AURORA | A capsule preview of the 2022 Class 5A state football second round playoff contest between Fossil Ridge and Regis Jesuit scheduled for Nov. 11, 2022:
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected]: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
2022 CLASS 5A 2ND ROUND STATE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF GAME
No. 10 Fossil Ridge (9-2) vs. No. 7 Regis Jesuit (6-4)
Nov. 11, 6:30 p.m. at Lou Kellogg Stadium
BREAKDOWN: Fossil Ridge and Regis Jesuit will meet in the postseason on the football field for the first time and may be playing each other for the first time in any circumstances. …Fossil Ridge is in the postseason for the second straight year and for just the second time in the past decade plus. The SaberCats’ first round win this season was their first in the postseason since a 3A first round win in 2007. …Regis Jesuit, meanwhile, has qualified for the playoffs for the 16th consecutive season and has picked up at least one victory in eight of the past nine seasons, with the lone exception a loss to Cherry Creek in the first game of a playoffs cut to just eight teams in the fall of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
FOSSIL RIDGE: The SaberCats come into the second round contest off of a 45-21 win over No. 23 Mullen in the opening round. Coach Jeff Fulton’s team has won eight of its past nine games and finished as the runner up in 5A Region 3. During the regular season, Fossil Ridge played five opponents that qualified for the 5A playoffs (No. 4 Grandview, No. 14 Fairview, No. 18 Poudre, No. 20 Rocky Mountain and No. 21 Arvada West) and finished 3-2 in those games with wins over Arvada West, Rocky Mountain and Poudre. Including the postseason, Fossil Ridge has averaged 34.7 points per game (and scored at least 15 points in every game) and allowed an average of 20 points per contest defensive with one shutout to its credit. …In the playoff victory over Mullen, Fossil Ridge piled up 524 yards of total offense (324 passing, 200 yards rushing) and got four touchdown passes form senior QB Tyler Kubat and three rushing scores from senior WR Trek Keyworth in the victory. For the season, Kubat has thrown for 1,727 yards and 19 touchdowns against three interceptions and has distributed the ball as six different players have 100 or more yards receiving. Keyworth has been a major focal point of the passing attack with 919 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns, while senior WR Domenic Leone has been a big strike target as he’s averaged more than 20 yards per catch with 604 yards receiving and nine scores. In the backfield, sophomore RB Colton Pawlak has rushed for 1,202 yards and 16 touchdowns, while sophomore RB Jake Toshcoff has added 654 with five scores. The offensive line is keyed by one of the state’s top prospects in sophomore OL Gage Ginther, who is 6-foot-6 and weighs 275 pounds. …Defensively, senior LB Jake Decklever paces the SaberCats’ defense with 96 tackles, while senior DE Theo Frericks and senior DE Julian Smith share the sack lead with 7.5 apiece. The Fossil Ridge defense has generated 22 turnovers and senior DB Ryan Pollyea, senior S Antonio Gallegos and sophomore DE Luke Christen have multiple interceptions. …On special teams, senior PK Bryce Olson has been reliable on field goals with eight makes in nine tries (including a long of 53 yards) and nearly automatic on extra points.
REGIS JESUIT: Coach Danny Filleman’s Raiders received a bye in the opening round of the postseason with a seed in the top eight and come in off a 17-14 loss to Fountain-Fort Carson in its regular season finale. During the regular season Regis Jesuit — winner of the 5A League 4 title — played seven teams that qualified for the 5A postseason (No. 1 Cherry Creek, No. 2 Valor Christian, No. 3 Ralston Valley, No. 5 Pine Creek, No. 8 Arapahoe, No. 15 Legend and No. 16 Fountain-Fort Carson) and finished 4-3 in those games with wins over Valor Christian (in overtime to start the season), Pine Creek, Arapahoe and Legend. For the season, Regis Jesuit averaged 28.1 points per game on offense and tallied double figures in every game in played, while the Raiders have ceded 20.6 points per contest and held two opponents in single digits. …Regis Jesuit’s offense is headed by a three-year starter in senior QB Exander Carroll, who has thrown for 1,602 yards and 16 touchdowns against six interceptions with his primary targets a pair of seniors speedsters in WR D’Andre Barnes and WR Dylan McCollough. Barnes has averaged 22 yards per catch has has 771 for the season along with eight touchdowns, while McCollough has 476 yards worth of catches and five scores. In short yardage situations or the red zone, Carroll has a reliable target in senior TE Andrew Metzger, who has 209 yards receiving and three scores. The ground game is keyed by junior RB Anthony Medina, who has scored 11 touchdowns and also rushed for 707 yards, while senior RB Adin Chase has 499 yards and four scores and Carroll has added 425 yards and four TDs with his legs. …Defensively, Regis Jesuit has a tackling machine in senior DE Hayden Moore, who has piled up 163 stops with 12 for a loss (including a team-best six sacks). Senior LB Nate Lewis also has cracked the triple-digit mark in tackles with 106, while sophomore LB Kai Shelton and senior DB/S Joshua Harvey both other 80. Six different Raiders have 2.5 sacks or more (sophomore DE Jace Filleman has 4.5 as second to Moore) and the defense has generated 11 turnovers via interception, including five from Barnes and three from Harris. …On special teams, Barnes and Medina have been dangerous and Barnes owns a kickoff return score. Junior PK Pierce Martin has made 90 percent of his PAT attempts and cashed in two of his three field goal chances with a long of 42 yards.
WINNER GETS: The Fossil Ridge-Regis Jesuit advances in Quadrant 3 into the quarterfinals, where it will face the winner of the second round contest between No. 15 Legend (7-4) and No. 2 Valor Christian (8-2)