AURORA | Two football teams hungry for a victory meet Friday at 7 p.m. at Legacy Stadium when Eaglecrest and Overland face each other in Centennial League play.
The Raptors (2-0, 2-0 in Centennial League) want to a win to extend an unbeaten start to the season and put themselves in good position to qualify for the smaller Class 5A state playoff field, while Overland (0-2, 0-1) seeks its first win of the season.
Eaglecrest hasn’t played perfectly by any stretch, but is the only Aurora team to win its first two games other than Regis Jesuit. Coach Shawn Marsh’s Raptors have been plagued by turnovers and ill-timed penalties, but have come up with big plays in crucial junctures and have an abundance of difference-making athletes that helped them rally past Cherokee Trail (62-50) in Week 1 and score late to beat rival Grandview (43-42).
Senior running back JP Luketu has been a touchdown machine for the Raptors with six rushing scores in eight quarters of play plus a 2-point conversion run — helped by a massive, athletic offensive line — that turned out to be the difference in Eaglecrest’s win over Grandview. Senior quarterback Khalil Howard has been a dual threat and has made use of weapons Ty Robinson (a University of Colorado commitment who has 3 touchdown catches) and Seyi Oladipo (one TD grab).
Oladipo, a Boise State commitment, also scored twice on kickoff returns in the opening win against Cherokee Trail and is part of a defense that has given up an average of 46 points per game, but also come up with turnovers and stops when really needed.
Overland is still looking to deliver new head coach Kyle Reese his first victory.
The Trailblazers nearly did so in Week 1 before losing a 13-10 non-league decision on the road to Legacy, while they fell behind early in Week 2 against Arapahoe and lost 31-12.
Senior quarterback Kai Ilela and sophomore wide receiver Ismael Cisse have developed a good connection for the Overland offense as they’ve combined for a touchdown pass in each of the first two games, with senior Kamari Brown also catching one against Arapahoe.
The Overland defense has generated six turnovers with six different players accounting for the three interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
AURORA’S OTHER WEEK 3 FOOTBALL MATCHUPS
Friday: Legend vs. Regis Jesuit, primer
Friday: Cherokee Trail vs. Smoky Hill, primer
Thursday: Grandview vs. Cherry Creek, recap