AURORA - In a wild finish, Eaglecrest sophomore Theryne Sandoval-Jimenez reeled in a two-point conversion to edge out Columbine, 32-31, in double overtime of the 5A semifinals.
After exchanging scores in the first and second overtimes, the Raptors put all their money on the table in going for two. The gamble paid off as Eaglecrest is now heading to their second state football title game in school history.
In regulation, the game was a tale of two halves.
In the first half, Eaglecrest jumped out to a 17-0 lead midway through the second quarter with a 17 yard rushing touchdown from Kenny Wantings, a safety, and a 26-yard touchdown pass to Sandoval-Jimenez.
The Rebels quarterback Logan DeArment got his team on the board late in the second quarter off a 25 yard QB keep.
Columbine kept the momentum going in the second half, scoring on a 17 yard pass from DeArment to Justin Lohrenz. The Rebels had a game-tying field goal blocked late in the 4th quarter but DeArment would get a second shot with less than 40 seconds left in regulation. He did not miss the second time around, sending the first semifinal matchup of 5A into overtime.
In the first overtime, Eaglecrest used all four downs before punching it in from half-a-yard out. Columbine needed just two plays to send it into double OT.
The Rebels went first in the second overtime, scoring, once again, in two plays before the Raptors evened it up with a pass to Sandoval-Jimenez, who won his one-on-one matchup in the back corner of the end zone. They would go to the sophomore for the game-winning two-point conversion.
The Raptors (13-0 record) will enter the 5A title game as the lone undefeated team remaining in 5A. Eaglecrest will play the winner of Pomona and Grandview in the championship at 2:30 p.m. next Saturday at Mile High Stadium.
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