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LAKEWOOD — Columbine running backs Marquane Taylor and Josh Snyder had no issues finding the end zone Thursday, Sept. 29, at Jeffco Stadium.
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Taylor and Snyder combined to score seven touchdowns in the Class 5A Jeffco League opener against Pomona. The Rebels — No. 2 in this week’s CHSAANow.com Class 5A football rankings — took a 50-21victory over the Panthers.
“Both (Taylor and Snyder) ran hard and blocked well for each other,” Columbine coach Andy Lowry said as the Rebels rushed for 471 yards on the ground in the win. “They are making plays right now.”
Taylor had touchdown runs of 38, 1, 56 and 2 yards in the first half. The Rebels held a 29-14 lead at the break. Snyder got into the scoring act with touchdown carries of 2 and 77 yards in the third quarter as Columbine (6-0, 1-0 in 5A Jeffco) extended its lead to 43-21 heading to the final quarter.
“Coach Lowry knows what he is doing,” Snyder said of the Rebels’ rushing attack. “When things are working they are working. Marquane Taylor had a great game with five touchdowns. I’ll block for him. I’ll do anything. It’s awesome.”
Pomona (1-5, 0-1) had its longest scoring drive of the game, 9-play 77-yard drive that was capped off by a 3-yard touchdown run by freshman Luis Santana with 1:56 left in the third quarter to cut Columbine’s lead to 36-21.
However, Taylor had the Rebels’ longest run of the night with a 77-yard touchdown run less than a minute later to push the lead back up to three scores.
“It felt great,” Snyder said of his 77-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter. “All the glory to God. My hoggies (offensive line) and backs were blocking for me. I really didn’t have to do much on that run. I just had to make one guy miss and they did the rest.”
Taylor went over the 200-yard mark on the night with a 71-yard touchdown run after the Rebels’ defense forced a third Pomona turnover on the night with less than five minutes to play. It was the fifth rushing touchdown for Taylor to give him 15 rushing touchdowns on the season.
“Obviously, it’s a monster with trying to stop Andy’s (Lowry’s offense),” Pomona coach Nathan Johnson said. “We knew that we could hopefully move the ball. A couple of plays just didn’t go our way. I’m proud of our kids.”
Pomona senior quarterback Sawyer Woods — out-of-state transfer from Utah — had touchdown passes to freshmen Max Lovett and Emmitt Munson in the first half that cut the Rebels’ lead to 22-14 midway through the second quarter.
“That is a tough football team,” Lowry said of Pomona. “Those kids played their butts off tonight. We have some work ahead of us.”
Pomona had the ball at midfield with a chance to completely erase Columbine’s lead in the second quarter, but a big interception by Columbine senior Sam Schraeder set up a late first-half touchdown by the Rebels.
Columbine senior Payton Wainwright had another key interception on Pomona’s first drive of the second half that led to Snyder’s first touchdown run.
“We’ve been talking a lot about growth,” Johnson said after the Panthers’ fifth straight loss after a Week 1 win over Thomas Jefferson. “We are continuing to climb the mountain and get better each practice. I’m proud of what I saw on the field. We are expecting to beat Chatfield next week.”
Pomona hosts Chatfield at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at the North Area Athletic Complex.
Columbine had its biggest challenge of the season facing No. 5 Ralston Valley at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, back at Jeffco Stadium.
“We just have to keep working and grinding during practice,” Snyder said. “We’ve got to fix a couple of things. We’ve got to be ready for Ralston Valley. We’ll be ready.”
Dennis Pleuss is the sports information director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.
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