Wheat Ridge football knocks off No. 8 Aurora Central in 4A

(Andre Lyseight/CHSAANow.com)

(Andre Lyseight/CHSAANow.com)

LAKEWOOD — The Wheat Ridge Farmers handed Aurora Central its first loss of the season on Friday, ending their seven-game win steak.

Wheat Ridge beat No. 8 Aurora Central 37-14 in a Class 4A football game.

"I am excited for them (Aurora Central) as far as the things they have done and turned around," said Wheat Ridge coach Stacy Coryell. "Coach (Travis Peeples) is doing a great job over there. You can't take 7-0 lightly."

Wheat Ridge running back Payton Dietrich helped his team win big with an impressive game on the ground. He scored his team's first touchdown of the game that helped provide an offensive spark.

"We started off a little slow but we got our stuff together and we played better in the second half and even in the second quarter," Dietrich said. "It was a good way to win and it felt good too."

Aurora Central looked like it was going to put up big numbers against Wheat Ridge judging by their first drive of the game. Trojans quarterback Jalil Grimes helped take his team down the field, setting up six-yard rushing touchdown from running back Fransicos Aranda. That gave the Trojans an early 8-0 lead.

Wheat Ridge had a slow start with its first two drives ending in punts. Dietrich was finally able to break out for a 22-yard rushing touchdown and cut the lead to 8-7. On the next drive, quarterback Gino Tate provided the spark, including a 14-yard touchdown pass from Tate to Carl Vecciarelli taking the lead at 14-8.

"We were looking for cutbacks and our offensive line played big today, so we got a good push and that's what helped," Dietrich said.

The Trojans could not get anything flowing on offense after their first drive. Meanwhile, Wheat Ridge was clicking on both sides of the ball.

Dietrich was able to reach the sidelines with a strong stiff arm that allowed him to make room for 54-yard run. Then running back Xavier Dreiling scored on a 27-yard run to make it 20-8.

Aurora Central punted the ball five times without another score by halftime.

Aurora Central started the half with what looked to be an accidental onside kick that it was able to recover at midfield. The Trojans finally got the break they needed — but still couldn't put points on the board.

Grimes threw an interception to Nicco Young, who returned it to the 1-yard-line. Dietrich made an easy catch for the touchdown to extend Wheat Ridge's lead to 27-8.

The Farmers were able to put the game out of reach after Dreiling returned a fumble for a 33-yard touchdown.

"We didn't play our best game, but we're not going take anything away from that team," said Aurora Central coach Travis Peeples. "They were tough and physical and they were who we thought they were. They were a very well coached team and I just didn't coach my best tonight. I didn't have my guys prepared but well go back to the drawing boards."