Gunner Gentry, right, and seniors on the Grandview football team hug underclassmen after the Wolves’ 42-20 loss to Pomona in a Class 5A state football semifinal Nov. 25 at Legacy Stadium. Grandview, which made its sixth semifinal appearance, finished the season 10-3. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | The last bit of adversity the Grandview football team faced in 2017 turned out to be the only thing it couldn’t overcome.

Coach John Schultz’s Wolves lost four of its top players — two on both sides of the ball — to injury and suffered through a rare two-game losing streak earlier in the year, only to work their way into Class 5A’s semifinals for the sixth time in program history.

Grandview even overcame a 10-point deficit on the road in the quarterfinals to beat perennial state powerhouse Valor Christian, but Pomona’s big-play penchant eventually proved to be too much.

The Panthers scored three touchdowns  of more than 46 yards in the first half and eventually ran away from the Wolves 42-20 Nov. 25 at Legacy Stadium.

Grandview quarterback Kyle Smith (16) breaks for a long run down the sideline during the Class 5A football semifinal on Nov. 25, 2017, at Legacy Stadium. Pomona topped Grandview 42-20 to earn its way into the 5A state championship game, while ending the Wolves season at 10-3. (Photo by Philip B. Poston/Aurora Sentinel)

“From losing our two best offensive linemen and two best defensive players to losing Gunner Gentry for six weeks, there was a lot to overcome week after week after week for this team,” Schultz said. “I couldn’t be prouder of their effort all year long.

“Pomona was the much better team tonight.”

Indeed, the Panthers won their eighth straight game and earned their third consecutive trip to the 5A state championship game. They won’t face Valor Christian there for the first time — second-seeded Eaglecrest (13-0) is there instead — thanks to Grandview.

All things considered, the Wolves’ 10-3 campaign — which included a second straight Mount Massive League championship plus the historic victory over Valor Christian — proved quite satisfying.

“I’m so proud of our team, we battled all year and overcame so much stuff,” senior safety Kevin Clark said. “To be in the final four when nobody expected us to get through the final eight was incredible. I had a really fun season.”

Senior linebacker Luke La Flam hoped the Wolves could continue their run against Pomona, but they weren’t able to keep up with a team that racked up 500 yards of total offense on big play after big play.

The Panthers scored touchdowns of 73, 98 and 46 yards in the opening half and never looked back.

La Flam focused on the win over Valor Christian as something he’ll always remember.

Pomona running back Max Borghi, middle, tries to spin through a pile of Grandview defenders during the second half of the Panthers’ 42-20 win over the Wolves in a Class 5A state football semifinal Nov. 25 at Legacy Stadium. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Pomona running back Max Borghi, middle, tries to spin through a pile of Grandview defenders during the second half of the Panthers’ 42-20 win over the Wolves in a Class 5A state football semifinal Nov. 25 at Legacy Stadium. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

“Last week was for sure the best football moment I’ve ever had in my life,” said La Flam, who has been playing since he was 6. “It was awesome, so I have that from this season. I’m proud of this team.”

Junior Jordan Billingsley rushed for 109 yards and all three of Grandview’s touchdowns against Pomona. The Wolves finally stemmed the tide of mometum with a late first half touchdown drive, when senior quarterback Kyle Smith rushed for 46 yards to put them in position for a short Billingsley TD run.

Two touchdowns by Pomona star running back Max Borghi pretty much put the game away, while Billingsley got into the end zone two more times from 6 and 8 yards in the final quarter plus.

Grandview moves on without a senior class that has been one of the most successful ever for the program in terms fo wins.

“This senior class was pretty special,” Schultz said. “They went undefeated as freshmen and on JV and now two 10-win seasons in a row, that’s 40 wins from a class of seniors that’s going to be missed.”

Billingsley picked up a lot from the senior group that he intends to bring to the team next season.

“Watching these seniors lead through the summer, regular season and playoffs, I got a good idea of how to do the job,” Billingsley said. “I appreciated that and I’m going to miss them.”

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

(4) POMONA 42, (8) GRANDVIEW 20

Score by quarters:

Pomona      14  7  14  7 — 42

Grandview   0  7   7  6 — 20


First quarter

Pomona — David Ross 73 yard pass from Ryan Marquez (McGuire Mallory kick), 11:03

Pomona — Colton Muller 98 yard pass from Marquez (Mallory kick), 2:30

Second quarter

Pomona — Max Borghi 46 yard run (Mallory kick), 11:25

Grandview — Jordan Billingsley 2 yard run (Cobi Wood kick), 3:02

Third quarter

Pomona — Borghi 19 yard run (Mallory kick), 9:05

Pomona — Borghi 56 yard run (Mallory kick), 4:21

Grandview — Billingsley 6 yard run (Wood kick), 7.2

Fourth quarter

Pomona — Riley Welsch 25 yard interception return (Mallory kick), 3:39

Grandview — Billingsley 8 yard run (pass failed), 1:00


Pomona: Max Borghi 18-211, Ryan Marquez 11-15, Theorius Robison 5-10

Grandview: Jordan Billingsley 23-109, Kyle Smith 10-49, Aaron Harris 5-5, Andrew Turner 1-(minus 1)


Pomona: Marquez 9-15, 275 yards, 2 touchdowns

Grandview: Smith 18-34, 223 yards, 1 interception


Pomona: Colton Muller 2-121, David Ross 2-79, Billy Pospisil 3-68, Riley Govan 1-8, Borghi 1-(minus 1)

Grandview: Julius Carter Jr. 8-81, Gunner Gentry 5-72, Dayne Prim 2-40, Turner 2-26, Billingsley 1-4

Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...