GREENWOOD VILLAGE — Myles Purchase hadn’t spent a lot of time in the Cherry Creek backfield this fall.
That all changed in Saturday’s Class 5A state semifinal against fourth-seeded Pomona, as the senior all-everything threat ran for 112 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-7 win at Stutler Bowl.
The two teams came in undefeated, but thanks to Purchase and company, top-seeded Creek is headed to the state final for the third consecutive year, where it will face Valor Christian.
“We have a lot of grit,” Purchase said. “We don’t really care about the score; we just care about getting the job done, and I feel like that’s what we did today.”
Purchase didn’t have a single carry this fall entering Saturday’s game. Against Pomona, the Iowa State commit had 12, as well as two catches for 20 yards. That’s on top of his integral contributions to the Cherry Creek defense as well.
Senior Julian Hammond added two scores through the air, connecting with Gunnar Helm and Chase Penry as the Bruins (8-0) romped the Panthers (7-1).
“I said before the season started that I thought he was the best all-around football player in the state,” Bruins coach Dave Logan said of Purchase. “He’s a kid that plays corner, safety, can run the ball, run routes and can catch the ball. He’s just a really multi-talented athlete. It doesn’t surprise me what he did today.”
Pomona’s offense was held to just 112 yards in the game. Cherry Creek suffocated the solid Pomona run game, and the Bruins dominated the line of scrimmage all game.
Still, things were closer than the final indicates. Jack Pospisil led a quick drive down the field, eventually connecting with Isaiah Alvarez to cut the score to 14-7 just before halftime. But Hammond answered with a 39-yard heave to Penry as the clock expired to make the Bruins’ lead 14 again. A few plays into the second half, Cherry Creek got another long score: This time, Purchase punched in a direct snap from 53 yards out.
“It completely flipped the emotion,” Logan said. “All of a sudden, 14-7 was 28-7. I’ve been on the other end, and I told (Pomona coach) Jay Madden when things happen like that, it makes it look like it wasn’t the hard-fought game that it was.”
The Bruins quickly flipped their joy to lock in for a fight against the Eagles in the 5A championship, set for 6 p.m. next Saturday at CSU-Pueblo.
“We’ve been waiting for them, and they’ve been waiting for us,” Purchase said. “Tune in.”
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