AURORA | Aric Johnson has been thinking about redemption for weeks since his Cherokee Trail football team lost to Cherry Creek.
The Cougars’ senior quarterback committed four turnovers in his team’s one-point loss to the Bruins back on Oct. 4, but helped Cherokee Trail earn a rematch with a 41-7 victory over Mountain Range in a Class 5A state second round football playoff contest Friday night at Legacy Stadium.
Johnson threw touchdown passes to senior Evan White and junior Izaiah Lottie and rushed for two touchdowns and junior Cameron Smith rumbled for 163 yards and a pair of scores to push sixth-seeded Cherokee Trail into the quarterfinals against No. 3 Cherry Creek, which downed No. 19 Overland 49-14 at Stutler Bowl.
Coach Monte Thelen’s Cougars moved to 4-0 all-time against Mountain Range, which finished the season 9-2 overall.
The 10th-seeded Mustangs got on the scoreboard on an Andrew Wamsley to Gabe Gillespie touchdown pass in the final minute.
(6) CHEROKEE TRAIL 41, (10) MOUNTAIN RANGE 7
Score by quarters:
Mountain Range 0 0 0 7 — 7
Cherokee Trail 12 15 7 7 — 41
Cherokee Trail — Cameron Smith 1 yard run (kick failed)
Cherokee Trail — Smith 2 yard run (kick failed)
Cherokee Trail — Izaiah Lottie 34 yard pass from Aric Johnson (Cameron Smith run)
Cherokee Trail — Evan White 40 yard pass from Johnson (Johnson kick)
Cherokee Trail — Johnson 6 yard run (Johnson kick)
Cherokee Trail — Johnson 5 yard run (Johnson kick)
Mountain Range — Gabe Gillespie 4 yard pass from Andrew Wamsley (Kyler McCleland kick)
Cherokee Trail: Cameron Smith 24-163 yards, 2 touchdowns; Aric Johnson 12-84, 2 touchdowns; Jason Thompson 1-35; Izaiah Lottie 4-23; Dom Chapa 2-22; Cameron Currington 1-2; Quincy Voss 1-1
Cherokee Trail: Johnson 14-19, 171 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Cherokee Trail: Dominique Grady 5-46 yards; Evan White 2-46, 1 touchdown; Lottie 1-34, 1 touchdown; Isaiah Kaiser 3-23; Jason Thompson 3-22