ThunderRidge relied on its defense, and it was a goal line stand in the second overtime that maintained the lead in a 24-17 victory over rival Mountain Vista on Oct. 3 at Shea Stadium.
The teams were deadlocked at 10 at the end of regulation. Both teams scored and added the extra point during the first overtime possessions, which started from the 10-yard line.
Tailback Lucas Fish scored on a 4-yard run for ThunderRidge in the second overtime period and Colin Montgomery added the extra point kick to give the Grizzlies a 24-17 lead.
So Vista need a touchdown and PAT to extend the game.
Vista had a third and goal from inside the 1-yard line when junior linebacker Tyson Lambert, who had 16 total tackles, made his second stop during the second OT series to hold Matthew Smith for no gain. Quarterback Jacob Barrett attempted a quarterback sneak on fourth down but didn't get into the end zone — which set off a ThunderRidge celebration,
“That was a huge stand,” said ThunderRidge coach Doug Nisenson. “We have a strong culture on our defense. We believe we can get stops in any situation, even if the chips are down and the odds are against us. It was inches away but we won. We can't say enough about Tyron Lambert's leadership, his play and all of it.”
The win over Vista was the fourth straight for the Grizzlies and improved their advantage in the rivalry series to 12-2.
This was the closest game in the past four outings and the first game in the rivalry for first year Golden Eagles coach Garrett Looney, who was a former quarterback at Columbine, an interim head coach at Eaglecrest last season and an ex-assistant coach at Cherry Creek, ThunderRidge, Valor Christian and Cherokee Trail.
“That game was a dogfight,” said Nisenson, a former player at ThunderRidge. “It does mean more in a rivalry game but don't get me wrong, I'll take lopsided victories any day of the week.
“Hats off to Mountain Vista. They played hard. They are well coached. I've known coach Looney for a lot of years now, going back to when I was in high school. He's a great coach and always has been. He's got them firing on all cylinders. They are going to be a team to watch out for in the future.”
Fish rushed for 112 yards and one touchdown in regulation in addition to his one TD in the OT for the Grizzlies. Quarterback Brent Huber was 13-of-26 for 149 yards passing with one TD and three interceptions. He rushed for a score in overtime. Chris Franquemont hauled in a 41-yard TD reception for ThunderRidge in the fourth quarter.
Mountain Vista led 10-0 at halftime on a 1-yard TD plunge by Smith and a 23-yard field goal by Ethan Love. Barrett scored on a 4-yard run in OT.
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