Football: Third-quarter burst sends South past Aurora Central 42-0

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Aurora Central running back Francisco Aranda (24) tries to get around Denver South defender Esaias Gandy (5) during the third quarter of the Trojans' 42-0 Mountain League football loss to the Rebels on Oct. 29, 2015, at Aurora Public Schools Stadium. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Aurora Central running back Francisco Aranda (24) tries to get around Denver South defender Esaias Gandy (5) during the third quarter of the Trojans’ 42-0 Mountain League football loss to the Rebels on Oct. 29, 2015, at Aurora Public Schools Stadium. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | Trailing by 14 points after one half, the Aurora Central football team still had a chance to rally past Denver South Thursday night and claim its eighth victory of its successful 2015 season.

Then a 3-minute span late in the third quarter happened and the Trojans instead left Aurora Public Schools Stadium with a surprising 42-0 defeat, their second in a row since a 7-0 start to the season.

The visiting Rebels — winners of five straight and currently atop the Mountain League standings — took advantage of Aurora Central turnovers to score four touchdowns in the final 3:45 of the third period to invoke a running clock and drop coach Travis Peeples’ Trojans to 7-2 overall and 2-2 in league play.

Two rushing touchdowns in the opening half put Denver South (7-2, 4-0) in front and the Rebels managed to add to their lead early in the third quarter when they marched 89 yards on 13 plays — picking up a fourth down conversion along the way — and got into the end zone on Marcus Lindsay’s 5-yard run.

Freshman Terell Ratcliff, who had a kickoff return for a touchdown in Aurora Central’s loss the previous week to Wheat Ridge, set his team up near midfield with a 42-yard return, but Denver South’s Dre’mond Griffin intercepted a deep pass by Trojans’ quarterback Jalil Grimes just two plays later.

The Rebels needed just four plays to cover 73 yards and Quinton Johnson bulled in from 1 yard out to make it a 28-0 game.

Denver South’s defense would again rise to the occasion as Joe Arps recovered a fumble on Aurora Central’s next play from scrimmage and Aaron Knox threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Brown for the Rebels’ second score in nine seconds and a 35-0 edge.

Da’Shawn Griffin put the capper on the night for Denver South with a 26 yard interception return for a score.

De’Oveya Johnson rushed for 75 yards on a tough offensive night for the Trojans, who were outgained 380-72.

Aurora Central tries to get back on track in its regular season finale, a 6 p.m. contest on Nov. 5 against Standley Lake at Aurora Public Schools Stadium.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

DENVER SOUTH 42, AURORA CENTRAL 0

Score by quarters:

Denver South  7  7  28  0 — 42

Aur. Central     0  0    0  0 —  0

SCORING

First quarter

Denver South — Derius Pinkett 10 yard run (Zach Cheiko kick), 1:40

Second quarter

Denver South — Aaron Knox 1 yard run (Cheiko kick), 7:24

Third quarter

Denver South — Marcus Lindsay 5 yard run (Cheiko kick), 3:45

Denver South — Quinton Johnson 1 yard run (Cheiko kick), 2:13

Denver South — Keenan Brown 9 yard pass from Knox (Cheiko kick), 2:04

Denver South — Da’Shawn Griffin 26 yard interception return (Cheiko kick), 0:37

RUSHING

Denver South: Marcus Lindsay 19-137, Derius Pinkett 8-64, Quinten Johnson 7-20, Aaron Knox 3-18, Amon Wright 2-13, Dre’Mond Griffin 1-2

Aurora Central: De’Oveya Johnson 12-75, Taevon Jordan 1-11, Francisco Aranda 7-1, Jouan Kennedy 1-(minus 2), TJ Jenkins 1-(minus 5)

PASSING

Denver South: Wright 7-13, 98 yards; Knox 2-3, 28 yards, 1 touchdown

Aurora Central: Jalil Grimes 1-5, minus-8 yards, 2 interceptions

RECEIVING

Denver South: Esaias Gandy 2-40, James Hardy 3-38, Keenan Brown 2-17, Kevin Brooks 1-12, Lindsay 1-9

Aurora Central: Kennedy 1-(minus 8)