5A Roundup: State Championship Edition

5A Roundup: State Championship Edition

Using their tried and true blue print of ball control and tough defense, Columbine upends #1 seed Mullen to win the 5A state championship.

Columbine 13            Mullen 10

Bam, smack, pow, Columbine did what they do best running the ball and eating clock as the Rebels upset #1 seed Mullen 13 to 10 to bring home the Rebels fourth 5A title since 1999.  For Mullen, it is the second time in as many years that they have made it to the title game only to go home empty handed. 

 

Columbine's first drive of the game, was pure Rebel and would set the tone for the rest of the game.  The Rebels, behind their big offensive line, held the ball for nearly eight minutes and capped a sixteen-play drive with a Jeff Cicchinelli to Brett Weibel pass. Big play Mullen got the ball into the hands of RB Phil Morelli who would rush for 170 yards on the day.  In an attempt to counter the first Columbine score,  Morelli took off on what looked to be one of his signature break away runs, when out of nowhere 6'7 285 pound mammoth Ryan Miller chased and brought down Morelli thirteen yards short of pay dirt.  Miller's defensive play would prove to be one of the games biggest as the Mustangs would turn the ball over and not score on the possession.  In the third quarter, Morelli would score Mullen's only touchdown and later the Mustangs would add a field goal, but that would be it for the game.  The Columbine D led by Miller and defensive tackle Curtis Cunningham along with defensive back C.J. Gillman were able to keep Mullen relatively in check all day by keeping All-Star receivers Devin Aguilar and Steve Watson in front of them. In the fourth, Columbine would drive again for a score again using Cicchinelli on the crucial plays.  Cicchenelli would bust off forty yards on a crucial fourth and two and then finish with a short TD run with under two minutes left to take the game winning lead.  On the ensuing drive, Miller would register his second big time defensive play of the game by forcing Mullen QB Clint Brewster into an interception brought in by Gillman, giving Columbine the ball and the state title with the hard fought 13-10 win.

 

On the day, the Rebels rushed for nearly 300 yards.  Jeff Cicchinelli had the two scores while Chad Korodaj rushed for over 100 yards and T.J. Gillman and Orenzo Davis combined for 102 yards.  For Mullen, this was their lowest point total of the season, having averaged right at forty-six points a game for the year.  Their low was twenty-eight against Grandview earlier this season.

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