LAKEWOOD — Dakota Ridge football coach Ron Woitalewicz always has at least a few trick plays in the can ready to go.

“We come into every game with two or three,” Woitalewicz said of the Eagles’ gadget plays after Dakota Ridge’s 47-19 victory Thursday night at Jeffco Stadium. “Coach Jeremiah Behrendsen (offensive coordinator) does a great job picking the right time to play it. It’s fun it keeps the kids engaged.”

The Eagles pulled out a double-pass on their first drive of the second half to open up a 34-7 lead early in the third quarter. Starting quarterback Blake Palladino threw a backward pass to back-up quarterback Mitchell Price who launched a pass to senior Jack Stewart for a 72-yard touchdown.

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

“We focus a lot on gadget plays,” Stewart said. “I threw a little fake block and (Price) just threw a dime right on the money.”

It wasn’t a trick play, but a broken play that gave Dakota Ridge its fourth touchdown of the first half to gave the Eagles a 28-7 halftime lead.

On the final play with 6.5 seconds left second quarter the Eagles scored on a 1-yard run by senior Connor Swanson. Palladino actually didn’t handle a high snap cleanly and the initial handoff to Swanson landed on the ground.

“That would make Tom Osborne proud,” Woitalewicz said referring to the legendary University of Nebraska coach who ran the famous fumblerooski in the 1984 Orange Bowl. “Connor just picked it up and ran it in. Definitely not how we drew it up.”

Swanson wisely grabbed the loose ball and ran into the end zone with most players on both sides just standing around thinking the play was already over.

“I saw the ball on the ground bobbling around. I saw a Bear Creek guy come in and I thought it was over,” Swanson said. “But he rolled over the ball and it popped up. I just grabbed it, saw an opening and ran.”

Sophomore running back Landon Kalsbeck ran to an impress night with touchdown runs of 8 and 56 yards in the second quarter. Kalsbeck’s most impressive run was one for the highlight reel as he hurdled a Bear Creek defender in front of Dakota Ridge’s sideline on a 29-yard run.

“He is a load,” Woitalewicz said of Kalsbeck. “He has great vision and great patience. He is a load to bring down. That was a good hurdle too. Track coach is going to be after him.”

Stewart had a monster game with four touchdown catches of 8, 72, 67 and 19 yards. The senior receiver’s final score took awhile to sink in after a flag was thrown at the feet of Palladino.

“I saw the penalty flag. I thought it was another holding call,” Stewart said. “Then one of the Bear Creek players came up to me and said, ‘I hit the quarterback.’ I was like alright.”

The flag was on Bear Creek for roughing the passer and allowed the 19-yard touchdown to stand.

Bear Creek quarterback Adrian Rico had three touchdown passes. Senior Ryan Bobick had a pair of touchdowns and Izaiah Phelps and another score. However, Bear Creek had a pair of turnovers in the first half and also a missed field goal that put the Bears in a deep first-half hole with a 21-point deficit at halftime.

“Those turnovers were just clutch,” Swanson said. “Those got us out of some tough situations.”

Bear Creek and Dakota Ridge came into Thursday’s night game at Jeffco Stadium both looking to get back on track.

Bear Creek had lost three straight after a strong 3-0 start. Dakota Ridge was in the same boat riding a 2-game losing streak after a 3-1 start.

“We have played two really great teams the last two weeks,” Woitalewicz said of the losses to Chatfield and Broomfield. “This was a good rebound game.”

Dakota Ridge (4-3, 1-0 in Class 4A Mountain West League) heads to the North Area Athletic Complex next Friday, Oct. 13, to face one of the hottest teams in 4A. Golden (5-1, 1-0) has won five straight heading into the Demons’ league game against Standley Lake at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 6).

“Technically it will be for a league championship probably,” Stewart said of the showdown against the Demons next week. “We’ll be doing extra practice and extra film.”

Bear Creek (3-4, 0-2) will be on the Western Slope on Thursday, Oct. 12. The Bears face Grand Junction at Stocker Stadium. (1-5, 0-1).