AURORA | In every game, the Overland offense and defense have a good-natured competition against each other.
In the first five games of the season, junior quarterback Austin Conway and the offense have come out mostly ahead, but things seemed to be all square on Friday afternoon in the Trailblazers’ stunning 42-14 Centennial League football victory over Grandview.
Conway dazzled again as he accounted for five touchdowns — rushing for two scores, passing for two more and returning a punt for a TD — but senior Tre Thomas and the defense had its second-best effort of the season and put the clamps on the Wolves for the final three quarters at Stutler Bowl.
Even or not, it all added up to Overland’s first win against Grandview in a decade.
It was the Trailblazers’ first win over the Wolves since a 12-6 victory in the opening round of the 5A state playoffs in 2003 and marked the first time Grandview’s John Schultz lost to Overland since he took over as head coach in 2004.
With the victory, coach Seth Replogle’s Trailblazers evened their record at 3-3 overall and pulled into a tie for second place in the Centennial League at 1-1 along with the Wolves (4-2), Cherokee Trail (4-2) and Eaglecrest (4-2). Cherry Creek — which held off Cherokee Trail 28-27 — leads at 2-0.
Things looked good for Grandview in the early going, as it raced out to a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter as senior quarterback Tyler Smith connected on a 55-yard touchdown pass with Trent Richardson and hit Brandon Brooks on a 28-yard scoring pass.
But that turned out to be all the points generated by the Wolves, who had won the previous three meetings with the Trailblazers by a combined score of 130-15.
Conway didn’t have much room to operate in the early going, but got Overland on the scoreboard with 1:12 left in the opening quarter on a fourth down play in which he rolled right and threw a jump ball to his favorite target, Khalil Jenkins, who came down with it in the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown.
Just two minutes later, Conway asserted on special teams, racing 70 yards for a touchdown after fielding a punt from Grandview’s Kiefer Glau. He burst up the right sideline, worked his way across the field with the help of some blockers and into the end zone. The two-point try failed, leaving the game 14-12 in favor of the Wolves.
The Overland defense did a good job for the most part on Grandview running back Chukwuma Obinnah — who rushed for 182 yards and three touchdowns the previous week — but Obinnah picked up 32 yards on a screen pass to set up a chance for the Wolves to add onto their lead in the second quarter.
Kenny Nguyen’s 29-yard field goal attempt went wide right, however, and just five plays later, Conway exploited a massive hole in the middle of the field and outraced Grandview’s defense to the end zone, then hit Marc Soto with a 2-point conversion pass to vault Overland to a 20-14 lead.
After the Wolves went three-and-out, Conway scored again on a similar play to make it 26-14. AJ Roper gave the Trailblazers a chance to add on with an interception in the closing seconds of the half, but Conway through an interception in the end zone as time expired.
Roper snared a tipped pass in the end zone for a touchdown that made it 33-14 in the third quarter, then a botched snap on a Grandview punt and Ahjon White’s 3-yard TD run turned the game into a rout.
Led by Thomas — who was credited with 24 tackles and two sacks — Overland’s defense had its best game since a 22-0 shutout of Arvada West in its season opener. Michael Burke had a pair of interceptions for the Trailblazers, who forced the Wolves to make a quarterback change — with junior Cody Summers coming on in place of Smith — in the second half.
Ben Marshall rushed for 77 yards and Obinnah picked up 59 on the ground and 32 receiving for Grandview.
OVERLAND 42, GRANDVIEW 14
Score by quarters:
Grandview 14 0 0 0 — 14
Overland 6 20 7 9 — 42
Grandview — Trent Richardson 55 yard pass from Tyler Smith (Kenny Nguyen), 7:37
Grandview — Brandon Brooks 28 pass from Smith (Nguyen kick), 6:08
Overland — Khalil Jenkins 29 yard pass from Austin Conway (kick failed), 1:12
Overland — Conway 64 yard punt return (pass failed), 11:19
Overland — Conway 65 yard run (Conway pass to Marc Soto), 3:28
Overland — Conway 65 yard run (run failed), 1:39
Overland — AJ Roper 17 yard pass from Conway (Soto kick), 41.5
Overland — Ahjon White 2 yard run (Soto kick), 6:47
Grandview: Ben Marshall 14-77, Chukwuma Obinnah 18-59, Tyler Smith 5-17, Isaiah Lang 1-6, Cody Summers 4-(minus 8)
Overland: Austin Conway 12-122, Dominican Waynewood 2-14, Ahjon White 13-1, Kevin Prosser 2-1
Grandview: Smith 11-22, 176 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions; Summers 1-3, 11 yards, 1 interception; Carter Boswell 0-1
Overland: Conway 16-26, 111 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Grandview: Trent Richardson 2-87, Obinnah 1-32, Brandon Brooks 2-31, Brian Mitsch 1-11, Frank Solomon 1-7, Morgan Smith 1-3, Marshall 2-3
Overland: AJ Roper 4-44, Khalil Jenkins 5-41, Waynewood 4-16, White 1-5, Andrew Tillman 1-5