AURORA | A season filled with anticipation for the Vista PEAK football team is looking pretty good through two weeks.
Encouraged by a win in the Hog Wars linemen competition over the summer and buoyed by the return of a large number of talented skill players from a seven-win team a year ago, the Bison came into the 2019 season with tons of optimism.
Vista PEAK built off the momentum of an opening road win with an impressive home debut Sept. 12 at Aurora Public Schools Stadium, when it racked up 42 points in the opening half and cruised to a 54-6 victory over Palmer.
Coach John Sullivan’s Bison (2-0) rushed for six touchdowns in the game, including three from junior speedster Ja’derris Carr, who finished with 125 yards rushing for the contest. Juniors Montral Hamrick, Victor Owens and Chonsey Kibble Jr. also found the end zone on the ground.
Hamrick also caught touchdown passes from both Owens and Kibble Jr., who both saw time under center. Defensively, seniors Dominic Hernandez and Zack Whitworth had interceptions and junior Braylen Nelson collected two of the Bison’s five sacks.
Vista PEAK is part of an outstanding start to the new season for local teams, which has seven teams without a loss thus far. Cherokee Trail, Eaglecrest, Grandview, Regis Jesuit and Smoky Hill all improved to 3-0, while Vista PEAK is joined by Hinkley (which pulled off a win in the thriller of the week) at 2-0.
Here’s what happened for each Aurora team in Week 3 (full scoreboard):
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
AURORA’S WEEK 3 FOOTBALL RECAP
AURORA CENTRAL: The Trojans dropped to 1-2 with a 30-6 loss to Overland Sept. 13 at Stutler Bowl. Coach Austin Able’s team battled to a scoreless tie with the Trailblazers through one half, but yielded 30 points in the final two quarters — including two punt return touchdowns — to lose for a second straight week. Junior Foday Bayoh’s short rushing touchdown followed a long pass play from senior quarterback Tray Willard to senior running back Anthony Alvarado for Aurora Central’s only points of the game. NEXT: The Trojans have a bye week in Week 4, then return to the home turf at Aurora Public Schools Stadium at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 27 against Vista PEAK (2-0).
CHEROKEE TRAIL: The Cougars (3-0) played a close game for the third straight week and came out on top yet again with a 21-14 victory over Horizon Sept. 12 at Legacy Stadium. Coach Joe Johnson’s Cherokee Trail team again overcame an early deficit (due to a interception return score by the Hawks) with touchdowns in each of the final three quarters — all by senior running back Matty Bartels — and kept Horizon off the scoreboard again until the final minute of the contest. NEXT: The Cougars head north to face Poudre (1-2) in a 7 p.m. Sept. 20 contest at French Field in Fort Collins.
EAGLECREST: In a battle of two 2-0 teams, the Raptors scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to outlast Rocky Mountain 27-20 at French Field. Coach Shawn Marsh’s team had some missing parts and found itself down 10 points at halftime to the Lobos, but countered with 20 second half points on its way to victory. Senior quarterback Max Marsh rushed for two touchdowns, junior Neo Abney also scored on the ground and junior Langston Williams contributed a huge play with a long kickoff return for a touchdown in addition to a clinching interception. NEXT: The Raptors return to Legacy Stadium for a home game at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 against Legacy (0-3).
GATEWAY: The Olys seemed to be in command in a matchup with district rival Hinkley on Sept. 13 at Aurora Public Schools Stadium, but got outscored 38-13 in the second half of a 38-36 loss that dropped them to 1-2. Coach Taylor Calvert’s team used big plays and forced turnovers to build a 23-0 lead by halftime as junior quarterback Erick Covington threw for two of his four touchdown passes and rushed for one as well and junior Allen Barron knocked through a 34-yard field goal. Covington hit juniors Tony Gallegos, Antwuan Smith and seniors Lanier DeRuso and DJ Wilson with touchdown passes on the day. NEXT: The Olys return to Aurora Public Schools Stadium at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20 to face Vista PEAK (2-0).
GRANDVIEW: The unbeaten Wolves got off to a slow start against Mountain Vista, but eventually got things going Sept. 12 at Stutler Bowl before they got things going on a 35-14 victory that marked the third double-digit win of the season for coach John Schultz. Junior quarterback Jacob Burr had a huge offensive game for Grandview, as he accounted for 279 total yards (148 passing, 131 rushing) and four touchdowns (two rushing, two receiving). Junior Noah Schmidt also reached triple digits on the ground with 110 yards rushing and a score, while senior Jordan Smith racked up 78 yards receiving and both of Burr’s touchdown passes while he also recovered a fumble. NEXT: The Wolves head south for a 7 p.m. Sept. 20 matchup against Fountain-Fort Carson (1-2).
HINKLEY: The Thunderbirds dug themselves out of a three-score hole with a second half rally that earned them a 38-36 victory over Gateway on Sept. 13 at Aurora Public Schools Stadium. Coach Michael Farda’s Hinkley team was held off the scoreboard in the opening half, but scored five touchdowns in the second half — including two rushing apiece for senior quarterback Xavier Starks and junior running back Ty’ren Draper (whose second score came inside the final two minutes and stood up as the difference, while giving him 173 yards for the game) and senior Jerry Taylor also got the team on the scoreboard with a block punt and touchdown return, while he also had two sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception. NEXT: The Thunderbirds face Kennedy (1-1) in a 2 p.m. Sept. 21 contest at All-City Stadium in Denver.
OVERLAND: The Trailblazers broke out in the second half on their way to a 30-6 Homecoming victory over Aurora Central Sept. 13 at Stutler Bowl, which gave DaVaughn Thornton Sr. his first win as head coach. Senior quarterback Mark Thrower ran an uptempo attack for Overland (1-2) that included touchdown passes to freshman Ismael Cisse and junior Kamari Brown, while senior Jawan Lacour took back two punts to the end zone for big momentum plays for the Trailblazers. Senior Camwrin Harris had an interception late to cap a performance in which the Overland defense held its first opponent in single digits. NEXT: The Trailblazers play host to 2-1 Fossil Ridge at 7 p.m. Sept. 19 at Stutler Bowl.
RANGEVIEW: The Raiders (0-3 overall, 0-2 in Metro 10) scored 14 points in the final quarter, but couldn’t get all the way out of a double-digit hole in a 20-14 loss to the Far Northeast Warriors on Sept. 14 at Aurora Public Schools Stadium. After Rangeview trailed by 20 points after three quarters, coach Brandon Alconcel’s team got on the scoreboard in the early stages of the final period on a short rushing score by Davion Banks, then got even closer inside the last two minutes when junior quarterback Reece Berkey found senior Jahvon Lee for a 34-yard score. NEXT: The Raiders go on the road to face Mountain Range (1-2, 0-1) at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at Thornton’s North Stadium.
REGIS JESUIT: The Raiders moved to 3-0 with a decisive 49-14 win over Highlands Ranch Sept. 13 at Shea Stadium in a game in which they were sparked by a 35-point second quarter. Coach Danny Filleman’s Regis Jesuit team capped a 42-point explosion in the first half when sophomore quarterback Nicco Marchiol and senior wide receiver Jackson Connelly hooked up on a long touchdown pass. Marchiol finished with two passing touchdowns (the other went to senior Ty McGuire), while he also had two rushing touchdowns and junior David Dody and sophomores Dervin Taylor and Pyreese Miller joined him by scoring on the ground. Junior Matthew Baer continued a tear of sacks as he added three as part of a 10-tackle day. NEXT: The Raiders play host to parochial school rival Mullen (2-1) at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at Lou Kellogg Stadium.
SMOKY HILL: The Buffaloes scored in the opening minute of their Homecoming game against Northglenn Sept. 13 at Legacy Stadium and coach Tom Thenell’s team rolled to a 41-0 victory to move to 3-0. Junior quarterback Leslie Richardson III racked up 395 yards passing and piled up five passing touchdowns, three to senior Ryan Hollingsworth and single scoring strikes to junior Davien Norman and senior Kaleb Starling (all three receivers went over 100 yards on the day). Senior Obie Sanni rushed for a touchdown in the first minute and had to carry the ball just five times for 75 yards and a score. NEXT: The Buffaloes visit Prairie View (1-2) for a Metro 10 contest at 7 p.m. Sept. 20.