2013 CLASS 5A STATE FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF MATCHUP
NO. 21 GATEWAY (6-3) VS. NO. 12 DOHERTY (7-2)
Nov. 1, 7 p.m., Garry Berry Stadium
BREAKDOWN: Gateway of the Aurora League and Pioneer League champion Doherty meet for the first time since 2005, when the Olys edged the Spartans 35-34 in a regular season contest. The teams also played in 2004, with Gateway prevailing 41-40. …Coach Ashour Peera is in his first season at Gateway, but helped guide the program to its sixth consecutive trip to the Class 5A playoffs and 11th postseason trip in the past 12 seasons overall. The Olys — who were upset 15-14 by Regis Jesuit in the first round of the 2012 5A playoffs — have dropped their last seven postseason contests dating back to a first-round victory over Poudre in 2005. With as many wins as its had in the past four seasons combined, Doherty returns to the 5A playoffs for the first time since 2007 and plays a home game in the postseason for the first time since 2006. …GATEWAY: Peera posted a 6-3 record in his first season at Gateway, capped by a 47-0 destruction of Adams City on Oct. 25. Coming off a 4-touchdown performance in the previous week, senior QB/RB Quintavis Styles ran for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns, sophomore RB CJ Sanders racked up 152 yards on the ground and caught a TD pass and senior WR Austin Hall pulled in 89 yards worth of catches and scored. …Gateway does it a little differently under the new coaching staff, but remains a running team. Despite moving away from the veer, the Olys — who feature a veteran line include Devin Johnson, Jack Engelson and Junior Gutierrez — have rushed for well over 2,000 yards as a team thus far in 2013, as six players have rushed for 100 yards or more. Senior RB Isaac Fuqua, who hadn’t run the ball until this season, is Gateway’s lead back with 936 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Styles has rushed for 515 yards and 6 touchdowns. QB has been in flux all season for the Olys, with Styles, Lance Savage and Nyerre Williams all taking turns under center depending on situation and health. Williams leads the throwers with 69 attempts and 34 completions for 472 yards and a touchdown against 4 interceptions. Hall is a big target at WR and has reeled in 27 catches for 432 yards and a score. …Gateway dominated defensively in 2012 with a unit that allowed just 81 points in 10 games, but has surrendered almost exactly twice that this season. The Olys know how to get to the opponents’ passer, as they have 25 sacks as a team, including 7 from Gutierrez, 6 from senior DE Daniel Saye and 4.5 from Johnson. Fuqua is the team’s leading tackler with 48, while Gutierrez has 45 stops to his credit. …DOHERTY: Coach David Joyce’s Spartans won their final two games of the regular season after a 42-6 loss to second-seeded Valor Christian, capping a 7-2 regular season with a 40-0 blanking of Palmer on Oct. 25. …Doherty has been one of 5A’s most explosive offensive units this season with 357 points scored, which tied for sixth-most in the classification. The Spartans have a bonafide workhorse in the backfield in senior RB Zach Young, who has racked up 1,963 yards rushing and a whopping 31 touchdowns, including 6 in a Week 2 win over Eaglecrest and another 6 in the Week 9 victory against Palmer. Doherty is far from one-dimensional, however, as senior QB Evan Powell has thrown for 2,073 yards and 17 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions. Powell’s top target is junior WR Kyle Carey, who has 818 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns, while senior WR Brandon Supernaw has 400 yards and 2 scores. …Defensively, Doherty has allowed 22-plus points per game, but come away with 26 takeaways, which has helped the offense pile up points on the other side of the ledger. Senior LB Matt Bogans is generally all over the field for the Spartans with 80 tackles along with 4 interceptions, just behind the 5 of senior DB Josh Wiggins for the team lead. NOTES: The game is scheduled to be streaming on the Colorado Springs district website – https://www.d11.org/MPS/Pages/stream.aspx.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel.