THORNTON - Northglenn’s Scott Gallas has amassed more than 100 wins in his illustrious coaching career, but few were as memorable as the one his …
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THORNTON - Northglenn’s Scott Gallas has amassed more than 100 wins in his illustrious coaching career, but few were as memorable as the one his Norse picked up Friday night at Five Star Stadium.
Northglenn drove 77 yards in 43 seconds to score a touchdown with 35.3 seconds remaining to pull out an improbable 62-57 victory over rival Thornton on a cold and drizzly night in a contest that featured historic performances on both sides of the ball.
Maybe none more so than the effort put forth by Thornton running back Keynan Huguley in a losing cause. A 5-foot-8, 165-pound senior, Huguley rushed for 501 yards and six touchdowns on 45 carries. He also scored a 2-point conversion to give the Trojans a 57-56 lead with 1:23 remaining.
“He’s quite a player, he’s tough to bring down,” said Gallas about Huguley. “He’s going places, he really is.”
Gallas also has a pretty impressive player in senior quarterback Jordan Radebaugh, who finished with more than 400 yards of total offense to lead the Norse (2-5 overall, 2-1 East Metro League). Radebaugh passed for 289 yards and four scores, and ran for another 102 and two more scores. He even caught a 10 yard touchdown pass.
He was never more impressive than on Northglenn’s final drive, calmly moving the Norse quickly downfield for the winning score. He hit Ken Heard for a 36 yard strike to set up Northglenn deep in Trojan territory, and then found Adam Adkins from 19 yards out for the final touchdown.
“There was a little bit of nervousness, but, in practice, we do that every day,” Radebaugh said about the final drive. “We practice going down the field with a little bit of time on the clock, so I was pretty confident.”
Gallas said he had faith that his team could come up with the game-winning drive.
“With a minute (23) seconds, our kids still executed and they had no doubt we could get it done,” said Gallas, who picked up his 100th career victory the week before against Prairie View. “We do our 2-minute offense every day, so it wasn’t anything new to us. We said we just have to relax and execute our offense, and they did.”
With the team’s combining for more than 100 points and 1,000 yards of offense, there was plenty of big plays on the night and momentum shifts were monumental. Thornton (5-2, 1-2) looked like it was in control early, taking a 20-7 lead midway through the second quarter on Huguley’s third touchdown run of the night.
But Northglenn countered right back, getting a 96-yard return for a touchdown by Heard on the ensuing kick.
The Norse’s momentum was fleeting as well, as Thornton only needed two plays to go back up by two scores, getting a 48 yard touchdown run from Huguley for a 27-14 lead.
Northglenn would get two more touchdowns before the end of the second quarter to take a 28-27 halftime lead. And the Norse would increase that advantage on the second play from scrimmage of the second half when Barrington Burnett picked off a Marcus Del Hierro pass and returned it 26 yards for a score and a 35-27 lead.
But Huguley would not let the Trojans go away. He added a 66 yard touchdown run five plays later, as the teams exchanged scores for the remainder of the game to set up the final two minutes of action.
And Thornton, which was looking to beat Northglenn for the first time since 1995, looked like it had finally broken through when Del Hierro scored from 5 yards out to cut the deficit to 56-55 with 1:23 left.
Trojans coach Mike Marquez decided to go for 2, but the teams first attempt failed when Del Hierro’s pass to Bryan Weingerten was batted away. Northglenn was called for pass interference on the play, however, and Huguley leaped up and over the line for a successful conversion on their next attempt.
“That’s a tough loss to swallow,” Huguley said. “It was a good all-around game for both offenses. In the end they had more fight, and we ran out of time.”
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