Monarch Football Grinds Way to 4A State Title


David Andrews

Head Coach Phil Bravo is lifted by his players while he raises the 4A State Championship trophy. The Coyotes defeated the Denver South Rebels 17-14 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday, December 1st 2012.

David Andrews, Sports Editor

Methodical running attack proves to be difference once again for Coyotes

Ten years after their first state championship the Monarch High School football team once again reigns supreme over 4A football in the state of Colorado.

Denver South H.S knew what they would be facing in the 4A state championship game, they just couldn’t stop it. Monarch’s power-rushing double wing attack wore down the Denver South defense and carried Monarch to victory. Running backs Ethan Marks and Kidd Soole combined for 300 yards, and along with characteristic stout defense the Coyotes held on to win 17-14.

Colin Hart, senior linebacker, summed up the championship experience with tears in his eyes. “It means everything, it means the world to me, it’s not just us though, it’s everybody, this entire team, we did it together.”

When Denver South opened the game with a dominant 80 yard drive for a touchdown and 7-0 lead it seemed that the Coyotes may be in trouble. The double wing attack is not designed for quick scoring or getting points back in bunches. Fortunately for the Coyotes, their defense stepped up. Led by defensive backs Kidd Soole and Geoff Clary, along with linebacker Colin Hart, the Coyote defense forced three turnovers; two interceptions and a fumble.

Following the early score from Denver South, Monarch cornerback Jaylen Alexander intercepted Denver South quarterback Malik Tollerson and placed momentum squarely back on the Coyote sideline. As they’ve done so many times this season the Coyote rushing attack churned out tough yards en route to a touchdown, with 4:03 left in the 1st quarter Kidd Soole punched in a 25 yard score.

Later in the half running back Ethan Marks capped off a Monarch drive with a 3 yard touchdown, with 33 seconds remaining in the 1st half. On the drive, just as they so often do the Monarch offense converted a tight 4th and 2 on the South 44 yard line to keep the drive alive.The Coyotes headed to the locker room with momentum and confidence.

Despite a formidable rushing attack from the Rebels the Monarch defense stood strong all day. Denver South running back Tony Williams had 147 all-purpose yards and teammate Trevonte Tasco added 130 yards.

A key play arose late in the third quarter with Denver South threatening on Monarch’s goal line, and the score standing at a less than solid, 17-7 Monarch lead. On 4th and goal the Rebels were stoned on the goal line by Monarch’s defensive line. Hart said of the play, “I mean, we’ve played to the nines all year, and that play just really showed our resiliency as a unit. We always bend but never break.”

When asked if he ever considered changing his game plan throughout the game Coach Phil Bravo said, “no absolutely not.” He added a quick anecdote concerning legendary Cherry Creek coach Fred Tesone. Bravo said after a loss in the playoffs against Eagle Crest in 1993, when he was the head coach at Centaurus High School, Fred Tesone one stopped him after the game and told him “never stop what you’re doing, you have a system that works and few teams can compete with that.” Bravo certainly stuck to this time-tested game plan, throwing the ball only two times. One pass was intercepted, the other very nearly so. Tissone’s advice proved helpful to the Coyotes who ran it 65 times on the day.

Denver South threatened to steal Monarch’s title glory after a Trevonte Tasco touchdown with 3:04 left in the game. Following an onside kick which the Coyotes recovered at their own 30, the Coyotes grinded out two tough first downs before arriving at a crucial 4th and 1 just shy of midfield. Fittingly, Marks pounded the ball inside and the celebration was on. Marks said of the drive, “it really just showed our unity as a team and our will to win.” After a victory formation play the Monarch sideline erupted in a wave of elated white, gold, and black.