Jeffco Stadium celebrates 60th with old-school cross-town football rivalry

Dennis Pleuss
Jeffco Public Schools
Posted 9/5/19

The stadium celebrated its opening 60 years ago with an old-school Jeffco rivalry. Friday night the lights shined yet again to begin another season as Bear Creek and Lakewood opened up the season at …

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Jeffco Stadium celebrates 60th with old-school cross-town football rivalry

Posted

The stadium celebrated its opening 60 years ago with an old-school Jeffco rivalry. Friday night the lights shined yet again to begin another season as Bear Creek and Lakewood opened up the season at Jeffco Stadium.

“With Bear Creek being our rival it added to the whole experience,” Lakewood senior Charlie Ross said after the Tigers walked off the field with a 35-27 victory. “I was more nervous before this game than any game. It was great to come out with the W.”

Ross had the biggest offensive play of the game with a 97-yard touchdown catch and run midway through the third quarter. Ross caught a swing pass from junior quarterback Jason Duong about five yards deep in the Tigers’ own end zone. The senior was able to make the corner thanks to a block from fellow senior Keondre Beauty.

“We work on that every day,” Lakewood coach Jeff Braun said of the swing pass to Ross. “You’ve got to give it to (Beauty). He blocked the guy and sealed the edge that allowed Charlie to go. That was a big turning point in the game.”

The touchdown gave Lakewood (1-0 record) a 21-13 lead with 6:44 left in the third quarter.

“It was electric,” Ross said of what might very well be the longest play from scrimmage Week 1 of the prep football season in Colorado. “I didn’t want to slow down because you might get caught from behind and that’s scary.”

The Tigers extend their lead to 28-13 minutes later with an 8-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Max Schadler. Duong and Schadler were both effective under center of the Tigers.

“We are still trying to figure out who is going to be the guy,” Braun said of the Tigers’ quarterback situation. “Both of them bring a lot of good things. It’s a two-quarterback kind of system and we’ve done it for a couple of years. It’s worked out.”

Bear Creek (0-1) is also looking for its next quarterback. Freshman Jaedon Minter got the start, but was injured on the second play of the game and didn’t return.

“We were really excited to see him (Riley) to play today. Our two quarterbacks have really been battling it out all summer,” Bear Creek coach Zach Morris said. “I really didn’t make a decision until Monday. Jaedon Minter came in tonight and played fantastic. He made plays.”

Minter threw for a pair of second-half touchdowns. The biggest being a 47-yard strike to senior Eric Johanson for the final score of the game.

The Bears also got their running game going behind sophomore Ryan Segovia. The 200-pound running back scored on touchdown runs of 47 and 15 yards to give Bear Creek a 13-7 lead late in the first half.

Bear Creek did have a golden opportunity to answer just before halftime. A huge kickoff return set up the Bears in Lakewood territory and a 37-yard pass from Minter to senior Joseph Alejo put Bear Creek inside Lakewood 10-yard line with 10 seconds before halftime.

However, a pass into the end zone fell incomplete as the clock expired to end the half to allow Lakewood to maintain its one-point lead. The Bears also fumbled inside the red-zone in the first quarter.

“Those things kill you,” Morris said of the fumble in the red-zone in the first quarter and no able to score right before halftime. “Stuff that like happens.”

Bear Creek is back at Jeffco Stadium next Friday night. The Bears host perennial powerhouse Pomona at 7 p.m. Sept. 6. The Panthers (0-1) opened up their season tonight with a 23-13 loss on the road against Regis Jesuit.

“We didn’t schedule this thing soft. We scrimmaged Fairview last week,” Morris said. “I think we made strides from last week to this week. We’ll go battle Pomona next week.”

Lakewood hits the road Friday, Sept. 6. The Tigers head to Shea Stadium in Highlands Ranch to take on ThunderRidge (1-0). The Grizzlies opened up their season cruising to a 42-14 victory over Rangeview on Thursday, Aug. 29.

“It was great. Both crowds were good. Both teams played their butts off,” Braun said of the historic season opener at Jeffco Stadium. “I thought Zach and his staff did a fantastic job attacking us. We just made a few extra plays. That’s the bottom line.”

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