LAKEWOOD — Prep football in Colorado is back. Thursday, Oct. 8, marked the opening day for Week 1 of the prep football season. Green Mountain — No. 7 in the CHSAANow.com Class 3A preseason …
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LAKEWOOD — Prep football in Colorado is back.
Thursday, Oct. 8, marked the opening day for Week 1 of the prep football season. Green Mountain — No. 7 in the CHSAANow.com Class 3A preseason rankings and 3A state semifinalist last season — started off where the Rams’ season ended last year at Jeffco Stadium. The Rams lost to eventual 3A state champion Palmer Ridge back on Nov. 30, 2019. It was actually the last football game at Jeffco Stadium before Thursday night’s game.
“We had a season. We didn’t have a season. Now we have season,” Green Mountain senior quarterback Darius Padilla said. “Now we have to play like we want the season. To be back out on a field and playing sports is the best feeling, honestly.”
Green Mountain felt even better after defeating Northridge 21-14 to kickoff the season. It was an 80-yard kickoff return by senior Jose Luis Cedillo that was the difference for the Rams.
“It was just crazy. Thanks to my teammates, there was some amazing blocking,” Cedillo said of his kickoff return that took 14 seconds to find the end zone. “Once I saw that hole my eyes opened up like a deer in headlights.”
The special teams touchdown gave Green Mountain (1-0 record) a 21-14 lead with 2:47 left in the fourth quarter.
“Jose had great vision on that one,” Green Mountain coach Jesse German said of Cedillo’s kickoff return. “We did really good with the timing and setting up the return. It took all 11 of those dudes.”
Padilla actually caught the kickoff after Northridge tied the game up 14-14 with 3:01 left in the fourth quarter. Padilla ran to his right and handed the ball off to Cedillo who ran past the Rams’ sideline to the score.
“I handed it to him (Cedillo) and the second I turned around I knew he was gone,” Padilla said. “I had the read and four guys were following me. Those were four guys we didn’t have to block.”
After a scoreless first half, the Rams trailed 7-0 midway through the third quarter after a 30-yard touchdown pass from Northridge quarterback Cooper Rose to sophomore Reece Pratz on the Grizzlies opening drive of the second half.
However, Green Mountain had back-to-back touchdowns just over two minutes apart in the final minutes of the third quarter. Padilla hooked up with fellow senior Austin Peterson with touchdown strikes of 22 and 25 yards to give the Rams a 14-7 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
“We were looking for some match-up with Peterson and we started to see some,” German said. “They were loading the box and we had to exploit that. Peterson finished those plays.”
Northridge (0-1) battled behind the play of Rose and sophomore running back Isaac Kness. The Grizzlies held the ball for most of the fourth quarter on a long drive that was aided by three Green Mountain penalties that ended with Rose scoring on a 1-yard run on a fourth-down play.
However, Cedillo’s heroics and the Rams good one final defensive stop in the closing minutes to seal the victory.
“Winning is hard. Winning is difficult,” German said. “I’m just so proud of these guys. We have a lot of young guys and they are learning how to finish.”
Green Mountain returns to action during this six-week regular season against league rival Conifer at Friday, Oct. 16, at Trailblazer Stadium in Lakewood.
“It’s great to be back here,” Cedillo said. “It might not be the full experience with the fans and everything, but for the love of the game and to be out here with my brothers. It’s amazing.”
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more coverage go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.
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