D’Andre Barnes (17) had a long touchdown that ignited 21 straight points for the Regis Jesuit football team, which then watched an 18-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter of a wild 29-28 Week 4 loss to Ralston Valley on Sept. 15, 2022, at Lou Kellogg Stadium. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

Overtime heroics, wild finishes and a game that ended before the clock hit all zeroes happened for Aurora football teams in Week 4. And that’s only Thursday.

Three of the four games involving Aurora teams were close and came to an end in memorable fashion.

Ranked No. 6 in Class 5A after a stinging loss to Ralston Valley, Grandview took the long trek to the Western Slope and found itself in a heavyweight bout with 4A No. 4 Fruita Monument at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction. The teams traded leads for much of the game, but went into overtime after the Wildcats made a short field goal in the final minute of regulation.

Both teams scored touchdowns on their possessions, but Grandview coach Tom Doherty decided to go for a game-deciding two-point conversion instead of kicking a tying extra point.

Junior quarterback Liam Szarkawho threw three touchdown passes earlier in the contest — kept the ball, went around the right end and reached the end zone to secure a hard-fought 38-37 victory that moved Grandview to 3-1 on the season.

In another battle of highly-ranked teams, Regis Jesuit — which had ascended to No. 2 — welcomed No. 4 Ralston Valley to Lou Kellogg Stadium and coach Danny Filleman’s Raiders had victory within its grasp by scoring the first 21 points out of halftime to erase a three-point deficit.

A 78-yard bomb from Exander Carroll to D’Andre Barnes, followed by a 32-yard Jaden Thermidor touchdown run and another short score by Carroll (his second rushing touchdown of the game) had Regis Jesuit seemingly in command at 28-10 with just over nine minutes left in regulation.

But the Mustangs scored on the ensuing drive, then a bad snap on a punt by the Raiders set them up for a short field. They converted it into another touchdown on a disputed play on fourth down that was ruled a catch, while Regis Jesuit defenders vehemently maintained the ball hit the ground before it ended up in Jackson Hansen’s hands.

Even with the lead cut to five, the Raiders had a chance to put the game away on their next drive, but went for a 4th-and-2 near midfield. Carroll was ruled just short of the line to gain on a sneak for a turnover on downs and Ralston Valley covered 47 yards in just two plays to take a one-point lead after a two-point conversion run failed.

Regis Jesuit was unable to get a first down on its last drive and suffered a 29-28 loss that dropped it to 2-2 on the season.

Aurora Central and Rangeview met at Aurora Public Schools Stadium and waged a defensive battle that saw coach Chris Dixon’s Raiders take a double-digit lead after rushing touchdowns by DJ Collins and Abunu Asfaw.

Coach Chris Kelly’s Trojans got on the scoreboard in the late stages of the third quarter when they blocked a 40-yard field goal attempt and William Briscoe gathered it and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown.

The game would end with just over nine minutes remaining, however, when an altercation on the Rangeview bench after a running play spilled out of bounds.  Due to reaction in the stands, officials calling for an end to play, sending the teams to their lockerrooms.

The game will be resumed Monday with no spectators according to APS Athletic Director Casey Powell.

Sports Editor Courtney Oakes

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