Grizzlies earn County rematch

Posted 11/6/08

ThunderRidge is on its way. Having reached the Class 5A state championship football playoffs for the first time in school history, given that it’s …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?

Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.


Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.

Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

Grizzlies earn County rematch


ThunderRidge is on its way.

Having reached the Class 5A state championship football playoffs for the first time in school history, given that it’s their debut season in the classification, the Grizzlies advanced to the second round of the bracket after a 40-14 win over the No. 30-seeded Overland.

ThunderRidge played host as the No. 3 seed Oct. 30 at Shea Stadium in Highlands Ranch.

With the win, they advance to the second round against Douglas County, the No. 14 seed, in a rematch of the season opener where the Grizzlies beat the Huskies in an overtime nail biter.

Grizzlies coach Joe Johnson said Overland had him cautious about Round 1.

“They had me very, very worried,” Johnson said. “They have some very fast backs that can get away. They’ve gotten away against everybody. We had one bad one, a kick-off return there; other than that, we were pretty tough.”

Senior tailback Chris Nwoke punched in three touchdown runs against the Trailblazers, including a 53-yard jaunt in the second quarter.

Nwoke finished with 153 rushing yards. Receiver Jared Faulkner, who had 144 yards pulling them from the air, had two touchdown receptions from quarterback Tim Jenkins.

Jenkins had a 30-yard touchdown pass to Faulkner in the second quarter, helping T-Ridge lead 27-7 at half time.

Jenkins, who had 211 passing yards, had another 30-yard TD pass, this time to Dave Arnold in the third quarter.

“We saw [their defense had ]a lot of 8-in-the-box, when they were walking up that extra safety up they had,” Jenkins said. “We knew they were going to have 1-on-1 coverage, so with the speed of our wide [options], we knew we could get past them.”

Still, Overland has proven to be a playoff-worthy team when all its pistons are firing together; something of which Johnson was well aware.

“I knew they had some guys who could get away and score, and we knew they had some problems in the past — turnovers and penalties, but if they could put it together, they could be dangerous,” the coach said. “I’m really pleased with this win.”

With Nwoke anchoring the running game and Faulkner being Jenkins’ go-to man in the air, Johnson said the ThunderRidge offense was able to open up the field.

“We felt like we could do some things,” Johnson said. “Chris [Nwoke] can match them. He’s somebody who can matched their speed for us. I thought Jared Faulkner did too. He’s got some deceptive speed and quickness. … That’s helped us stretch the field. Those two guys can create space for us, and we’ve got some other guys who can make plays.”

With a rematch with Douglas County looming, the Grizzlies’ confidence of an undefeated regular season and a Southern League title is going to help them against a Huskies team far more developed since the overtime opener.

County, which was responsible for the most points allowed against T-Ridge in a game this season, hasn’t allowed its opponents more than 10 points in a game in the past five weeks.

And the Huskies offense has averaged almost 40 points per game over the past four weeks.

What’s more, as Mountain Vista can attest, the Huskies have not been beaten in the playoffs by another Douglas County team since its 2005 state championship season; however, T-Ridge knows how to do it.

“We have to shut down No. 30 [Jose] Astorga,” Jenkins said. “We just have to play like we did the first time. Everyone was pretty nervous that first game. I think we’ve gotten a lot more solid. They’re just now starting to get healthy. That’s why you’re starting to see them play better football. It’ll be a good game.”

ThunderRidge plays host to the rematch against County at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at Shea Stadium in Highlands Ranch.


Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.