Football: Brighton keeps Superintendent's Cup for a third year

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By Steve Smith

Brighton's Eli Bowman started his junior year of high-school football in fine shape Aug. 30.

He ran for one score and caught a 5-yard pass from quarterback Alex Griffeth for another as the Bulldogs beat rival Prairie View 26-12 to reclaim the Superintendent's Cup for a third straight year.

It was the season-opener for both teams.

"We went into the game to try our hardest and treat it like any other game," Bowman said. "Obviously, the nerves got to us. We fought through it, and they fought hard. We came out on top."

Part of what made it hard for Bowman and other players was off-field friendships.

"It is hard. We know a lot of the guys across from us," Bowman said. "There's that rivalry, but you can't ruin those friendships. It's easy to put the nerves aside once you get going. After this game, we'll go back, text each other and hang out."

"They played hard. We've got a lot of things to fix," said BHS coach Jeff Giger. I get too caught up in being too perfect too quick. I loved our effort. I also loved the fact that we did a good job of staying together. They work so darn hard. They seem to truly love being out there. That's what they want to do. It's something we're constantly working on. But they are taking to it well."

PVHS stayed close through the first half. The ThunderHawks got touchdowns from Larenz Lovelance after an 81-yard run in the second quarter. Starting quarterback Daniel Jiminez ran 79 yards for the ThunderHawks' other score.

But turnovers and Prairie View's kicking game were a trouble spot. BHS took advantage of a very short punt in the first quarter. That led to Bowman's first touchdown. A fumbled snap in punt formation led to a 30-yard loss and a Vershon Brooks score for BHS in the third quarter. PVHS fumbled the ball away on its next series. That led to Bowman's pass reception for a score.

"We told them before the game we couldn't fumble and that we had to tackle and we had to play good special teams," said Startzer. "We got one of the three done. Two of the three were in the toilet. That's completely on me. I didn't get them prepared to the point they could execute under that fire. BRighton did a good job. They were bringing everybody in the box. It was more pressure than we could handle."

Lovelace finished with a team-high 94 yards on the ground and a touchdown. Quarterback CJ Schomaker came on relief and completed four of eight passes for 47 yards. Carlos Barraza caught three passes for 47 yards. Brighton's offense was balanced. Griffeth threw five passes and completed two for 22 yards. Elijah Cortez caught one of those passes for 17 yards. Bowman topped the rushing effort with 40 yards on nine carries. Cortez was close behind with 35 yards on nine carries.

PVHS visits Denver East at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6. BHS is on the road, too. The Bulldogs face Wheat Ridge at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, at Trailblazer Stadium 150 S. Kipling Parkway, Lakwood. 

"It's a great way to start off the season," Bowman said. "We're going to carry this momentum into the next couple of weeks."

"The defense played so well because the amount of turnovers we put down, or some of those half-turnovers where sophomores step out of bounds after they catch," Startzer said. "We have a lot of sophomores on the field. We've got a punter with sophomore mistakes. One of the fumbles was a sophomore mistake. It's not on them that they are sophomores. We have to get them ready. It's embarrassing. I consider myself a better coach than that."