AURORA | The long playoff drought is over for the Aurora Central football team, which got a needed 20-8 Mountain League win over Standley Lake.
The Trojans had dropped two games in a row after a 7-0 start and their spot in the 16-team Class 4A playoffs — they were No. 11 in Wild Card points going into the final week — had become tenuous, making Thursday night’s contest against the Gators a must win for postseason purposes.
Coach Travis Peeples’ team responded, scoring 12 unanswered points in the fourth quarter on short touchdown runs by Michael Retland and Francisco Aranda to break open a tie ball game at Aurora Public Schools Stadium and cap a Senior Night celebration with a victory.
With eight wins — topping the seven they had in the 2007 season and more than the program has earned in decades — Aurora Central (8-2 overall, 3-2 in Mountain League) awaits the seeding of the 4A state bracket, due out this weekend. The Trojans would have to move up into the top eight in the Wild Card standings to get a home game in the first round.
Aurora Central tasted victory on its home field with another strong defensive effort that yielded just a third-quarter touchdown to the Gators (5-5, 2-3), who rolled over the Trojans last season by a score of 50-8. This time, Standley Lake managed just 158 yards of total offense.
The Trojans only had 257 yards of offense, but Aranda racked up 73 yards and two touchdowns — including a 9-yard run and subsequent 2-point conversion run in the first quarter — plus his fourth-quarter score and senior Taevon Jordan added 63 yards on the ground.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
AURORA CENTRAL 20, STANDLEY LAKE 8
Score by quarters:
Standley Lake 0 0 8 0 — 8
Aurora Central 8 0 0 12 — 20
Aurora Central — Francisco Aranda 9 yard run (Aranda run), 5:53
Standley Lake — Kellen Muller 2 yard run (Brodey Hoffman catch), 5:04
Aurora Central — Michael Retland 1 yard run (run failed), 11:57
Aurora Central — Aranda 1 yard run (run failed), 1:45
Standley Lake: Michael Kerr 21-82, Kellen Muller 10-17, Jacob Renney 4-9, Jake Foutz 2-(minus 6)
Aurora Central: Francisco Aranda 15-73, Taevon Jordan 11-63, Jouan Kennedy 6-37, De’Oveya Johnson 5-12, Dominick Jackson 1-6, Jalil Grimes 4-5, Terell Ratcliff 1-1, Michael Retland 1-(minus 2)
Standley Lake: Foutz 6-13, 56 yards
Aurora Central: Grimes 4-7, 62 yards
Standley Lake: Muller 4-50, Brodey Hoffman 1-12, Kerr 1-(minus 6)
Aurora Central: Retland 1-25, Ratcliff 1-18, Tarrell Gissendanner Jr. 1-11, Johnson 1-8