AURORA | A second consecutive whirlwind weekend brought to end two more fall sports with just football remaining.
Aurora teams were involved in the championship chase in both boys soccer and volleyball — coming up just short in both cases — while two undefeated football seasons came to an end and the city’s postseason presence dropped to two teams.
Wrapping up the happenings in Aurora prep sports over the last three days:
— The Regis Jesuit boys soccer team dominated large stretches of play during Friday night’s Class 5A state championship game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, but never but a ball in the back of the net on the home field of the Colorado Rapids. Coach Rick Wolf’s sixth-seeded Raiders suffered a 1-0 loss to ninth-seeded Broomfield in a game ultimately decided by a penalty kick opportunity awarded to the Eagles early in the second half. Junior goalie Trey Tomlin made the initial save on the PK shot, but was unable to corral the ball before the rebound. Senior Casey McCloskey had a variety of corner kick services that were dangerous and senior Eli Hilt was just wide on a prime chance for the Raiders, who lost their only game to a team in Colorado and finished 16-2-2 overall.
— The Eaglecrest football team earned its way into the Class 5A state quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive season at the expensive of rival Grandview, as the Raptors (9-3) prevailed over the Wolves (8-3) 28-21 in overtime Friday at Legacy Stadium. Eaglecrest senior quarterback Max Marsh threw for three touchdowns — including a strike to senior Jalen Stewart in overtime — and ran for another, junior Ty Robinson caught a touchdown pass and had a late a late interceptions and Kobe Williams also had a TD reception. Grandview junior quarterback Jacob Burr rushed for a touchdown and threw a touchdown pass to junior tight end Noah Salazar with just over a minute left in regulation to send the game to overtime, while junior Noah Schmidt had 160 yards rushing and a touchdown. Seventh-seeded Grandview had a streak of nine straight trips past the second round come to an end, while 10th-seeded Eaglecrest moved into a quarterfinal matchup with No. 2 Ralston Valley Nov. 22 at the North Area Athletic Complex.
— Regis Jesuit cruised past Highlands Ranch for the second time this season — winning both games by a total score of 98-21 — with a 49-7 Class 5A second round state playoff football victory Friday night at Lou Kellogg Stadium. Coach Danny Filleman’s fourth-seeded Raiders extended their undefeated season to 11-0 and moved into the quarterfinals for the fifth time in six seasons, where they will face fifth-seeded Pomona. Sophomore quarterback Nicco Marchiol threw touchdown passes to four different receivers and junior David Dody rushed for pair of touchdowns as Regis Jesuit matched the point total it put up against Highlands Ranch (5-7) in a Sept. 13 non-league meeting. A quarterfinal win against a Panthers team they defeated by 10 points in the season opener would put the Raiders in the state semifinals for the first time since 2016.
— Vista PEAK’s undefeated football season came to a rough ending Friday night at Aurora Public Schools Stadium with a 27-12 loss to Heritage in a Class 4A state football first round playoff contest. Senior Gene Sledge Jr. and junior Montral Hamrick rushed for touchdowns for the third-seeded Bison, but it wasn’t enough after they fell in a 22-point hole against the 14th-seeded Eagles. Coach John Sullivan’s Vista PEAK team finished 10-1.
— Cherokee Trail had its heart broken on its visit to Boulder for a Class 5A second round state playoff game on Friday night at Recht Field, as a field goal in the final seconds lifted Fairview to a 36-34 win over the visiting Cougars. Senior Julian Williams rushed for over 200 yards and scored four touchdowns, with the last one putting coach Joe Johnson’s Cherokee Trail team ahead with under two minutes remaining. The Knights went down the field to set up a go-ahead kick, which ended the Cougars’ season at 8-4.
— The Smoky Hill football team had its undefeated season come to a close with a 43-14 loss to Columbine Thursday night at Jefferson County Stadium in a Class 5A state football second round contest. The 11th-seeded Buffaloes turned the ball over on their first possession and the sixth-seeded Rebels cashed in right away to take a lead they would never relinquish. Senior Obie Sanni returned a kickoff for a touchdown and scored the 2-point conversion and junior quarterback Leslie Richardson III connected with junior wide receiver DeAngelo Horn to account for the scoring for Smoky Hill, the highest-scoring team in 5A this season which was held to 27 points below its average.
— The second-seeded Cherokee Trail volleyball team had its Class 5A state championship dreams dashed with its second loss over two days Friday at the Denver Coliseum. The Cougars had a first-round bye in the tournament and then fell in four sets to upstart and seventh-seeded Fort Collins to drop into the elimination bracket, where they stayed alive with a win over No. 9 Ralston Valley prior to a season-ending sweep at the hands of No. 6 Rampart. Coach Terry Miller’s Cherokee Trail team finished 24-4.
— The eighth-seeded Grandview volleyball team split four matches over two days at the Class 5A state volleyball tournament at the Denver Coliseum, but the second loss eliminated them from the title mix. Coach Rob Graham’s Wolves opened the tournament with a sweep of Ralston Valley and threatened top-seeded Chaparral — the eventual state champion — by winning the opening set before falling in four. Grandview dealt the elimination blow to Centennial League rival Cherry Creek in the elimination bracket for its 19th victory of the season before losing in three sets to a Mountain Vista team it beat in four during the regular season.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports