LAKEWOOD — The best advice I heard in the aftermath of Evergreen’s epic loss to D’Evelyn was that the Cougars should just forget about it, wipe it away and move on.
Jaguars 60, Cougars 28.
Do they make rugs big enough to sweep that under?
Any given Friday, right?
Except that 60 had plenty of time to sear itself into the minds of the Cougars faithful that packed the stands and overflowed along the grass embankments and fences at Trailblazer Stadium on Oct. 3. Through a mixture of lethal execution and fortuitous moments, the Jaguars led 33-0 after the first quarter and 60-7 at halftime. The Cougars fought back but only against D’Evelyn’s second string.
So the big 6 and the big 0 hung over the Cougars for a long time, even with the mercy-rule running clock in the second half, hovering like a hammer to the elbow as the Cougars showed off their homecoming royalty.
I crown thee King of Pain (there’s a little black spot on the sun today).
I began covering prep sports in earnest in 1999 and I’ve never seen a 60-spot at halftime, especially when the victim has a great defensive line and has been competitive in every game this season. It’s not like D’Evelyn is Class 3A’s top-ranked Fort Morgan, or the Denver Broncos’ scout team.
Walking off the turf after the game I caught up with Jaguars assistant Randy Penn, who most people know as the former longtime coach at Englewood and someone that has seen more football that most people in this state. I had to ask him if he’d ever witnessed 60 points scored in the first half and he just smiled politely and shook his head.
According to the Colorado High School Activities Association’s state football records, D’Evelyn’s onslaught was the fourth-most points scored in a half by one team – and two of those games involved 6-man teams, where pinball scores are commonplace.
Woodlin, a tiny school of around 30 kids, scored 66 against Arickaree in 2005, and Pawnee-Briggsdale put up 65 on Fleming in 1989. Alamosa, a 3A power for the past decade, hung 64 on Ridge View Academy in 2006 to round out your dubious top three.
But this should have been a competitive game. Yes, Evergreen has struggled defending the pass, but the Jaguars ran for their first two touchdowns as quarterback Garrett Griffeth faked handoffs and blew through the center of the defensive line.
When Griffethpassed, the senior lived up to his billing as one of the better throwers in 3A, perhaps 4A and maybe 5A. Griffeth completed 13-of-14 passes for 244 yards and five touchdowns. Some were short passes that went the distance, others were streaks and one was even tipped up in the air by Evergreen’s Branden Kullby only to land in the arms of a receiver falling into the end zone.
It was one of those nights.
Evergreen’s defensive adjustments were shot to ribbons and the offense was shellshocked.
And then the mental mistakes began to accumulate. Anyone who has ever been on the wrong end of a blowout knows, it’s hard to keep your focus when you’re mad at yourself, mad at the opposition and all you want to do is hit the restart button.
The Jaguars went up 20-0 with 4:09 left in the first quarter after Evergreen never fell on the kickoff. The ball, which traveled its required 10 yards, rolled to a stop on the Cougars’ 14 and no one bothered picking it up.
The Jaguarsdid and scored two plays later.
The Cougars were missing tackles, throwing balls high and throwing them to receivers that never took the time to look back at their quarterback.
Evergreen was down 47-0 before they scored on a 2-yard dive by Cory Evans. The Jaguars answered with a touchdown drive and then hit 60 with 10 seconds remaining when Cougars quarterback Trevor Olson was intercepted by Josiah Flack, who returned it 57 yards for a touchdown.
Evergreen looked like a different team in the second half. D’Evelyn’s second-team defense deserves some credit for that, but the Cougars were clearly executing. Olson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another while the Jaguars never got a first down.
It was a respectable finish to a forgettable night. While a 60-point first half is something neither team will forget, the Cougars will have to if they want to end the season on a high note.
Just wipe it away. And move on.
Brian Forbes is a staff writer for Evergreen Newspapers. Contact the sports department at 303-933-2233, ext. 15 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org