In Poudre’s season-opener against Fairview, the Impalas faced a second string quarterback and watched him light up the scoreboard in a big loss.
That wasn’t about to happen again Friday night against Boulder.
The Impalas defense, spearheaded by two huge plays from Justin Moreng and Logan Wolfe, shut down Boulder’s high-octane offense and rattled sophomore backup quarterback Malcolm Patterson en route to a 45-7 win — Poudre’s first of the season and first for new head coach Dan Reardon.
Patterson, starting in place of his older brother TJ, who suffered an ankle injury last week at Prairie View, was picked off by Moreng on the Panthers’ third series of the game and Moreng returned it 21 yards for Poudre’s first points since its 42-7 loss to Fairfield in the opener.
Later, with Boulder’s offense finally gaining some momentum, Poudre’s Logan Wolfe scooped up a fumble and ran it 37 yards to the house to put the Impalas up 21-0 in the second quarter.
The Impalas (1-2) kicked a pseudo onside kick after the score and although Boulder’s star kick returner and running back Demetrius Kennedy caught the high pooch kick, he fumbled the ball away at the Poudre 41.
One play later, Poudre quarterback Cody Limmer threw a 59-yard bomb to a wide-open Spencer Long (Poudre’s opening game starting quarterback) and the Impalas took a 28-0 lead into halftime, leaving the Boulder faithful stunned and quiet in the stands of Recht Field.
Boulder (2-1), which started the season with 41-6 and 58-20 blowouts over George Washington and Prairie View, respectively, was stifled offensively without its starting quarterback.
Kennedy came into the game with 259 yards rushing on just 15 attempts — that’s a gaudy 17-yard average per carry — but he managed just 59 yards on 15 carries against Poudre’s aggressive, stout defensive front.
The Impalas’ offensive woes coming into the game were no secret. They managed just a single touchdown against Fairview and were shut out 52-0 last week at Denver South. Friday night, however, may have solidified Limmer as the starting signal caller for the rest of the season.
He passed for 207 yards and three touchdowns, showing off a big arm on the strike to Long, pretty touch on a corner fade to Dan Pinkston for a 29-yard score in the second quarter and good decision making on his 50-yard touchdown to Austin Sander in the third quarter to put the Impalas up 35-0.
Both teams play again on Thursday as Poudre hosts Overland, while Boulder plays Brighton.
Follow reporter Stephen Meyers at twitter.com/stemeyer or facebook.com/meyersreports.