LAKEWOOD – A football game is played in four quarters and a game could take three hours to play but many times a game comes down to one or two key plays.
This was true as Green Mountain was beat 23-14 by Dakota Ridge Friday at Jeffco Stadium.
Down 16-14 with four minutes left in the game Green Mountain’s defense was faced with a 3rd-and-five near midfield.
If the Rams would have stopped the Eagles and forced fourth down they would have had over three minutes to drive down the field and kick a potential game-winning field goal.
Instead, Dakota Ridge barely beat a Green Mountain pass rush and converted the first down with a seven yard completion over the middle of the field.
That play didn’t beat the Rams who theoretically still had a chance to win the game. However, the next play did.
Dakota Ridge senior quarterback Braxton Thais broke through his offensive line and exploded for a game-sealing 24 yard touchdown run.
The extra point put the Eagles up nine points and even though the Rams had two minutes to operate they couldn’t get down the field.
And after a second half charge where the Rams outplayed Dakota Ridge during big stretches of the second half Green Mountain will look back at that 3rd-and-five and what could have been.
“We gave ourselves an opportunity but we couldn’t finish,” Green Mountain coach Jared Wallen said. “Games like these come down to a couple key plays, and we couldn’t get it done today.”
The game was not only the league opener for both teams, it was also a meeting of two 3-2 teams that were pretty equal in terms of talent.
“We thought this was a game we could win here today but we are not done yet. Our goals are still intact, we just need to work a little harder now,” Wallen said.
Green Mountain (3-3, 0-1) has a pair of winnable games up next on its schedule, starting Friday at 7 p.m. at Littleton High School.