Douglas County football coach Jeff Ketron insists that there are usually a few plays each game that determine the outcome.
Unfortunately for the Huskies, Regis Jesuit was successful on most of those plays in a Continental League game played on a cold night Oct. 4 at Douglas County Stadium.
Fifth-ranked Regis rolled to a 31-3 lead before giving up two late touchdowns and earned a 31-16 victory to remain unbeaten in the league.
“Like we talk about, football games usually come down to four or six plays,” said Ketron. “Both teams had that opportunity and they seized that opportunity and unfortunately we were on the short end of it.”
Douglas County's inability to come up with the big plays started late in the second quarter when the Raiders drove 79 yards to score a touchdown with 11 seconds remaining to take a 14-3 halftime lead.
The Huskies had three consecutive three-and-outs in the third quarter while Regis scored twice. A field goal on the Raiders' third possession of the half pushed the visitors ahead 31-3 with 6:40 still to be played in the game.
Douglas County couldn't develop any consistent offense when the game was close.
Trey Smith, the Huskies standout running back who was averaging 197.4 all-purpose yards per game, was limited to 80 yards by the Raiders.
Smith rushed for 36 yards on 11 carries, caught one pass for two yards and had 42 yards in kickoff returns.
Quarterback Rope Ruel was 12-17-1 for 195 yards, and JP Rubino, who rushed for 56 yards, scored both Huskies touchdowns.
Douglas County had trouble stopping the Raiders' pack of running backs, who kept gaining key yards to keep the chains moving.
“We struggled a little bit,” admitted Ketron. “Everybody is beat up at this time of year. We had some kids that had supreme effort. We played the whole game with four defensive linemen because of some various things. They gave great effort. We just weren't good enough.
“That's a pretty good team we played. You can't fault our kids for effort. That's the score. We've got next week. We play at home against ThunderRidge. We're excited for it. The biggest thing is getting the five wins. That's important to get into the playoffs. That's our No. 1 key.”
Douglas County, 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the league, plays ThunderRidge, 5-1, 1-1, Oct. 11.
Regis, 5-1, 2-0, faces another challenger Oct. 11 when Chaparral, 2-0, 3-3, journeys to Aurora to play the Raiders.
In other Continental League games played Oct. 4, Steve Ray ran for 211 yards and scored four touchdowns as sixth-ranked ThunderRidge scored 21 second-half points to whip Highlands Ranch, 42-14, at Shea Stadium.
Chaparral held Mountain Vista to minus six yards rushing in a 23-0 triumph over the Golden Eagles.