Summit football spoils Wheat Ridge’s homecoming, remains undefeated on the season

Quarterback Jack Schierholz looks for an open receiver during the Summit Tigers varsity football team's home opener against the Woodland Park Panthers at Tiger Stadium in Breckenridge on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022.Recently the Tigers moved to 4-0 on the season after defeating the Wheat Ridge Farmers on Thursday, Sept. 22.
John Hanson/For the Summit Daily News

It has been a monumental fall for sports at Summit High School.

With school records being broken in cross-country, a historic start to the boys soccer season and the girls rugby team beginning undefeated in its pursuit of a 15th-straight state title — excitement for sports in Summit County couldn’t be higher.  

The Summit football team added to the fall season success with a 55-14 win over Wheat Ridge High School on Thursday, Sept. 23, at Trailblazer Stadium in Lakewood.

After a week off, the Tigers went into the game against the Farmers not only looking to ruin the team’s homecoming but to also get off to the best start the program has had since 2008.

The team was successful in its mission. After dominating the Farmers for all four quarters, the Tigers are now 4-0 on the season. 

The last time the Tigers notched this kind of accomplishment was in the fall of 2008 when the team made the playoffs after going 10-2.

The 2008 and 2022 teams are also similar because both teams have a roster full of passionate senior leaders. The veteran leadership has been present in every one of Summit’s football games this season, including on Thursday night against Wheat Ridge.

Senior quarterback and captain Jack Schierholz jump-started the Summit offense with his feet. Schierholz — with his 6-foot-3-inch, 200-pound frame — showed of his versitility as he rushed for two touchdowns in the first quarter, putting Summit up 14-7 before the whistle blew to start the second quarter.

Summit continued to clamp down on the Farmers in the second quarter, executing on a wide variety of plays to increase the team’s lead.

At the end of the first half, Schierholz connected with junior wide receiver Jackson Archambault on a Hail Mary pass which resulted in another Summit touchdown to conclude the half. Schierholz had three passing touchdowns in the second quarter to put the Tigers up big going into halftime.

For the rest of the game, the Tigers defense and offense worked in tandem to close out the game. Junior running back Ben Elam had a massive 27- to 30-yard run, which sucked the morale out of the Wheat Ridge defense, while senior linebacker Will Koll sealed the game with an interception that led to a touchdown.

“Ben Elam had a nice night running the ball, and Koll finished the game with a pick six and kind of really put them away,” head coach James Wagner said.

With the 55-14 win over Wheat Ridge, Summit now sports the best record in the 3A League 3 rankings. Durango High School ranks second at 3-1.

“Overall, it was a good team win — a lot of good things that happened, a lot of things that we need to continue to work on as we move forward,” Wagner said of his team’s performance on Thursday. “I am proud of the kids. I am proud of my coaching staff.”

Wagner realizes the team still has to continue to improve if it wants to secure a spot in the 3A state playoffs. Last season, Summit went 7-3 and barely missed the playoffs.

If the team can continue to find ways to win by keeping its focus and playing as a complete unit, the Tigers should be playoff bound for the first time in 14 years.

“It’s staying focused on each day,” Wagner said of what needs to be done in order to continue to win. “We know where we are at with being 4-0, but my kids are hungry. We are not satisfied yet. We have big goals ahead of us. We have big things we want to accomplish. We want to stay focused each day, keeping our nose to the grindstone and continuing to put our best foot forward.”

The Tigers will have an opportunity to remain perfect on the season when it hosts the Lincoln High School Lancers for the Summit’s homecoming game on Friday, Sept. 30. Lincoln is currently 3-1 on the season after falling to Englewood High School, 29-0, on Thursday, Sept. 23.  

It was a “big week for this school and these kids,” Wagner said. “We need to stay focused on Lincoln because they are going to bring their best … up here to Summit, and we have got to be ready. We know what is in front of us with a good team coming to us.”

The homecoming game is scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m. The game will be livestreamed on Summit Daily News’ Facebook page. 

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.