Columbine quarterback Michael Burns scoffed at the criticism the Rebels receive for participating in 7-on-7 competitions during the summer.
Columbine isn’t known for throwing the ball, so why play a 7-on-7 game where passing is all that’s allowed?
Burns proved Columbine critics wrong Friday by using his arm to beat Fort Collins, 42-9, at Jefferson County Stadium.
“People say we don’t pass, but we do a little bit. We have to keep people honest,” Burns said. “We have plays where we come off the run and throw the ball. Our run sets up our pass and so on and so forth.”
To be fair, it wasn’t an all-out aerial assault by the Rebels (1-0), but Burns did complete all five of his pass attempts for 103 yards and three touchdowns. Compare those numbers to his 2011 season totals of 104 yards and two scores, and it’s hard to fault the Lambkins to getting beat through the air, especially with how tight their coverage was.
With 1 minute, 8 seconds remaining in the first half, Fort Collins’ deficit was only 14-9 thanks to a 51-yard field goal kicker Cory Voorhis drilled into the wind.
The Lambkins seemed to have momentum, but that’s when Burns heaved up a prayer to running back Bernard McDondle 47 yards down the sideline. It didn’t matter that McDondle was blanketed by double-coverage, he concentrated and grabbed a touchdown reception off the tipped pass.
Midway through the third quarter, Fort Collins (0-1) again had a Columbine receiver covered in the end zone, but Garrett Hyde jumped over his defender to make the catch, helping to prove why the Rebels were the preseason No. 2 in Class 5A.
“We’ve got that guy covered, we’ve got him double-covered, but Columbine just finds a way to make plays,” Fort Collins coach Eric Rice said. “Instead of going into halftime down 14-9, we’re down 12. It just kind of snowballed us in the second half.”
The Lambkins were able to break in a plethora of sophomores and varsity newcomers, including quarterback Kyler Sigsbee, who received a rude awakening.
He completed 12 of 23 passes for 138 yards with four interceptions, which included a 41-yard strike to Riley Waldie late in the first half that setup Voorhis’ long field goal. Running back Jake Hanks had eight carries for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Fort Collins will play at home next week, hosting Cherokee Trail at 7 p.m.