WESTMINSTER - It’s always the first loss that stings the most, and this one definitely hurt for the previously undefeated Thornton Trojans. The …
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WESTMINSTER - It’s always the first loss that stings the most, and this one definitely hurt for the previously undefeated Thornton Trojans.
The Trojans stumbled against East Metro rival Brighton on Friday and couldn’t find an answer for the Bulldogs’ high-powered offense in a 47-14 blowout loss at Five Star Stadium.
“This was our first test,” Thornton coach Mike Marquez said. “We didn’t pass. It’s like a fight. We got punched in the mouth (and) we were a little stunned, but didn’t have enough punches.”
No doubt the weather had an impact on the Trojans offense, which went into the game averaging 43.8 points a game. Thornton, which was held to only 327 total yards, struggled with the quarterback-center exchange in the shotgun, turned the ball over three times and had four drive-killing penalties.
One snap went over quarterback Marcus Del Hierro’s head and out of the end zone for a safety, another led to a fumble recovery for Brighton at Thornton’s 8-yard line. In fact, the Bulldogs started five of their seven second-half drives in Thornton territory, which led to 24 points.
Brighton (5-1 overall, 2-0 East Metro League) really didn’t need much help, especially with Ethan Trujillo lining up under center. The senior quarterback threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns, two to junior wide receiver Tristan Wells.
“Their system it’s a very efficient system,” Marquez said. “He is getting rid of the ball and you really can’t get to him in time. He made some nice throws and found the seams. We just didn’t make enough plays.”
Trujillo and Wells hooked up for the Bulldogs first touchdown, but the Trojans responded with a 7-play, 65-yard drive of their own that was capped off by Keynan Huguley’s 1-yard touchdown run.
But Brighton answered quickly when Nate Morales returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.
Trujillo added a touchdown run to give the Bulldogs a 21-7 advantage at the half. The 21 points was more than what Thornton has allowed this year (20).
The Trojans tried to regain the momentum with a scoring drive that started at their own 1. Huguley was the main catalyst, gaining 76 yards on the drive. He picked up a first down on a fake punt and then took the ball deep into Brighton’s territory with a 30 yard scamper. Two plays later he found paydirt to cut the Bulldogs lead to 21-14.
However, Brighton responded 20 seconds later when Trujillo once again found Wells for a score. The quick score took all the life out of Thornton.
The Trojans suffered a safety, blocked punt, two turnovers and two shanked punts to close out the game.
“Sometimes things just start to snowball and (Friday) start to snowball and it got too late,” Marquez said. “As long as we don’t let this single game snowball we will be okay,”
Huguley led the way for the Trojans with 163 rushing yards and the two scores and Isiah Hardy added four receptions for 48 yards for Thornton.
Thornton lost Dimitri Montour in the second quarter; the junior suffered an apparent knee injury.
“We will see with him,” Marquez said. “We are resilient and I think the pressure of being undefeated grows and grows with each game and it gets a little tougher. Most of our kids aren’t used to that success or even that attention.”
The Trojans will try to get back on track this week when they host Northglenn, which picked up its first win of the season on Friday.
Last season, Northglenn beat Thornton 42-3.
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