Fountain-Fort Carson quarterback Eric Donnell got everyone thinking an upset over the state's top football program was possible.
On the second drive of Friday night's game against Pomona, the senior - who was a running back last season - broke and dodged several tackles during an 87-yard touchdown run to give the Trojans an early and surprising lead.
"I was trying to make something happen," Donnell said.
The Panthers didn't go into panic mode, and Fountain-Fort Carson (1-1) couldn't overcome Pomona's offensive onslaught in a 42-7 non-conference loss, which was The Gazette Preps Game of the Week.
It was the Trojans' biggest challenge so far: Pomona team that made it to the state finals the past two years.
"It was a test game for us," Fountain-Fort Carson coach Jake Novotny said. "We went toe-to-toe with the best team in the state for three quarters, in my opinion. That's good news for the rest of the eight games coming up."
The game plan was to slow down Max Borghi and the rest of the Pomona (2-2) backfield.
Easier said than done.
The Washington State commit made the Fountain-Fort Carson Stadium his personal playground, rushing 17 times for 164 yards and one touchdown. His stellar performance was supported by fellow running back Theorius Robison, who had three short touchdown runs and 100 yards on 14 carries.
"We tried to keep it up but that's a well-coached program over there with a good coaching staff, good players," Donnell said. "They kept fighting and they got the best of us."
Following Donnell's big run, the Fountain-Fort Carson defense came up big. It knocked down a pass in the end zone before the ball landed in the hands of senior cornerback Ahmed Bernard. However, the Trojans were forced to punt on the ensuing drive.
The Panthers went on to score 42 unanswered points.
Borghi and Robison scored from 29 and 2 yards, respectively, late in the first quarter to take a 14-7 advantage. That was followed by a 31-yard touchdown toss from Panthers quarterback Ryan Marquez to Colton Muller to put Pomona ahead by two touchdowns heading into the half.
Robison scored two more short touchdowns in the third quarter before Marquez capped it with a 31-yard score to Muller early in the fourth.
"We came in hot with them," Donnell said. "We competed for three quarters, and we let it go from there."