The Sept. 7 Arapahoe-Heritage game was everything a rivalry contest should be, with both teams making amazing offensive efforts and tough defensive plays. It was a see-saw battle, but when the final …
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The Sept. 7 Arapahoe-Heritage game was everything a rivalry contest should be, with both teams making amazing offensive efforts and tough defensive plays. It was a see-saw battle, but when the final buzzer sounded, Heritage won, 28-24.
The Arapahoe-Heritage rivalry dates to 1972. The winner of the game gets possession of the Brookridge Trophy, a chromed milk can has plaques attached recording the scores of each game in the rivalry. The games Arapahoe won are black plaques and the games Heritage won are red plaques.
In keeping with tradition, the milk can sat on a table on the sidelines during the game. When the final buzzer sounded, Heritage players rushed over, picked up the trophy and carried it back over their heads as they returned to the field. The Heritage students rushed to the field to congratulate the team.
“It was an amazing football game,” Eagles coach Tyler Knoblock said. “My hat is off to all the Arapahoe coaches and players. There were a lot of good plays both ways and that is what rivalry games are all about. It looked a little bleak for a while. We made some tough decisions and I thank my assistant coach for helping me make the right decision. We hung in there and we got the win. We need to enjoy the win this weekend and go back to work Monday to get ready for the next one because there are no easy games in this league.”
Arapahoe Coach Rod Sherman agreed.
“This was everything a high school rivalry football game should be,” he said. “It wasn't our best game but we played hard. My hat is off to Heritage because they played very well. They are a good team, they are well coached and they played hard. We know there are areas where we need to improve. For example, I thought we lost the battle at the line of scrimmage at times. We will spend time looking at the film of the game, and Monday we will go to work to strengthen the areas we feel need to be strengthened.”
Eagles running back Gianni Palazzo scored a pair of touchdowns.
Heritage scored on the first play from scrimmage as Eagles quarterback Connor Commiskey connected with receiver Terrance Ferguson on a touchdown pass that covered 78 yards. The extra point was good and the Eagles led 7-0 just 50 seconds into the game.
Both teams put points on the board, and going into the fourth quarter, Arapahoe led 24-14. The Warriors apparently padded their lead on a long touchdown run but the TD was nullified by a holding call.
Heritage got the ball back and scored on a delay 38-yard run off tackle run by Grayson Gallardo to cut the Arapahoe lead to 24-21.
With just under four minutes left, Arapahoe had the ball at about its own 25 yard line. On a second down and eight years to go, a Heritage defender caused a fumble and the Eagles recovered the ball inside the Warrior 10-yard-line. Palazzo carried the ball into the end zone. The extra point was good and Heritage led 28-24.
The Eagles' lead held up.
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