AURORA | The Grandview football team knows all about big games running the football, after all the Wolves have the state’s leading rusher on their roster.
And while junior Hayden Blubaugh had another good game running the football in Friday night’s Class 5A state football quarterfinal contest — coming in with 171 yards — it was Pomona running back Cameron Gonzales who stole the show on a snowy night at Legacy Stadium.
Running behind a massive offensive line and exhibiting sure footing in slippery conditions, the junior rushed for 238 yards and scored four of the five touchdowns in the game for the second-seeded Panthers, who pulled off a 32-21 upset of top-seeded Grandview.
Pomona (9-3) secured Region B’s berth in next week’s 5A semifinals, where it will take on Region A top-seed Columbine, a 27-14 winner over No. 2 Regis Jesuit. The Rebels beat the Panthers 42-35 when the team’s met in Jeffco League play.
Junior quarterback Gunnar Lamphere rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown and threw a touchdown pass to Gunner Gentry in the fourth quarter and Ben Genovese connected on a pair of field goal tries for coach John Schultz’s Wolves, who finished the season 9-3 overall. Grandview had been looking to make it to the 5A semifinals for the fifth time in the past nine seasons.
Schultz, Aurora’s longest-tenured coach now at 11 seasons, picked up his 100th win with Grandview earlier this season and led the program to at least nine wins for the sixth time in that span.
Genovese put the Wolves up with his successful 35 yard kick midway through the opening quarter, which held up for just five minutes, as Pomona marched down the field for a Gonzales 4 yard touchdown run and a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
The Panthers continued to roll along and expanded the lead to 10 points on Gonzales’ 1-yard plunge, but Grandview cut slightly into the lead a few minutes later with Genovese’s 21 yard field goal. The Wolves couldn’t punch it in while in the red zone, however, leaving a 13-6 deficit at the break.
Conditions worsened in the second half as the wind picked up and snow coated the field, though it didn’t stop Gonzales, who broke loose for a 64-yard touchdown run in the opening minute of in the third quarter. That didn’t put Grandview away, however, as Lamphere drove them 65 yards and finished it with an 18-yard scamper.
Gonzales’ 44-yard burst up the middle for another touchdown with just 1:13 left in the third period put the Panthers in prime position and quarterback Ryan Marquez put the game out of reach with a 1-yard sneak with 4:21 left to make it 32-14.
Lamphere tossed an 11-yard touchdown to Gentry (58 yards receiving) and ran in the two-point conversion with just over two minutes remaining to make it an 11-point game, but the Wolves couldn’t recover an onside kick needed for a comeback.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
(2) POMONA 32, (1) GRANDVIEW 21
Score by quarters:
Pomona 7 6 13 6 — 32
Grandview 3 3 7 8 — 21
Grandview — Ben Genovese 35 yard field goal, 6:03
Pomona — Cameron Gonzales 4 yard run (kick), 1:24
Pomona — Gonzales 1 yard run (kick failed), 8:46
Grandview — Genovese 21 yard field goal, 1:58
Pomona — Gonzales 64 yard run (run failed), 11:16
Grandview — Gunnar Lamphere 18 yard run (Genovese kick), 3:19
Pomona — Gonzales 44 yard run (run failed), 1:13
Pomona — Ryan Marquez 1 yard run (kick failed), 4:31
Grandview — Gunner Gentry 11 yard pass from Lamphere (Lamphere run), 2:07
Pomona: Cameron Gonzales 28-238, Max Borghi 10-70, Ryan Marquez 3-8
Grandview: Hayden Blubaugh 33-171, Gunnar Lamphere 19-114, DeAndre Shorts 2-10, Dom Chapa 1-(minus 2)
Pomona: Marquez 2-2, 17 yards
Grandview: Lamphere 7-11, 64 yards, 1 touchdown
Pomona: Gonzales 1-17, Borghi 1-0
Grandview: Gunner Gentry 5-58, Blubaugh 1-6, Alex Reyna 1-0