Overland sophomore Sir Joiner (13) zeroes in on Cherry Creek’s James Walker (5) before wrapping him up during the first quarter of the Trailblazers’ 45-0 Centennial League football loss to the Bruins on Oct. 30, 2020, at Stutler Bowl. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

GREENWOOD VILLAGE | The Overland football team hung tough in the opening half against top-ranked and undefeated Cherry Creek Friday night at Stutler Bowl, but the Bruins returned the opening kickoff of the second half en route to a 45-0 victory.

The Trailblazers held Cherry Creek to 24 points in the first half of the Centennial League matchup — the second-fewest the Bruins (4-0 overall, 4-0 in league) had in four games this season after two quarters — until James Walker took back the kickoff to start to the third quarter 80 yards to the end zone.

Cherry Creek scored two more times in the period and invoked the running clock with just over three minutes remaining in the period. Walker scored two touchdowns and quarterback Julian Hammond threw two for the Bruins, who also scored defensively on an interception return by Myles Purchase.

Overland coach Kyle Reese — who was an assistant on Cherry Creek’s Class 5A state championship-winning team last year — saw starting senior quarterback Kai Ilela go down to injury in the first half and couldn’t generate a lot offensively with sophomore Komari Owens under center against a Bruins’ defense that had allowed just 14 points in its previous 12 quarters of play.

The Trailblazers (0-4, 0-3) came out with a strong drive after receiving the opening kickoff and pushed near midfield on a good run by junior Khalil Ali-Fisher, but Ilela’s pass was picked off near the sideline by Purchase, who weaved his way back to the end zone.

Overland’s defense held Cherry Creek to a Boden Page field goal attempt on its first offensive series and kept it a 7-0 game after two Trailblazers got in on the kick and blocked it. Hit as he threw, Ilela got picked off by Purchase again and was hurt as he backpedaled, bringing Owens into the game.

The Overland defense picked up four sacks in the game, including two for junior Brett Stonebreaker, who had one on a series in which a combination of sacks and penalties forced the Bruins into an unsuccessful 45-yard field goal after they had reached the 1 yard-line earlier in the drive.

A Trailblazers’ fumble led to a touchdown pass from Hammond to Chase Penry with 1:37 left in the half to make it a 24-0 ballgame.

Walker scooped up a short kick on the bounce and outran the field to make it 31-0 just 10 seconds into the second half and he scored again via rush just over two minutes later. Carlton Tann’s 4-yard run late in the period capped the scoring for Cherry Creek.

Overland’s Week 5 contest is one its been looking forward to all season, as it is not only the Cherry Creek School District’s annual Veterans & Military Appreciation game, but it comes against rival Smoky Hill (1-3, 1-2), with the winner leaving with the Wagon Wheel traveling trophy. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 5 at Stutler Bowl.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

(1) CHERRY CREEK 45, OVERLAND 0

Score by quarters:

Cherry Creek  7  17  21  0 — 45

Overland        0    0   0  0 —   0

SCORING

First quarter

Cherry Creek — Myles Purchase 52 yard interception return (Boden Page kick), 10:15

Second quarter

Cherry Creek — Page 36 yard field goal, 11:44

Cherry Creek — Gunner Helm 16 yard pass from Julian Hammond (Page kick), 8:27

Cherry Creek — Chase Penry 11 yard pass from Hammond (Page kick), 1:37

Third quarter

Cherry Creek — James Walker 80 yard kickoff return (Page kick), 11:50

Cherry Creek — Walker 29 yard run (Page kick), 9:29

Cherry Creek — Carlson Tann 4 yard run (Page kick), 3:19