AURORA | Brandon Alconcel has only just win to his head coaching career fives games into his first season, but it’s definitely a biggie.
The new Rangeview head coach guided his team to a 48-27 victory over rival Gateway Sept. 28 at Aurora Public Schools Stadium to make sure the Anvil traveling trophy — which goes annually to the team that wins — remains in what has become an accustomed place at Rangeview.
With starting quarterback Jaelin Odegard sidelined by injury, the Raiders gave themselves over almost completely to the ground game and rushed for nearly 400 yards to go with five touchdowns to win the Anvil for a ninth straight season.
“They put the Anvil in the hallway and I was not about to walk through the hallway with an empty case for a year,” Alconcel said.
Alconcel spent the past five seasons on the staff at Overland and is new to the always red-hot rivalry between Rangeview (1-4) and Gateway (2-3), but the returning players feel it deeply.
Senior running back David Aggrey did his part to make sure the Anvil remained at Rangeview, as he ran hard behind a physical offensive line to pick up 135 yards and three touchdowns and was joined in big ground days by senior running back Trey Hall and junior quarterback Dayzawn Jackson, who piled up 130 yards apiece.
It was the virtually opposite method of winning as in 2016, when Odegard threw four touchdown passes to speedster Josh Hollins a high-flying aerial attack that led to a blowout win for Rangeview.
With Odegard on the shelf due to a leg injury suffered in the previous game against Overland — though he did dress, went out for the opening coin toss as a captain and was the holder on extra points — the Raiders turned their attention to a ground game that was still trying to find its groove after losing workhorse running back A.J. Thomas to graduation.
Rangeview ran it early and often and finished with nearly double its previous season-best total of 200 rushing yards accomplished earlier against Mountain Vista. Aggrey ran it repeatedly on the opening drive and finished it with a 1-yard touchdown plunge.
The Raiders used a trick play to double their early lead when Hollins took a backwards pass from Jackson and threw it to a wide open Josiah Allen for a 40-yard touchdown.
Hall and Aggrey added rushing scores and Jackson hit senior Jayvion Swain with a short pass that the wide receiver turned into a touchdown to answer a rushing score by Gateway’s Kevin Traylor Jr. on the previous possession.
“As a play caller, our offensive coordinator had a pretty easy game to call: it was run right, run left,” Alconcel said. “We started a new left tackle in Brian Hawley and the line was juiced. They were rolling up guys on just about every play.
“I was talking to them before the game and said ‘here’s our game plan, we’re running the ball,'” he added. “I remember when I was an offensive lineman, those are the games where you get excited.”
Alconcel also credited the no-nonsense approach of new running backs coach Chris Carhart — Rangeview’s track coach — who had the Raiders’ backs hitting the line quickly and with a full head of steam.
Gateway head coach Taylor Calvert — who was on the winning side of the Anvil game last season as Rangeview’s quarterbacks coach before getting his new post — urged his team to keep fighting and it did so on the second half.
The Olys scored the first 14 points of the second half when senior quarterback Xavier Delk threw a pass that senior wide receiver Ajonte Manlove tipped up and away from a defender, secured and made it to the end zone followed by a 70-yard burst from Traylor Jr.
The Raiders answered with 38-yard touchdown runs from Aggrey and Jackson, the latter in the fourth quarter, to seal the result.
Manlove hauled in another touchdown pass from Delk (who had 220 yards rushing, plus 116 through the air) with 35 seconds left and Gateway recovered the subsequent onside kick, but could draw no closer. The Olys will have to wait another season to earn the Anvil, which the program hasn’t had custody of since 2008, the first year of its existence.
Next up for both teams is league play, as Rangeview moves into the 5A Mount Wilson portion of its schedule and Gateway moves into 4A Plains League action.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
RANGEVIEW 48, GATEWAY 27
Score by quarters:
Rangeview 14 21 6 7 — 48
Gateway 0 7 14 6 — 27
Rangeview — David Aggrey 1 yard run (Axel Lara kick), 6:59
Rangeview — Josiah Allen 49 yard pass from Josh Hollins (Lara kick), 3:57
Rangeview — Trey Hall 2 yard run (Lara kick), 10:54
Gateway — Kevin Traylor Jr. 25 yard run (Alan Barron kick), 9:53
Rangeview — Jayvion Swain 25 yard pass from Dayzawn Jackson (Lara kick), 4:54
Rangeview — Aggrey 9 yard run (Lara kick), 3:41
Gateway — Ajonte Manlove 43 yard pass from Xavier Delk (Barron kick), 6:54
Gateway — Traylor Jr. 70 yard run (Barron kick), 4:56
Rangeview —Aggrey 38 yard run (kick failed), 2:42
Rangeview — Jackson 38 yard run (Lara kick), 4:36
Gateway — Manlove 10 yard pass from Delk (run failed), 0:35
Rangeview: David Aggrey 18-135, Dayzawn Jackson 14-130, Trey Hall 30-130
Gateway: Xavier Delk 28-220, Kevin Traylor Jr. 10-110, Marvun Odunye 2-0
Rangeview: Jackson 6-7, 54 yards, 1 touchdown; Josh Hollins 1-1, 49 yards, 1 touchdown
Gateway: Delk 10-19, 116 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception; Dowden 1-1, 5 yards
Rangeview: Josiah Allen 1-49, Jayvion Swain 2-33, Ethan Fray 1-14, Aggrey 1-10, Hollins 2-(minus 3)
Gateway: Ajonte Manlove 4-61, Traylor Jr. 5-49, Trekess Kelley 2-11