Mike Oakley The players on the field weren’t alive the last time it happened, but judging by the capacity crowd who jammed into Littleton Public …
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The players on the field weren’t alive the last time it
happened, but judging by the capacity crowd who jammed into
Littleton Public Schools Stadium Friday night, many from the
communities supporting Arapahoe and Cherry Creek high schools
remember when these two South Metro area powers tussled regularly
on the football field in league competition.
The Warriors, who rejoined the Centennial League this year after
a long stint in the Continental League, renewed its rivalry with
the visiting Bruins. Cherry Creek, hoping to establish some
position in the league before upcoming showdowns with Mullen and
top-ranked Grandview, rallied from a 3-0 deficit to score 27
straight points and eventually take care of Arapahoe, 27-9.
The two teams played the type of back-and-forth defensive
struggle in the first half that emphasizes field position and clock
control. But two big plays by the Bruins (5-0, 4-0) turned this one
in favor of the visitors.
Arapahoe (1-4, 1-2), down 10-3 at halftime of this homecoming
contest and buoyed by a fourth-and-1 stop of Creek at the Warrior
16 just before the horn, opened the third quarter with a lengthy
and impressive drive, which eventually stalled at the Creek 35.
Fairly confident that they had pinned the Bruins deep in their own
territory at the 9, the Warriors had to feel more than a little
shell-shocked when Creek quarterback Kain Colter hit Terrance
Walker on a 77-yard pass play to open a 17-3 lead.
That may have explained the erratic possession by Arapahoe
following the TD. Beset by penalties, a bad snap and an
increasingly aggressive defensive front by Creek, the Warriors went
from a first-and-10 to an eventual fourth-and-47 before punting.
Two plays after receiving the ball, the Colter-Walker connection
again found the end zone on a 28-yard play for a 24-3 lead.
“The defense was just trying to play man. He’s a great receiver,
and he just made his move and took the ball in,” said Colter, who
passed for 182 yards and rushed for 47.
Arapahoe didn’t regain its offensive rhythm until its final
drive of the night, capping an 80-yard march with a 15-yard scoring
pass from senior Eric Dikeman to sophomore Will Ratterman. The
Warriors converted on two fourth-down attempts along the way, as
well as a third-and-11, before the final third-and-12 pass from
Both teams had to endure a string of penalties throughout the
game (22 in all, four of which were declined). The game looked like
it could take a nasty tone early, with the opening drive featuring
unsportsmanlike calls on both squads. But the action settled down,
and Arapahoe had the game’s first big play when Dikeman took a flea
flicker toss from junior Davis Gunter and hit senior Mike Griffin
for a 34-yard gain. The drive eventually produced a 33-yard field
goal by junior Cameron Durkin for a quick 3-0 lead.
Creek tied it in the second quarter with a 50-yard field goal by
RC Willenbrock, who later in the game added a 35-yarder. But his
primary contribution was six touchbacks on six kickoffs, leaving
Arapahoe to start from its 20 too often. The Warriors had modest
success in the passing game (19 of 34 for 175 yards and one
touchdown by Dikeman) but could never rev up its ground attack to
ding the Bruin defense.
The road through the Centennial won’t get any easier in the next
two weeks, as Arapahoe takes on Mullen and Grandview in
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