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Loveland outlasts Montrose 20-15 in 4A quarterfinal game

Loveland advances to the semifinals for the second time in three years.

LOVELAND, Colo. — The Loveland Red Wolves pulled off a 20-15 home win in the CHSAA 4A football quarterfinal round over Montrose behind two touchdowns from senior quarterback Garrett Harstad, including the winning score in the final minute.

"There was no pressure at all," he said after the game. "The defense has my back, I know the [offensive line] has my back, I have a great running back, I've got a great full back, got a great three-back, and we all just love each other, we've been playing together for so long. There's no pressure at all, I just love all of these boys."

Whether there was any pressure or not, Loveland head coach Allen Jeffries said he was getting emotional after the game.

"People in the media called this game the championship game," Jeffries said to his team in the postgame huddle. "You just played the best damn team you're going to see. That was a complimentary football effort right there."

Harstad spoke to the emotions in the one-possession win.

"It was a very emotional game but I had confidence that our offense and I had four minutes left to score and I just knew we were going to score the ball and our defense was going to get a stop for us. Just an amazing feeling."

The Loveland Red Wolves will be practicing on Thanksgiving for the second time in three years, a Colorado high school tradition for those playing in the final four.

"It's exciting, I mean we did the same thing in 2020, so it's just something to push for," he said. "It's been our goal. Last year, we fell short and this year, we're just trying to get back and get a ring."

The 2020 team also left with the 4A state trophy in the middle of CSU Pueblo's stadium, after a COVID season that left many teams wondering if they'd even have a season. Now, Harstad and the rest of the upperclassmen have the chance to earn their second championship with their Loveland squad.

"I'm pumped, I mean I'm going to celebrate this one but we've got to come back next week and we'll have another tough opponent," he said. "Got to celebrate this one tonight and get ready to go next week."

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