Eagles put it all together

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Dominate Green Mountain for first victory of 2009

By Dan Johnson

LAKEWOOD — Giving up big play after big play last week against Chatfield left the Dakota Ridge defense with a bad taste in its mouth.

To cleanse themselves from the Week 1 thrashing, the Eagles took out their frustrations on Green Mountain.

While their goal of a shutout was nullified early, the Dakota Ridge defense dominated the Rams, allowing a paltry 139 yards of total offense as the Eagles evened their record at 1-1 thanks to an impressive 30-6 Class 4A West Metro victory Sept. 10 at Jefferson County Stadium.

“Defensively, we really controlled the line of scrimmage,” Dakota Ridge coach Ron Woitalewicz said. “We gave up a couple of big plays but outside of that, we really shut down their offense.”

Dakota Ridge’s offense, meanwhile, got off to an ominous start.

Quarterback Bolton Howes was sacked and fumbled the ball away deep in his own territory on the game’s opening possession.

The Rams quickly capitalized as running back Keegan Deignan scored on a 10-yard run to put his team up 6-0.

That was really the only blip of trouble on the radar screen as the Eagles scored on three of their next four drives.

Brent Terrell started the Dakota dominance with a 3-yard touchdown run. Keaton Greenstreet added a 27-yard field goal and Howes connected with Derek Vander Velde on a 22-yard pass to put the Eagles up 17-6 heading into halftime.

Vander Velde, a 6-foot-5 wide receiver, used his height to his advantage in the third quarter, as he rose above a pair of Rams defenders to come down with an 8-yard touchdown pass. Vander Velde finished the game with five catches for 66 yards and two touchdowns.

“Derek’s a big, strong kid,” Woitalewicz said. “In those situations you just throw the ball up there and he’s going to go get it.”

While the Eagles’ offense was clicking, Green Mountain couldn’t get anything started. Dakota Ridge’s defensive line rushed Rams quarterback Jake Garegnani all night, and he finished the game completing just 5 of his 16 pass attempts for 59 yards. Deignan did manage a 47-yard run on an end-around, but the drive stalled and the Rams were held to just 80 yards rushing.

On the flip side, Howes put together a solid night’s work for the Eagles, completing 11-of-19 passes for 121 yards with no interceptions and the two touchdowns to Vander Velde.

Senior Ryan Bennett, who was celebrating his birthday, had three catches for 35 yards and several nice punt returns, including a 30-yard return that set up Greenstreet’s field goal.

On the ground, Dakota Ridge ran for 169 yards, led by Aaron Worth’s 60 yards on just 8 carries. Terrell and David Judd also chimed in with several nice runs.

“It was good for us to get out here on a Thursday and forget about that Chatfield game,” Woitalewicz said. “I think that Chatfield game will make us better down the road. It was good for us to get a win and get our confidence back up.”