Story by Tanya Wheeler-Berliner/Jeffco Public Schools
LAKEWOOD — Chatfield took one step closer to wrapping up the Class 4A Plains League title Friday night at Jeffco Stadium.
The Chargers, No. 2 in the CHSAANow.com 4A football poll, defeated South Jeffco-area rival Dakota Ridge 36-29 to take sole possession of the conference race. Chatfield (8-1, 4-0 in league) is one game ahead of Dakota Ridge (5-4, 3-1) and Heritage (6-3, 3-1) with one week remaining in the regular season.
Chatfield can sweep through the conference and extend its winning streak to six games when the Chargers face Heritage at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at Jeffco Stadium. Dakota Ridge closes it regular season on the road against Adams City next Friday night.
Dakota Ridge did give Chatfield a scare days before Halloween. The Eagles jumped on top early in the first quarter with a 39-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Drew Dominic to senior Keenan Brown.
Chatfield responded quickly when senior Tylor Rowles scored his first of three touchdowns of the night. Chatfield’s Andrew Mangold nailed a 36-yard field goal, increasing the lead 10-6, but Dakota Ridge answered with a touchdown run by senior John McEwen with 35 seconds left in the second quarter to give the Eagles a 12-10 lead at halftime.
Dakota Ridge started the second half on fire, scoring 10 unanswered points with a 27-yard field goal by senior kicker Harper Silliman and then a 92-yard pass from Dominic to senior receiver Jonathan Freddilino.
Dominic connected with David Brandt on a 4-yard touchdown pass with 58 seconds left in the third quarter to put the Eagles up 29-17.
Then, the momentum began to shift. Rowles ran for a 69-yard touchdown to cut Dakota Ridge’s lead to 29-24.
Dakota Ridge fumbled the ensuing kickoff at the beginning of the fourth quarter which led to another Mangold field goal, narrowing the Eagles’ lead to 29-27.
Another Dakota Ridge turnover set up the Chargers for the go-ahead touchdown. Rowles found the end zone for the third time to give Chatfield a 33-29 lead.
Mangold kicked through a 23-yard field goal with 28 seconds left in the fourth quarter to ice the game and complete a run of 19 unanswered points by Chatfield to end the game.