Home / Sports / David Moore III poised for breakout sophomore season as Pine Creek aims for fourth Class 4A football title in five years

David Moore III poised for breakout sophomore season as Pine Creek aims for fourth Class 4A football title in five years

David Moore III remembers his coming out moment like it was yesterday.

Pine Creek started the 2016 season 1-2 and was hungry for a win entering its Week 4 road showdown at Vista Ridge, where the Eagles desperately needed a spark to get their season back on track toward a Class 4A state title, which they had won in 2013 and 2014.

Not only did Moore provide the spark that night — rushing for 232 yards and three touchdowns in a blowout victory — but his performance indicated the then-freshman could be the program’s championship catalyst for the next four seasons.

“That was a big game for me,” Moore recalled. “Offensively, we were executing well that game, and the line kept blowing holes for me. I just recall thinking how awesome Friday nights were, and how playing for this program was everything I’d thought it would be and more.”

Moore — better known as ‘DM3’ around the Pine Creek program — ended up rushing for 1,585 yards and 18 scores last fall despite missing three games due to an ankle injury as the Eagles cruised to their third title in four years. The phenom also led all of the state’s freshmen in rushing as he scampered for 200 yards or more on three separate occasions, including in Pine Creek’s 36-14 trouncing of Broomfield in the championship game.

And for Pine Creek naysayers counting on a sophomore slump when the Eagles kick off their 2017 season Sept. 2 at ThunderRidge, head coach Todd Miller said Moore — who has added about 15 pounds of muscle since last year — is poised for an even bigger campaign this fall.

“He’s always wanting to prove that he belongs, which is a good characteristic for an athlete to have,” Miller said. “With every snap, he’s intent on proving that worth to his teammates and wanting to be the best he can possibly be.”

Pine Creek running back David Moore III celebrates with his teammates after winning the 2016 Class 4A state title at Sports Authority Field.

Joe Amon, The Denver Post

Pine Creek running back David Moore III celebrates with his teammates after winning the 2016 Class 4A state title at Sports Authority Field.

At 5-8 and 170 pounds, Moore’s running style has drawn comparisons from the Pine Creek coaching staff to a prep-aged Barry Sanders when he was dodging tacklers in Wichita, Kan. He’s speedy, elusive and always seems to find the seam — and he’s much more bruising than he looks.

“He can do some things that you just can’t coach,” Miller said. “That includes his toughness and his love for the position, but his vision is also unbelievable — he understands where the other 11 guys are moving on defense and where his 10 guys are moving on offense, and he always finds a way to turn it up field.”

Moore spent the summer in the weight room and on the track, working to shed the “too small” label that could potentially keep him from reaching his goal of playing running back at the Division I level like his father did at Southern Miss. The sophomore doesn’t have any college offers yet, but is widely considered the state’s best at his position in the Class of 2020.

“He’s working on mixing up his runs — not just the agility and the lateral movements, but also knowing when it’s time to juke and get around somebody or when it’s time to get through somebody,” running backs coach Lee Macklin said.

And while Moore also has a number of athletic teammates challenging him for carries — including senior Wyatt Wieland, junior DJ Armstead and sophomore Max Lofey — his talents have single handedly morphed Pine Creek’s offensive approach this season.

“He’s done some things that have changed our philosophy in how we block,” Miller said. “He just kind of defies some of those football rules that we thought were steadfast — and as a high school coach, I believe you have to curtail what you do to the abilities of your personnel. Traditionally, we’ve been a veer team with an option philosophy as our foundation, but we’re going to more of a zone scheme with inside and outside zone.”

Pine Creek also intends to get Moore more involved in the passing game as he recorded only four receptions for 31 yards in 2016. That, in addition to his increased vocal leadership on the field and in the locker room, makes Moore a primary team leader heading into fall camp following the graduations of quarterback Brock Domann and wideout Peter Isais.

“As a sophomore, David is someone that everyone on the team looks up to because of the way he plays the game and his natural talent,” Wyatt Wieland said. “Even as a senior, I look up to him because of what he does for the team, and how he continues to take on an increased leadership role in every aspect of practice.”

Hence, Pine Creek’s push for a fourth title in five years — and further cementation of the Eagles’ dynasty — rides not only on Moore, but the team’s ability to broaden his impact on the game.

“When you have elite athletes, you want the ball in their hands,” Macklin said. “So our focus this season is about expanding the opportunity for David to get more touches and getting him out in the open space. He had tremendous instincts, so we’ve got to put him in situations where he can be instinctual and make things happen. We do that, we’ll be alright.”

2017 Pine Creek football schedule

Sept. 2, 7 p.m. @ ThunderRidge (Shea Stadium)

Sept. 8, 7 p.m. @ Windsor (District 6 Stadium)

Sept. 16, 1 p.m. vs Fountain-Fort Carson

Sept. 22, 7 p.m. vs Vista Ridge

Sept. 29, 7 p.m. vs Ralston Valley

Oct. 5, 7 p.m. @ Pueblo Centennial (Dutch Clark Stadium)

Oct. 12, 7 p.m. vs Pueblo West

Oct. 20, 7 p.m. @ Air Academy (US Air Force Academy)

Oct. 27, 7 p.m. vs Widefield (CA Foster Stadium)

Nov. 2, 7 p.m. vs Mesa Ridge

Source: denverpost

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