Summit football ends historic season with loss to Frederick in opening round of 3A state playoffs

Summit High’s PJ Trujillo breaks up a pass to Frederick High’s Cruz Zamudio during the Tiger’s home 3A state football playoff game against the Frederick High School Golden Eagles at Climax Molybdenum Field at Tiger Stadium on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022 in Breckenridge. The Tigers fell to the Golden Eagles 41-21.
Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

Prior to Friday night, the Summit High School football team had not participated in a game in three weeks.

Despite the unforeseen rest — due to the opposing teams forfeiting — the Tigers came out ready to play in their first home playoff game in over 14 years against Frederick High School.

Despite being eager to take the field again, Summit struggled for most of the game. The Frederick Golden Eagles offense flourished, and their defense stymied the Summit offense.

In the end, Summit was not able to manage a win, losing to Frederick, 41-21.

Summit started the game with fireworks by recovering an onside kick, but the team could not capitalize off the good field position to take an early lead and was forced to punt the ball away. 

On Frederick’s first possession, the Golden Eagles steadily marched down the field. Following a series of strong running plays from the Frederick backfield, Summit committed several costly penalties, pushing the Golden Eagles into the red zone.

The drive ended with a 6-yard rushing touchdown, putting Frederick up 6-0 midway through the first quarter. 

Summit looked better on its second possession. Senior PJ Trujillo and senior Will Koll helped the Tigers threaten the red zone, but they were ultimately stopped by the Frederick defense.

The drive ended with a blocked field goal, keeping the score at 6-0.

Following a fourth down conversion, Summit caught a break when Frederick fumbled the ball. However, the ball was soon given back to the Golden Eagles when the Tigers produced a fumble of their own.

Frederick took advantage of the good field position and rushed into the end zone to go up, 14-0.

After huge plays from senior quarterback Jack Schierholz and junior wide receiver Jackson Archambault, Summit was attacking in the red zone for the first time all game.

With four seconds remaining before halftime, Schierholz bobbled the snap before pitching it to Archambault on the sweep. The bobble threw off the Frederick defense, allowing Archambault to prance into the end zone and bring the score to 14-7 heading into the second half.

Summit started the half with some momentum finally on its side, but once again struggled to capitalize after a series of good plays.

After Summit turned the ball over, the Golden Eagles scored a passing touchdown to make the score 22-7. 

In desperate need of a touchdown, Schierholz and Archambault continued to produce for the Summit offense. Schierholz had a few big quarterback keeps, while Archambault used his speed to break down the field. 

Summit High quarterback Jack Schierholz watches as his teammates play against the Frederick Golden Eagles defense during the Tiger’s home 3A state football playoff game at Climax Molybdenum Field at Tiger Stadium on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022 in Breckenridge. The Tigers fell to the Golden Eagles 41-21.
Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

Following a quick pitch and ladder-style play, Summit brought the game within one score when Christian Broughton found Schierholz in the end zone.

Frederick immediately responded to the Summit touchdown as senior running back Cruz Zamudio sliced through the Tigers’ defense for a 48-yard rushing score.

The Frederick offense quickly made its way back onto the field and scored a 45-yard rushing touchdown to pull to a 35-14 lead. 

Schierholz tried to go big in order to pull Summit back into the game, but the pass was intercepted while he attempted to loft a ball to junior Emilio Jain.

The interception sealed the game for Frederick, leading to a sixth touchdown. 

However, before the stadium lights were turned off on Summit’s historic football season, Schierholz and the Summit offense got one last opportunity to score at Tiger Stadium.

Schierholz rushed into the end zone for the final time of his high school career while seniors Koll, Zach Elam and Eli Krawczuk helped block for their quarterback. 

“Games are won and lost in a couple plays here and there,” head coach James Wagner said. “Couple inches here and there it could be a different ball game. But that’s life, and that’s football. It’s a bummer we couldn’t come out on top, but I don’t discredit our kids.”

Summit concludes its season with a record of 9-2, the best record the program has had since 2008. Summit will graduate 22 seniors, all of whom made the last four years especially special for Wagner and the rest of the Summit coaching staff.

“These kids have made this community proud,” Wagner said of the team and senior class. “They have brought life into Summit County last year and this year. They have noting to be ashamed of. They will forever hold a piece of history in Summit County.”

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