Arapahoe rolls to rivalry victory over Heritage
Arapahoe scored in each of the four quarters while keeping Heritage out of the end zone Aug. 30 as the Warriors won the season opener 38-0 to win the Brookridge Dairy trophy, their third victory in a row in the rivalry game.
“We played pretty well overall but we were sloppy at times,” Arapahoe coach Mike Campbell said after the game. “Of course, being able to get a shutout win over a rival is a good way to open the season. But, while we did a lot of good things, we still have work to do because the season is just getting started.”
After the game, Eagles coach Mike Griebel told his players not to hang their heads or listen to others because they are part of a good football team and they had to put the loss to Arapahoe behind them because it is only a tenth of the season.
“We are a very young team with more than a dozen sophomores playing their first varsity game. I think all the emotion surrounding this rivalry tonight was high and maybe a little much for our young guys,” he said. “But we have talented players, we'll keep getting better and we will become a stronger, more confident team as the season progresses.”
With a 1-0 record, the Warriors next play host to Rangeview at 7 p.m. Sept. 6. At the same time, Heritage seeks to rebound for their first win of the year as they are on the road at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 against Fruita Monunment.
Littleton Public Schools Stadium was packed Aug. 30 with the crowd about evenly split with those wearing Arapahoe's black and gold and those wearing the red and silver for Heritage.
The Eagles kicked off to start the game. Arapahoe took the kickoff and, with a good mix of runs and passes, drove to the Heritage 22-yard like. But they stalled there and the field goal try missed.
But, late in the quarter, the Warriors got the ball, and Jose Concanon's short run capped a six-play, 56-yard drive. The extra point gave Arapahoe a 7-0 lead with 34 seconds left in the first quarter.
In the second period, Arapahoe appeared poised for another score when it recovered a fumble on the Heritage 20-yard line. A rash of penalties nullified the first two times the Warrior got into the end zone. Finally, a 9-yard pass from Gabe Peterson to Ethan Brunhofer and the extra point made the score 14-o.
“We looked pretty good in the second quarter but there were some mistakes,” Campbell said. “The mistakes resulted in us having to score three times to get credit for one touchdown.”
The Warriors later mounted another drive and added a 34-yard field goal with 2:51 left in the half.
Heritage took the kickoff after the field goal and put together perhaps its best drive of the game. Freshman Mikey Griebel called the signals for the Eagles and the team used a combination of the run and pass to move the ball into Warrior territory. On the final play of the half, Griebel threw a pass into the end zone, but the receiver caught it out of bounds.
In the third period, Cancanon electrified the crowd as he burst through the line and outran defenders on an 81-yard touchdown run. The extra point made it 24-0. Late in the quarter, Peterson again lofted a pass to Brunhofer, who won the battle with the defender for the ball, pulled away from a would-be tackler and scored. The play covered 74 yards and made the score 31-0.
Early in the fourth period, the Warriors mounted a 62-yard drive that was capped by a 16-yard run by Bryan Daldegan. With 11:47 left in the game, the extra point sailed through the uprights to end the scoring.
When the game was over, the Warrior players shook hands with the Eagles then took the trophy over to the student section so everyone could celebrate the victory.
The senior Warrior quarterback said this was the best game of his life.
“This was very emotional for me because it is my second varsity start and my first time in the game as the regular starting quarterback,” Peterson said. “This is a big rivalry and winning tonight was bittersweet for me in a way as I played youth football with a lot of those Heritage guys. I guess my only regret is I wish I had the pass that was intercepted back. But to get this win in the season opener is a great feeling.”