AURORA | Shane Ward finally grabbed his elusive first win as a head coach.
In his 12th game guiding Gateway, Ward got in the win column with a 34-20 triumph over Aurora Public Schools rival Hinkley Thursday night at APS Stadium.
CJ Sanders rushed for 145 yards and all five of Gateway’s touchdowns and the Olys posted their first win since a 47-0 victory over Adams City in the regular season finale of the 2013 season. After that victory, they lost their Class 5A first round state playoff game, then dropped all 10 of their games in 2014 and started 0-2 in 2015.
Gateway (1-2) also picked up its first win in the South Metro League and sits atop the league standings with Heritage — a 48-21 winner over Smoky Hill — in the early going.
On a big night on which the Olys’ defense intercepted Hinkley quarterback Ramzee Howard three times, Sanders cashed in with touchdown runs of 3, 30, 11, 4 and 3 yards and also caught a two-point conversion pass for good measure. Dylan Paulsen caught four passes for 92 yards for Gateway.
Howard threw touchdown passes to Eman McNeal and Jermohd Ford and Kenneth Powell rushed for a score for coach Robert O’Brien’s Hinkley team, which dropped to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in league play.
Powell rushed for 110 yards and McNeal caught six passes for 108 yards in the losing effort.
The Thunderbirds trailed 21-6 at halftime, but scored the first 14 points of the second half to pull within a point on Ford’s 8-yard touchdown catch. A go-ahead two-point conversion try failed, however, and Gateway pulled away with two more Sanders’ touchdowns.
The Olys return to action at 7 p.m. Sept. 25 against Smoky Hill at Stutler Bowl, while the Thunderbirds play host to Arapahoe at 6 p.m. Sept. 25.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
GATEWAY 34, HINKLEY 20
Score by quarters:
Hinkley 6 0 8 6 — 20
Gateway 6 15 0 13 — 34
Gateway — CJ Sanders 3 yard run (kick failed)
Hinkley — Eman McNeal 61 yard pass from Ramzee Howard (pass failed)
Gateway — Sanders 30 yard run (Sanders reception)
Gateway — Sanders 11 yard run (Dylan Paulsen kick)
Hinkley — Kenneth Powell 4 yard run (Ben Lang reception)
Hinkley — Jermohd Ford 8 yard pass from Howard (pass failed)
Gateway — Sanders 4 yard run (kick failed)
Gateway — Sanders 3 yard run (Paulsen kick)
Hinkley: Kenneth Powell 20-110, Calvin Pope 2-9, Malcolm Kates 1-3, Ben Lang 1-2, Ramzee Howard 14-2, Armand Green 1-(minus 8)
Gateway: CJ Sanders 21-145, Thomas Boles 4-30, Xavier Delk 8-22, Dequari Galloway 1-0, Cam Albritton 1-(minus 2)
Hinkley: Howard 13-32, 148 yards, 2 touchdowns, 3 interceptions
Gateway: Delk 8-19, 130 yards, 1 interception
Hinkley: Eman McNeal 6-108, Jermohd Ford 2-20, Kates 1-13, Gideon Greer 1-3, Powell 2-3, Green 1-1
Gateway: Dylan Paulsen 4-92, Anthony Byndum 1-12, Galloway 1-11, Boles 1-10, Sanders 1-5