Prep notebook: Peyton picks up wild OT win, Palmer Ridge field hockey set for state semis

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Wild win puts Peyton in league driver seat

Peyton has a stranglehold of the 1A Tri-Peaks League heading into the final week of the season after its road win over Buena Vista on Friday.

Six-for-six in blowout victories – this one required a grittier performance.

Pounding late into the night, Gunner Saarela ran for a 1-yard score in the second overtime as the Panthers beat the Demons to go a game ahead in the league standings.

Peyton (7-1, 4-0) allowed a game-tying touchdown in the final seconds of regulation, but got enough pressure to force a miss on the extra point.

Tyler Noffsinger scored on Peyton’s opening overtime possession and Wesley Correll caught a two-point conversion on a fake field goal. After the Demons tied with their first OT possession, Noffsinger forced a fumble on the first play of their second possession and Saarela gave the Panthers a walk-off win minutes later.

“Good football teams find ways to win even when things aren’t going their way,” Peyton coach Richard Deems said. “Kids showed a lot of resilience.”

The Panthers are 12th in the Class 1A RPI rankings. They face Colorado Springs Christian (6-2, 3-1) in Week 10.

Thomas key for Vista Ridge’s late-season run

Another big win and another big performance from its dynamic quarterback has Vista Ridge sitting in postseason position.

Jaylen Thomas threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Wolves beat Littleton 54-0 for their third win in four games.

Thomas, a senior who was moved to quarterback this season, has thrown for eight touchdowns and has rushed for another seven.

“Every week he is becoming a better and better passer,” Vista Ridge coach Jerimi Calip said. “He’s really doing a great job of settling in.”

It’s good timing, too.

The Wolves have moved into 13th in the 4A RPI standings with two games remaining. They host Palmer next week before traveling to Rampart to end the season.

“I always tell my guys it’s not how you start the season but how you end it,” Calip said. “They’re playing some good football right now.”

Asked if he's had an eye on the RPI this year -- remember last year, his team was placed out of the postseason bracket on its first release only to get back in on a redraft – Calip said the Wolves just need to take care of their “own” business.

“If we do that we’ll be sitting where we want to be,” he said.

Palmer Ridge looking to break through for field hockey state title

Palmer Ridge heads to its seventh straight semifinals appearance still looking for its first state title.

“Every year we put ourselves in a very good opportunity to win it and this year is no exception,” Palmer Ridge coach Paul Lewis said. “I think we have a great chance.”

Abby Hermann and Jordyn Isner scored as the Bears won its first-round game 2-0 over up-and-coming Cheyenne Mountain. The Indians (8-7-1) finished with their first winning season since at least 2009.

The Bears (14-1-1) will face Regis in the semifinals at All-City Stadium on Tuesday. They beat the Raiders 5-4 in overtime to open the season.

Evans receives another honor

Palmer Ridge quarterback Ty Evans announced on Twitter that he received an invitation to the 2018 Army All-American Combine.

Only 600 high school players across the nation are invited to take part in the even from Jan. 4-6 at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas.

Evans, who is committed to Arkansas, has 26 TDs to only four interceptions this season.