Eagles got into the end zone on a short touchdown run by Jonathan Coar in the opening seconds of the second quarter.

An errant snap on a punt attempt and then a short punt later in the quarter led to 10 straight points for Pine Creek, which converted those short fields into a 1-yard touchdown run by Mason Miller as well as Coar’s 42-yard field goal.

The Eagles intercepted Swanson once in both halves, with the second (by Cannon Budge) stopping a promising drive late in the third quarter. Pine Creek went 45 yards following the turnover for another touchdown to take a three-score lead.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

(5) PINE CREEK 24, (4) GRANDVIEW 3

Score by quarters:

Pine Creek  0  17  0  7 — 24

Grandview  3    0  0  0 —   3

SCORING

First quarter

Grandview — Kyle Chavez 31 yard field goal, 6:01

Second quarter

Pine Creek — Jonathan Coar 5 yard run (Coar kick), 11:48

Pine Creek — Mason Miller 1 yard run (Coar kick), 8:07

Pine Creek — Coar 42 yard field goal, 3:04

Fourth quarter

Pine Creek — Miller 1 yard run (Coar kick), 11:28

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