Mustangs down Lions, claim top spot

Posted 11/13/08

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 …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?

Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.


Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.

Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

Mustangs down Lions, claim top spot


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 Stadium.

“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 game.

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 33.

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 final.

“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.”


Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.