Eaglecrest football handles Chaparral in first round of 5A playoffs

(Morgan Dzak/CHSAANow.com)

(Morgan Dzak/CHSAANow.com)

AURORA — If there's anything the Class 5A Mount Wilson conference football players learned this season about Eaglecrest, it's to avoid Victor Garnes at all costs.

If you kick the ball to this man, it's going to the house. If the ball gets thrown in his general vicinity, he will make you pay.

And that's about what happened to Chaparral in the first round of the 2016 5A football state playoffs against Eaglecrest on Friday night at Legacy Stadium: a live-recording of Da Vicki G Show.

No. 5-seeded Eaglecrest's junior running back magician did more than enough damage in the second period of the game against the No. 12-seeded Wolverines to help the Raptors to an 11-0 mark and trip to the quarterfinal round against Regis Jesuit.

Garnes dashed for a whopping 99-yards on a kickoff return for a touchdown - his second of the season. The first time he did it was in a tough conference matchup against Ralston Valley on Oct. 27. 

And Da Vicki G Show wasn't over just yet in the second: on Chaparral's next possession, the running back returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown, leading the Raptors into halftime with a dominant 27-3 lead.

"I just have to give it up to my blockers, because they make that seam for me and when I see that, I can hit it," Garnes said. "They do such a great job at blocking for me, and when they do a good job, it makes my job so much easier to score touchdowns."

Garnes squeaked in a third TD of the night, running in a short one with just under six minutes left in regulation. Wolverines' Isaac Wilson was able to block the extra point attempt and halt the Raptors' scoring efforts at 40 points. 

Chaparral kicker Ben Kearney scored two field goals, one in the second quarter and another in the third, and senior wide receiver Cole Williams scored the Wolverines' lone TD of the game with 18 seconds left on the clock.

But the Raptors dominated the game form start to finish.

"I think the way our defense played was great," Raptors head coach Mike Schmitt said. "Chaparral can really run the ball and has done a good job with that all year, and our defense was just stiff, and they wouldn’t let them get anything. Offensively, we did a great job holding on to the football and moving it at the end."

Eaglecrest's junior quarterback Jalen Mergerson took charge early on and scored a touchdown five minutes into the game on a 20-yard scramble. After Chaparral was called on an offside penalty during the good point after touchdown, the Raptors failed on the two-point conversion for the first lead of the game at 6-0.

Mergerson ran in a second TD on a 1-yard rush at the very beginning of the fourth period.

Kenny Wantings also made some big dashes for the Raptors, and ran into the end zone five yards for a TD with just over thirty second left in the first quarter.

Eaglecrest is the lone undefeated team left in 5A and will take on No. 4-seeded Regis Jesuit on the Raiders' turf next week.

"All I know is the year before I got this job, I think Regis beat Eaglecrest 49-0 (in the 2009 5A quarterfinals)," Schmitt said. "I don’t know anything about them except for watching some film. We’ll get to work tonight as soon as we get home and spend some time on the weekend getting ready for the next round."