Chaparral squeaks by Highlands Ranch

Highlands Ranch defensive back Jordan Reliford (6) tries to stop Chaparral wide receiver Nolan Ellis (4).
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Sophomore Ford Edwards kicked a 35-yard field goal with a minute remaining in the game to give Chaparral an 18-17 Continental League football win over Highlands Ranch on Sept. 27 at Shea Stadium.

“I've never been one to get that nervous,” insisted Edwards, who also booted a 33-yard, first-quarter field goal. “Yep, I felt the kick was good.”

Wolverines coach John Vogt was confident despite Edwards' limited game experience.

“The kid has a lot of talent, he just hasn't had a chance to kick a lot for us,” he said.

Chaparral, which lost three of four non-league games, finds itself tied for first place after the initial week of league action with an Oct. 4 game looming against Mountain Vista at Sports Authority Stadium.

“That's all we are playing for, one week at a time,” admitted Vogt. “We have so many guys out, it's crazy.”

Highlands Ranch seized a 17-15 advantage on a rainy night with 6:34 remaining in the contest on a 21-yard field goal by Blake Dickerson.

Chaparral started its winning drive with 2:36 on the clock at the Wolverines' 38-yard line and moved to the Falcons' 18-yard line in 66 seconds to set up Ford for his decisive field goal.

Quarterback Cole Lehman completed two key passes for 17 and 22 yards during the drive, but a dropped possible Falcons interception kept the drive alive.

“We had a TD pass that was dropped and an interception dropped that would have put the game away,” said Highlands Ranch coach Darrel Gorham.

Falcons quarterback Keaton Thames completed seven of 18 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns.

Thames tossed an 86-yard scoring pass to Eric Dynes, who leaped high to snare the aerial and then outran defenders. He threw a 9-yard touchdown strike to Ross Heskett. Thames also had a potential TD pass dropped in the end zone.

The Falcons wound up with 242 yards total offense compared to 297 for the Wolverines, who were led by Lehman's 130 yards passing and 92 from Kyle Gallup, who saw limited action because of an injured knee.

“It's been like this all season,” pointed out Gorham. “We've been one or two plays away in every game from winning the game. It's hard to take. Hopefully one of these games the players will be rewarded with a win.”

Highlands Ranch, 2-3 overall, plays ThunderRidge Oct. 4 at Shea Stadium.

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