CLASS 5A STATE FOOTBALL SECOND ROUND MATCHUP
NO. 1 RALSTON VALLEY (10-0) vs. NO. 5 EAGLECREST (5-5)
Nov. 7, 7 p.m., Legacy Stadium
BREAKDOWN: Eaglecrest and Ralston Valley meet for the first time ever on the football field. …Coach Mike Schmitt’s Raptors — seeded No. 5 in Quadrant 2 — were the lone Aurora team to pull off an upset in the first round of the 5A state playoffs, as they dispatched fourth-seeded Legacy 49-24 on Oct. 31 at 1stBank Stadium. Eaglecrest — which evened its record at 5-5 — is the only one of Aurora’s four first-round playoff winners to play at home in the second round as they won on the road. …Ralston Valley (10-0) is the top seed in Quadrant 2 and kept its perfect season going with a 48-0 trouncing of eighth-seeded Grand Junction on Oct. 31. Coach Matt Loyd’s team lost in the second round of last season’s state playoffs after advancing at least three rounds in the previous three seasons (2010, 2011, 2012). …EAGLECREST: The Raptors finished fifth among five teams in the Centennial League, but were competitive every time out in the toughest league in the state and came into the playoffs as battle-tested as any team around. …Legacy’s defense had few answers for Eaglecrest’s new fast-break offense, as it piled up nearly 700 total yards (370 passing, 319 rushing) and seven touchdowns. …Senior QB Elijah Ross continued his phenomenal season at the controls of Eaglecrest’s hybrid offense with his performance against Legacy, as he completed 22-of-29 passes for 370 yards and five touchdowns against just one interception. Ross also piled up 154 yards rushing and a score on just 14 carries for a 524-yard day. Ross has thrown for 2,378 yards and 26 touchdowns on the season and needs just nine yards to pass the 1,000-yard mark on the ground to go with 10 scores. …Senior WR Peter Anderson continued to feast on opposing defenses to the tune of seven catches for 136 yards and three touchdowns — boosting his season total to an astonishing 1,369 yards and 16 touchdowns — while huge senior TE Anthony Karmazyn caught eight passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, senior RB Darian Turner rushed for 68 yards, junior RB Cole Leroy 54 and senior RB Glenn Washington 42. Senior WR Matt Lally and junior RB Patrick Charles added touchdowns. …Besides more than 500 yards receiving on offense, Karmazyn is also a defensive force on the line with a team-high six sacks and an average of 6.4 tackles per game. Junior LB Garrett Thompson leads the Raptors with an average of 10.7 tackles per game, while Turner makes 8.8 stops per game. Senior DL Russell Denny and junior DL Anthony Malone give Eaglecrest beef in the trenches, while sophomore DB Colbey Ross leads the team with three interceptions. …RALSTON VALLEY: The Mustangs won the challenging Jeffco League, winning all seven of their league contests. …Ralston Valley invoked the 40-point running clock mercy rule in the first half against Grand Junction with a 20-point first quarter and 21-point second period for a 41-0 halftime lead. …Senior RB Andrew Wingard ran wild against the Tigers with 161 yards and 3 touchdowns on just five carries — an average of 32.3 yards per carry — and caught two passes for 81 yards and another score. Wingard, who has verbally committed to the University of Wyoming, has amassed 2,083 total yards and 26 touchdowns on the season. Senior WR Dalton Pribble rushed for a touchdown and caught a TD pass as well, while QBs Cooper Loyd and Chase Heffley combined to complete 6-of-7 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns in the game. Both quarterbacks have played in all 10 games for the Mustangs, with Heffley throwing for 960 yards and 13 TDs. RBs Kyle Rush (715 yards) and Anthony Falbo (304 yards) compliment Wingard in the ground game, while Ralston Valley has five receivers with more than 100 yards receiving on the season. …DE Kyle Root leads a sack-happy Mustangs defense with six of the team’s total of 28, while DE Kyle Emerly (5 sacks, 60 tackles) and LB Anthony Vessa (5 sacks) also get to the quarterback, while DB Dallin Jones (65 tackles) also key a strong defense. …WINNER GETS: The Eaglecrest/Ralston Valley winner moves into the final eight and advances to the championship game of Quadrant 2, where it would face the winner between No. 2 Fairview and No. 3 Overland.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel