LAKEWOOD — A pick-6 by Green Mountain junior Anthony DiGrazia helped set up the Class 3A North West League championship game this week at Trailblazer Stadium. DiGrazia intercepted Conifer …
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LAKEWOOD — A pick-6 by Green Mountain junior Anthony DiGrazia helped set up the Class 3A North West League championship game this week at Trailblazer Stadium.
DiGrazia intercepted Conifer quarterback Zach Zalfa and returned the pick 12 yards for a defensive touchdown Friday, Oct. 29, at Trailblazer Stadium. The scored with less than two minutes to play sealed a 20-6 victory for the Rams.
“We were expecting some sort of pass. I just watched my key and waited for the quarterback,” DiGrazia said. “I picked it for the game-winner.”
Green Mountain (6-3, 4-0 in league) has a chance to win the conference title next week. The Rams host No. 2 Lutheran at 6:30 pm Friday, Nov. 5, at Trailblazer Stadium. It will be a tall order for Green Mountain.
The Lions (9-0, 4-0 in league) have been on a tear this season. Lutheran had outscored its opponents 470 to 66 through its first nine games. They have also running-clocked all four of the Lions’ league opponents.
“What an opportunity,” Green Mountain coach Jesse German said of facing Lutheran with an automatic state playoff berth at stake. “We are approaching it as an opportunity to prove ourselves. They are No. 2 in the state and undefeated. They score a bunch of points. What more do you want? To go play one of the best teams in the state to see where you are at when everything on the line.”
Green Mountain is on a 4-game winning streak after starting the season 2-3. The Rams were No. 12 in the RPI standing before the final week of the regular season for 3A football teams.
“We are just going to prepare the best we can,” DiGrazia said of facing the Lions next week.
While Green Mountain never trailed against Conifer (3-6, 1-3). The Lobos hung in the game by slowing down the Rams’ rushing attack. Green Mountain took an early 7-0 lead on a 7-yard touchdown run by junior Dominic Sanchez, but the Rams had to settle for a pair of 37-yard field goals by senior Gabriel Marquez to extend the lead to 13-0 through three quarters.
“Conifer played tough. They were gearing for this game,” German said. “They knew they had a chance to ruin our season.”
The Lobos got on the scoreboard midway through the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run by Zalfa to make it a 1-score game at 13-6 with 7:58 left in the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t want to talk about that too much,” German said of the importance of taking care of business against Conifer to keep the Rams’ playoff hopes alive. “I’m not happy with how we played. I don’t think we played really clean.”
The pick-6 by DiGrazia saved the Rams from sweating out a possible overtime affair.
“We really trust our defense and expect them to make plays,” German said. “Part of our standard is we want to score on defense.”
Conifer closes out its season against rival Evergreen (7-2, 2-1) in the Mountain Bowl at 7 p.m. Friday night at Conifer High School. The Cougars still have playoff hopes sitting No. 11 in the RPI to start the week.
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.
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