Golden knocks off No. 6 Denver South in thriller at NAAC

Dennis Pleuss
Jeffco Public Schools
Posted 9/20/22

ARVADA — All Golden needed was a minute Sept. 16 at the North Area Athletic Complex.

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Golden knocks off No. 6 Denver South in thriller at NAAC


ARVADA — All Golden needed was a minute Sept. 16 at the North Area Athletic Complex.

The Demons went 85 yards in less than a minute to overcome a 7-point deficit against No. 6-ranked Denver South. Senior quarterback Jazel Riley tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to junior Trey Abrams with 8.1 seconds left to cut the Ravens’ lead to 42-41.

“A lot of teams wouldn’t have a lot of hope,” Golden first-year coach Matt McDougal said of the position the Demons were in late. “Our guys were ready to go.”

Golden (2-2 record) decided to go for a 2-point conversion and the win instead of kicking the extra point. Riley called an audible at the line before running behind center Ayden McCanless and left guard Trey Sparks to give the Demons a dramatic 43-42 victory. 

“We had called a roll-out to the right. If we didn’t score the coaches probably would have been mad at me,” Riley said with a smile. “I checked to QB draw. I put the trust in my linemen. We just ran down the middle and got it.”

Denver South quarterback Joseph Capra, who was brilliant in guiding the Ravens with three touchdown passes and a touchdown run, had one last long pass fall incomplete on the final play of the game.

“A minute was enough,” Abrams said.

Riley hit Abrams for a big pass play to start the 85-yard drive. Denver South did intercept Riley after the Demons crossed midfield, but a defensive pass interference on the play gave the ball to Golden on the Ravens’ 20-yard line. Riley hit Abrams on the very next play.

“The ball was in the air and I had to go get it for my team,” Abrams said. “I was pretty confident it was coming to me.”

Golden’s offense came alive after a 56-7 loss to No. 1 Ponderosa the pervious week. The Demons scored four touchdowns in the second quarter to give Golden a 28-21 lead at halftime.

Golden senior running back Cole Quercioli had three rushing touchdowns. Riley had a rushing touchdown along with his touchdown pass to Abrams.

“This whole game I was trusting my offense. We were moving the ball down the field like we had been practicing all year,” Riley said. “The offense line was perfect giving me time. The receivers getting open.”

Golden even got a defensive score early in the second quarter. A high snap went over Capra’s head. Golden sophomore nose tackle Noah Limback recovered the fumble and ran it in from two yards out for the score.

“Our defense did score,” McDougal said referring to the scoop and score by Limback. “We’ve been talking about not getting many turnovers. We got one of those.”

The Ravens and Demons both hit the road next week. Denver South (3-1) travels south to face Cheyenne Mountain next Friday night. Golden journeys to the Western Slope to play Palisade on Friday night.

“This will help us a lot,” Abrams said after defeating No. 6 Denver South. “Being down with a minute left in the game is a hard spot to be in. Everyone came out and put their hearts on the line on that last drive.”

Golden heads into the competitive 4A Jeffco League play in a few weeks. 

“Getting this win before going out of town is good,” Riley said. “Seeing what we can do and what we are capable of going into league is definitely great.” 

Dennis Pleuss is the sports information director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to

golden, high, school, football, denver, south


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