AURORA | Vista PEAK football team waited a week longer than most teams around Colorado to play its first game, but that was just fine with head coach John Sullivan.

With plenty of youth on the roster and a new run-oriented offense to implement, the extra week the Bison got before they took the field for real Thursday at Aurora Public Schools Stadium was welcome.

Vista PEAK still made youthful mistakes — especially late in the game as it let visiting Mesa Ridge back into the game and nearly tie it in the final seconds — but came away with a 20-18 victory that marked the program’s first opening game win since 2012.

Junior Gene Sledge and sophomore Ja’Derris Carr rushed for touchdowns and junior Dennis Flippin caught a scoring pass from sophomore quarterback Victor Owens to give the Bison just enough points to overcome the rallying Grizzlies for a 20-18 victory.

Mesa Ridge scored 12 points in the fourth quarter and had a chance to knot the game up with 41 seconds remaining, but quarterback Kyle Gaster’s 2-point attempt pass fell incomplete. Vista PEAK recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Sentinel Prep Sports


Score by quarters:

Mesa Ridge  0  3  3  12 — 18

Vista PEAK   7  7  0    6 — 20


First quarter

Vista PEAK — Dennis Flippin 49 yard pass from Victor Owens (Noah Karwacki kick), 6:17

Second quarter

Vista PEAK — Ja’Derris Carr 53 yard run (Karwacki kick), 6:44

Mesa Ridge — J.J. Dickerson 31 yard field goal, 0:02

Third quarter

Mesa Ridge — Dickerson 29 yard field goal, 10:24

Fourth quarter

Vista PEAK — Gene Sledge 5 yard run (kick blocked), 10:24

Mesa Ridge — Fumble recovered in end zone (kick failed), 4:48

Mesa Ridge — Tyler McIntyre 26 yard pass from Kyle Gaster, 0:42


Mesa Ridge: Walker 11-68, Hudson 6-17, Haller 3-13, Hutchings 2-2, Kyle Gaster 9-(minus 15)

Vista PEAK: Gene Sledge 16-100, Ja’Derris Carr 9-88, Montral Hamrick 2-25, Dennis Flippin 2-23, Victor Owens 9-(minus 13)


Mesa Ridge: Gaster 20-31, 289 yards, 1 touchdown

Vista PEAK: Owens 2-5, 48 yards, 1 touchdown


Mesa Ridge: McIntyre 6-98, Walker 4-68, Campos 4-55, Holmes 2-39, Summers 3-23, Saenz 1-6

Vista PEAK: Flippin 2-48

Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...