Facing the top team in the North Metro Conference, it was the goal of the Littleton High School football team to walk away from this Oct. 30 contest …
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Facing the top team in the North Metro Conference, it was the
goal of the Littleton High School football team to walk away from
this Oct. 30 contest tied atop the standings.
Thanks to a stout defense by Ralston Valley and several
turnovers by the Lions, it was the Mustangs who left Littleton as
the undisputed conference champion.
Quarterback James Robinson threw for two touchdowns and running
pack Matt Spirek ran for two more as Ralston Valley (7-3 overall,
7-0 North Metro) dominated the first quarter of play 19-0 and went
on to claim a 29-15 victory at Littleton Public Schools
“We weren’t ready to play quarter number one, and that starts
with me,” coach Chad Koepke said. “You have to credit a good
football team because Ralston came out and took advantage of it.
Once we settled down, we were fine. But you can’t go in a hole
against a good team like that, plain and simple.”
The Mustangs took control of this one in the early going.
Littleton opened with possession but went three-and-out and was
forced to punt from its own 22. That punt, however, was blocked by
Ralston’s Lee Marshall and the visitors began their first drive at
the Lions’ 26 yard line. Four plays later, Robinson connected with
Jason DeWitt on an 11-yard touchdown pass and the Mustangs were on
the board, 6-0 with 8:03 on the clock.
Another three-and-out by Littleton set Ralston up at the LHS 41,
and the Mustangs needed only five plays to find paydirt yet again.
On first down, Spirek went left and scored on a 13-yard run at
5:19. Littleton would deny the two-point attempt, making it a 12-0
It was here, on the Lions’ third possession, that the hosts
began to show some life. Littleton picked up its first first-down
of the night when, on third and nine, Blake Buder found Noah Gaumer
for 11 yards. But mistakes emerged once again, and after a 10-yard
penalty and incomplete pass brought up third and 13, Buder was
sacked and fumbled. Ralston’s Nick Grenfell recovered the ball, and
the Mustangs were again holding prime field position at the LHS
An 18-yard run by Spirek moved Ralston to the 17, and from there
Robinson found Spirek in the back of the end zone with a 17-yard
touchdown pass, putting the Mustangs up 19-0 with 1:15 left in the
opening quarter. It was a tremendous play by Robinson, who was
being blitzed by Littleton’s Ben Hranchak. Robinson released the
ball just ahead of Hranchak’s hit, lofting the ball to the end zone
where Spirek made a leaping catch in front of the end line.
Grenfell would add a 42-yard field goal with 9:56 left in the
second quarter, but quarterback sacks by Cody Burgess and Adam
Singleton, who also forced a fumble, and an interception by Kevin
Farley helped keep Ralston from adding to its 22-0 advantage
heading into the half.
Ralston did add to its lead with 8:38 on the third-quarter clock
on a 39-yard touchdown run by Spirek, but Littleton clamped down
from there, not allowing another point. The Lions, however, would
not get on the board until late in the fourth quarter.
After a sack by Derrick Schmitz forced a three-and-out by
Ralston, Littleton began its first scoring drive at its own 26. An
8-yard run with a 15-yard personal foul penalty tacked to the end
moved the Lions across midfield before Gaumer, now under center,
connected with Brian Holland on a 10-yard pass, gaining a first
down on fourth and six. Now with first-and-goal from the 10, Gaumer
scrambled for six yards before Kirchner fought for the last four on
the next play, scoring with 3:21 remaining.
Gaumer had a solid all-around night, rushing 14 times for 71
yards and catching four passes for 43 yards. He also threw for 31
yards, completing 3 of 9 passes.
Kirchner, who was again Littleton’s primary threat, added one
more touchdown on a 12-yard run with 51 seconds to play and then
dove for the right pylon on the two-point conversion for the 29-15
“It was really important for us to score at the end because it
showed that we can play, and if we put four quarters of that
together we can win games like this,” Kirchner said. “We just made
too many mistakes tonight on offense and defense. With teams like
this, one little mistake is a big play for them. We just can’t make
mistakes if we want to win big games.”
Kirchner rushed 28 times for 160 yards on the night, eclipsing
the 1,000-yard mark late in the first quarter on a three-yard run.
The senior entered the game with 990 yards and now has 1,150 to go
along with 10 touchdowns.
“It’s every running back’s aim, and I’m proud of it, but it’s
not a big deal to me,” Kirchner said. “I just want to win. I’d
trade the yards to win the game.”
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