AURORA | Three times, Christopher Perkins dropped the football in the end zone and celebrated a touchdown with his Aurora Central teammates Thursday and three times, they were called back because of penalty flags.
Fortunately, the Trojans’ standout senior crossed the goal line four times when it counted — including three times in the decisive fourth quarter — as his team finally pulled away from rival Hinkley for a 34-15 Homecoming victory in a matchup of Aurora’s two oldest high schools.
Perkins’ freshman brother, quarterback Christopher Perkins IV, accounted for the other touchdown and Aurora Central turned back a Thunder team that had a one-point lead in the final quarter as it sought its victory since the 2019 season.
Coach Chris Kelly’s Trojans forced a slew of turnovers as well to even their record at 1-1, while coach Dennis York’s Hinkley squad — which got two touchdowns from junior quarterback Gabriel Ocampo and some hard-running from senior Cadin Vu and junior Larek Dominguez — is now 0-2.
Ocampo’s second scoring run of the game came on the first play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter and Vu crashed into the end zone with a successful two-point try to make it 15-14 in favor of Hinkley.
Less than five minutes later, Aurora Central neared the end zone and had a third-and-long, which Perkins converted with a shifty 25-yard touchdown run that put his team back in front 21-15.
The Thunder tried to answer and got near midfield, but a fumbled exchange under center ended up in the hands of Aurora Central senior Makai Unitt with just over five minutes remaining. Kelly was looking for his team to take time off the clock with the running game, but there was no stopping the explosive Perkins, who burst up the middle for a 54-yard touchdown on the first play and a 27-15 lead.
A second straight one-play drive ended by Perkins came with 1:22 remaining when he went 49 yards to the end zone to seal the result.
Aurora Central returns to APS Stadium to play Falcon in a game slated for 2 p.m. Sept. 9, the same time Hinkley pays a visit to Adams City.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter/X: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
AURORA CENTRAL 34, HINKLEY 15
Score by quarters:
Hinkley 7 0 0 8 — 15
Aur. Central 0 7 7 20 — 34
Hinkley — Gabriel Ocampo 1 yard run (Miguel Burgos kick), 5:30
Aurora Central — Christopher Perkins 16 yard run (Sergio Munoz Montoya kick), 10:05
Aurora Central — Christopher Perkins IV 1 yard run (Munoz Montoya kick), 10:33
Hinkley — Ocampo 1 yard run (Cadin Vu run), 11:22
Aurora Central — Perkins 25 yard run (Munoz Montoya kick), 7:43
Aurora Central — Perkins 54 yard run (kick failed), 5:05
Aurora Central — Perkins 49 yard run (Munoz Montoya kick), 1:22