AURORA | Rangeview’s defense made it a long trip back to the Western Slope for the Grand Junction football team Saturday night.
The Raiders limited the Tigers to just 231 yards of total offense and came away with five turnovers — three interceptions (two by senior DeVante’ Wheaten) and a pair of fumble recoveries — and parlayed them into a solid 26-7 South Metro League victory at Aurora Public Schools Stadium.
Junior running back AJ Thomas piled up a game-high 126 yards rushing and scored twice on the ground, sophomore quarterback Jaelin Odegard threw for a touchdown and ran for one and senior wide receiver Elijah Reed caught a TD pass as Rangeview recorded the first win under new head coach Justin Hoffman.
The Raiders committed just one turnover themselves and racked up 377 yards of total offense in moving to 1-2 overall and 1-0 in the South Metro as they got off to a good start as they aim to win a sixth straight league championship.
Thomas got the scoring going with a 3-yard touchdown early in the first quarter, while Grand Junction (1-3, 0-1) countered with a 1-yard Austin Taylor score two minutes into the second quarter to tie it at 7-7.
From there, the Raiders scored the final 19 points of the game, including 13 more in the final 3 minutes, 22 seconds, before halftime on a 16-yard Thomas run and Odegard’s 19-yard scoring toss to Reed with 1:19 remaining in the opening half.
Odegard — seeing his first action under center for Rangeview this season — rushed for 96 yards and a 2-yard touchdown in the third quarter to cap the scoring, while he also passed for 76 yards, with all three of his completions going to Reed.
Rangeview has a non-league contest at Cherokee Trail (2-1) scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 24.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
RANGEVIEW 26, GRAND JUNCTION 7
Score by quarters:
Grand Junction 0 7 0 0 — 7
Rangeview 7 13 6 0 — 26
Rangeview — AJ Thomas 3 yard run (Daniel Worst kick), 8:07
Grand Junction — Austin Taylor 1 yard run (Tyler Mower kick), 10:18
Rangeview — Thomas 16 yard run (Worst kick), 3:22
Rangeview — Elijah Reed 19 yard pass from Jaelin Odegard (kick failed), 1:19
Rangeview — Odegard 2 yard run (run failed), 4:43
Grand Junction: Austin Taylor 30-88, Jax Nourse 11-23, Michael White 1-10, Jeffrey Dottson 3-5, Malik Jackson 1-2
Rangeview: AJ Thomas 20-126, Jaelin Odegard 15-96, Deron Solomon 11-66, Aggrey 4-12, Adrian Sims 1-1
Grand Junction: Nourse 9-18, 103 yards, 3 interceptions
Rangeview: Odegard 3-8, 76 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
Grand Junction: Thomas Brown 2-45, Jackson 1-20, Martin Huff 1-19, Nate Hale 1-9, Brody Cupp 2-5, Taylor 2-5
Rangeview: Elijah Reed 3-76