GREENWOOD VILLAGE | For a Thursday on the opening week of the prep football season, Eaglecrest’s Victor Garnes looked in midseason form.
The electrifying junior caught a 43-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Jalen Mergerson on his first touch of the season and in the opening quarter and later added a 35-yard touchdown run and capped it with a 47-yard interception return for a score in the Raptors’ 49-7 win over Smoky Hill at Stutler Bowl in the A-Town Game of the Week.
Mergerson threw touchdown passes to Garnes and junior Theryne Sandoval-Jimenez, junior Jaydin Vaughn rushed for a pair of scores and sophomore linebacker Tyler Dufour scooped up a fumble and returned it 70 yards to the end zone as Eaglecrest won the first meeting with its former Centennial League rivals since 2013.
Coach Mike Schmitt’s Raptors invoked a running clock with a 42-point margin in the third quarter and held the Buffaloes off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter, when senior running back Joseph Lawrence scored on a short touchdown run.
It was a frustrating night offensively for coach John Trahan’s Smoky Hill squad, which had three straight trips to the Eaglecrest 30 yard line in the opening half that resulted in no points.
Two of those series that ended inches shy of a first down on fourth down conversion tries, while the other resulted in Dufour’s long touchdown return when the ball was jarred loose from scrambling Buffs quarterback Karson Avila.
Avila finished with 218 yards passing, with 112 of those going to senior wide receiver Maurice Wyatt.
The A-Town Game of the Week was streamed live by StreamItSports. The full replay for the game can be found here.
Next week’s A-Town Game of the Week sees Regis Jesuit visit Mullen on Sept. 9.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
EAGLECREST 49, SMOKY HILL 7
Score by quarters:
Eaglecrest 21 14 14 0 — 49
Smoky Hill 0 0 0 7 — 7
Eaglecrest — Victor Garnes 43 yard pass from Jalen Mergerson (Theryne Sandoval-Jimenez kick), 8:36
Eaglecrest — Jaydin Vaughn 1 yard run (Sandoval-Jimenez kick), 4:43
Eaglecrest — Sandoval-Jimenez 36 yard pass from Mergerson (Sandoval-Jimenez kick), 0:30
Eaglecrest — Vaughn 18 yard run (Sandoval-Jimenez kick), 3:07
Eaglecrest — Tyler Dufour 66 yard fumble return (Sandoval-Jimenez kick), 1:49
Eaglecrest — Garnes 35 yard run (Sandoval-Jimenez kick), 9:29
Eaglecrest — Garnes 47 yard interception return (Sandoval-Jimenez kick), 5:20
Smoky Hill — Joseph Lawrence 3 yard run (Evan McCleary kick), 11:28
Eaglecrest: Jaydin Vaughn 9-75, Victor Garnes 6-54, Jalen Mergerson 7-43
Smoky Hill: Joseph Lawrence 14-37, Karson Avila 9-30, Trevion McBride 1-2, James Bowers 2-(minus 4), Demarius Pittman 1-(minus 5)
Eaglecrest: Mergerson 7-16, 162 yards, 2 touchdowns
Smoky Hill: Avila 18-32, 218 yards, 2 interceptions
Eaglecrest: Garnes 2-75, Theryne Sandoval-Jimenez 2-48, Corey Corbin 1-22, Tyler Peabody 2-17
Smoky Hill: Maurice Wyatt 7-119, Bowers 4-41, Pittman 3-27, Vernon Lewis-Stallworth 2-26