A-Town Game of the Week — Week 7, Rangeview vs. Eaglecrest (preview)


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Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m., Legacy Stadium

Live game stream, here

BREAKDOWN: The seventh A-Town Game of the Week — presented by the Aurora Sentinel and StreamItSports — pits a pair of local schools with a budding rivalry in several sports against each other when 2-4 Rangeview takes on 6-0 Eaglecrest at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Legacy Stadium in a Mount Wilson League contest. The Raiders and Raptors meet on the football season for the first time for than a decade, as they last faced off in the opening game of the 2005 season (a game won 20-14 by Rangeview). The Raiders also won a tight one when the teams played in 2004. The long-awaited rematch will be live streamed free of charge to your mobile device at the link above.


RANGEVIEW (2-4): After a 41-point explosion in its Week 6 loss to Arvada West, the Raiders rank fourth in Class 5A with 219 points scored, yet they are the only team in the top 10 in scoring without a winning record. On the flip side, coach Justin Hoffman’s team ranks fourth from the bottom in terms of points allowed (220), in part of a product of playing a number of talented teams with explosive offenses (including Doherty, Mountain Vista and Arvada West, plus Regis Jesuit). Rangeview fell behind Arvada West early and made a last-gasp comeback attempt with junior RB A.J. Thomas and junior QB Jaelin Odegard leading the charge. Thomas continued to be an absolute offensive force, as he jumped into the No. 2 spot in 5A in total rushing yards on the season with his 221-yard, 4-touchdown performance against the Wildcats. With four games left, Thomas has 911 yards rushing (behind the 1,362 of runaway leader Cade Verkler of Horizon), while his 13 total touchdowns (11 rushing, 2 receiving) ties him with Verkler for second behind Highlands Ranch’s Kobe Eller for the top scorer in 5A. Odegard threw for 346 yards and a touchdown and rushed for a score against Arvada West and he now sits third in 5A with 1,457 passing yards for the season and is tied for fifth in the classification with 13 touchdown passes. Junior WR Josh Hollins has been Odegard’s top target of late, as he has snared five touchdown passes in the past two games and leads the team with 357 receiving yards, with senior WR Aaron Reed close behind with 294 and has tied with junior WR Josiah Allen-Clark for most receptions with 18. Rangeview features six receivers with at least 126 yards receiving and five have at least one touchdown catch, while Thomas, Odegard (299 yards) and junior RB David Aggray (221) give the Raiders several rushing threats behind a hard-working line keyed by senior OL Onyi Ozoma. Defensively, senior LB Sean Kaai has played well of late, leading the team in tackles and is tied with Reed for interceptions with the pair he got in a victory over Gateway. Junior LB Zavier Richmond is right on Kaai’s heels for stops, while senior DL Jace Lester — healthy after battling injuries the past few seasons — has been a difference maker along the line.


EAGLECREST (6-0): Following play over the weekend, the Raptors remain the only undefeated team in 5A football at 6-0 as they rolled to a 42-7 road victory on Oct. 6 at Rocky Mountain. Coach Mike Schmitt’s  team — which sits No. 10 in CHSAA’s first set of RPI standings and ranked No. 4 in the latest Associated Press 5A media poll — has had only two close games (a four-point win over ThunderRidge and a seven-point victory against Grandview) so far, as the majority of Eaglecrest’s contest have been lopsided. Defense has been a big reason why the Raptors remain undefeated, as they’ve allowed the second-fewest points in all of 5A (78), despite playing a schedule much tougher than that of the classification leader Aurora Central (70), which just fell from the ranks of the unbeaten. Eaglecrest yielded just one touchdown to Rocky Mountain in garbage time and has allowed single digit points in four of its six contests. Junior LB Cody Bardin leads the Raptors in tackles and sophomore LB Tyler Dufour has also proven to be a playmaker with a penchant for making plays in opponents’ backfields. Junior DB Victor Garnes is a ballhawk on defense with three interceptions already. Offensively, the Raptors rank eighth in 5A in points scored with 202 and have piled up 36 or more points in four of their six games. Eaglecrest put up 35 points in the opening quarter against Rocky Mountain, as junior QB Jalen Mergerson tossed a pair of TD passes to junior Corey Corbin, who also rushed for a touchdown. Mergerson has thrown for 896 yards on the season and nine touchdowns against just one interception, while he’s also run for 349 yards and six scores. Garnes leads the team in rushing (441 yards, six touchdowns) and receiving (399 yards, four touchdowns) and has scored in just about every way possible this season. Junior RB Kenny Wantings has piled up 388 yards rushing and three touchdowns as another weapon in the backfield, while junior WR Theryne Sandoval-Jimenez (181 yards receiving, two touchdowns) and senior TE Tyler Peabody (141 yards receiving) provide multiple dangerous targets for Mergerson.

Week 8: Both teams continue Mount Wilson play, as Eaglecrest has a 5 p.m. tilt Oct. 21 against Castle View at Legacy Stadium, while Rangeview moves on to play Ralston Valley at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at the North Area Athletic Complex.