Led by dual-threat junior quarterback Exander Carroll — who has 1,322 yards passing and 479 yards rushing and 21 total touchdowns — a balance offense for the Regis Jesuit football team has averaged 36 points per game going into a Class 5A second round state playoff game against Pomona on Nov. 12, 2021, at Lou Kellogg Stadium. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | A capsule preview of the 2021 Class 5A state football second round playoff contest between Pomona and Regis Jesuit scheduled for Nov. 12, 2021:

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected]: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

2021 CLASS 5A 2ND ROUND STATE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF GAME

No. 10 Pomona (7-4) vs. No. 7 Regis Jesuit (7-3)

Nov. 12, 6 p.m. at Lou Kellogg Stadium

BREAKDOWN: Regis Jesuit and Pomona have a significant history of meeting in the Class 5A state playoffs with four meetings in the postseason since 2003 and now three in the past six seasons. The Panthers have enjoyed victory in each of the three playoff meetings, starting with a 32-14 win in a first round matchup in 2003, followed by a 24-7 victory in the semifinals in 2016 and a 28-14 quarterfinal win in 2019. …The Raiders qualified for the playoffs for the 15th straight season and has won at least one game in every one of their previous trips save for 2011 and last season, when they lost to eventual state champion Cherry Creek when only eight teams made the playoffs. …The Panthers have been regulars deep in the state playoffs for many years and lost to Cherry Creek in last season’s semifinals. Pomona has been in at least the quarterfinals in each of the previous four seasons and won the 5A state championship in 2017.

POMONA: In the first season under coach Nathan Johnson — who took over for longtime staple Jay Madden, who retired after last season — the Panthers got better as the season went along and enter the second round matchup with five wins in their last six games, including a 14-7 victory over No. 23 Castle View in the opening round. …Pomona’s offense is not as high-powered as it has been in recent years, but the Panthers have still averaged 25 points per contest this season. The ground game has been a Pomona staple and continues to be as it has racked up 2,170 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. Senior RB Colton Muller leads the way with 986 yards and five scores, while senior RB Deion Maes (565 yards) and sophomore RB Marcus Talbert (389) also have been effective out of the backfield. The Panthers have attempted just 82 passes on the season in 11 games and completed exactly half of them for 640 yards and eight touchdowns, with senior QB CJ Kaylor accounting for 455 yards of those and six of the scoring passes. Senior WR Steven Gartman has 11 catches for 250 yards and four TDs. …Defensively, Pomona has yielded 16.5 points per game, though only two of its last five opponents have scored in double figures (Arvada West scored 14 and Columbine 20). Senior LB Junior Gonzales leads the way with 71 tackles, while senior DL Ty Bockhold has five sacks and a team-high 12 tackles for loss. Senior LB Mike Sierra has three of Pomona’s nine interceptions on the season. …On special teams, senior Dominick Nichols has taken back a kickoff for a touchdown.

REGIS JESUIT: Coach Danny Filleman’s Raiders come into the playoffs off a 7-3 regular season in which eight of the 10 teams they played qualified for either the 5A or 4A playoffs and their three losses came to the top three seeds in the 5A postseason (No. 1 Valor Christian, No. 2 Cherry Creek and No. 3 Legend). Regis Jesuit won its last three games of the regular season after a one-point loss to Legend that decided the South League championship. …The Raiders have had little trouble scoring points this season, having racked up 360 in 10 contests for an average of 36 per ballgame. Regis Jesuit has achieved a great deal of balance with 1,976 yards coming on the ground and 1,577 through the air, with junior QB Exander Carroll leading the way. Carroll has thrown for 1,322 yards and 14 touchdowns, while he also has rushed for 479 yards and seven scores. Hard-running senior RB Zavier Carroll keys the rushing attack and has picked up 705 yards on the ground and scored 10 times, while sophomore RB Anthony Medina has been effecitve as well and has 539 yards and six TDs to his credit. The Raiders occasionally hand the ball off to junior WR D’Andre Barnes, but mostly go downfield to the speedster, who has 595 yards receiving on just 31 catches and scored seven times. Senior WR Dallas Macias and senior WR Luke Ford also have better than 200 yards receiving. …The Regis Jesuit defense has yielded 20 points per game and been prolific in creating turnovers with 22 takeaways in 10 games. Eighteen of the turnovers have come via interception and senior DB Dervin Taylor III leads 12 players with at least one pick with three. From a safety position, Macias is the team’s leading tackler with 89, just nine more than active junior DE Hayden Moore, who has four sacks among his 80 stops. Senior DL Nunie Tuitele (a University of California commitment) is a game-wrecker who has racked up 12 sacks among 63 total stops and 6-foot-1, 310-pound senior NG Jayden Franklin has plugged up plenty of opponents’ running lanes. …On special teams, Macias has been a dangerous weapon with two punt returns for scores and Barnes is also capable of taking kicks back long distances, while senior PK Ty Murphy has made 48 of his 51 PAT attempts and been good on 2-of-3 field goal tries with a long of 40 yards.

WINNER GETS: The Pomona-Regis Jesuit winner moves into a 5A quarterfinal matchup against the winner of the second round contest between No. 18 Mountain Vista and No. 2 Cherry Creek. The Panthers and Raiders both lost to Cherry Creek (Pomona fell 31-0, Regis Jesuit lost 34-14).

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