LONGMONT -- Falcons quarterback Garret Angstead made play after play on offense against Mead on Thursday. But with the game on the line, a defensive play turned out to be his biggest.
With Mead driving with a chance to take the lead with a touchdown, Angstead intercepted Mavericks quarterback Griffin Nelson's long pass to preserve a 33-28 win for the Falcons.
"There were plenty of big plays that went into getting that big win," Angstead said. "But that last play was definitely the most important clutch play."
He shut the door on defense, but Angstead ran for 229 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 128 yards (12 for 23) when the Falcons had the ball.
Both teams entered the game with matching 3-4 overall and 1-1 Tri-Valley League records. Coming off an overtime victory over Silver Creek, Angstead said Thursday's win was huge because it earned the Falcons (4-4, 2-1) their first win streak since 2004.
"This was special because we start moving up the ladder a little bit," Angstead said. "We put ourselves ahead of those teams we're kind of neck-and-neck with and it gives us that jumpstart we really need."
Javier Gonzalez caught five passes from Angstead for 74 yards and Israel Valdez carried the ball 13 times for 58 yards.
Having won two straight nail-biters, Falcons head coach Kevin Rice said the fans always get their money's worth when they come to the Falcons games this season. Their four wins match the total from the past two seasons combined.
Rice also said the Falcons need to get better as a team at finishing games. That means, he said, taking advantage of opportunities on offense and staying focused on defense.
"We're still a little young and learning how to win," Rice said. "Quite frankly, learning to play with a win is new to our program. I'm proud of our kids for stepping up and making the plays they absolutely need to make to get this win."
The Mavericks (3-5, 1-2) jumped out to a 6-0 lead on a three-yard touchdown run by junior tailback James Richardson. But the Falcons took a 14-6 lead in the second quarter with a winding 24-yard run from Angstead and a 14-yarder from senior back Alex McHone.
Giving his team some breathing room, McHone returned the opening kickoff of the second half 86 yards for a touchdown.
The Mavericks, however, came back with 22 points in the fourth quarter behind Richardson, who finished with 113 yards and three touchdowns. Nelson also threw a touchdown pass to Jeremy Rasmussen in the fourth quarter that pulled them within striking distance.
Mavericks senior Alex Mead recovered an on-side kick with 1:08 left but the Mavericks couldn't punch it in. Regardless of the outcome, Richardson said he was proud of his team's ability to fight its way back into the game.
"The team's effort was astronomical," Richardson said. "Everyone pulled together to get us back in it. We'll continue to play to win, play hard and do our best."
Mavericks junior Logan Anderson caught six passes for 43 yards and ran for 34 more yards.
The Falcons will look to make it three in a row when they host Berthoud (1-6, 0-2) next week. The Mavericks will host sixth-ranked Silver Creek (6-1, 1-1).
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Skyline 33, Mead 28
At Everly-Montgomery Field
Mead (3-5, 1-2) 6 0 0 22 -- 28
Skyline (4-4, 2-1) 0 14 6 13 -- 33
Mead -- James Richardson 3 run (kick missed).
Skyline -- Garret Angstead 24 run (Luciano Quesada kick).
Skyline -- Alex McHone 14 run (Quesada kick).
Skyline -- McHone 86 kickoff return (kick missed).
Skyline -- Angstead 10 run (Quesada kick).
Mead -- Richardson 2 run (Jake Muncy kick).
Skyline -- Angstead 67 run (kick missed).
Mead -- Richardson 1 run (Kyle Couch 2-point run).
Mead -- Jeremy Rasmussen 7 pass from Griffin Nelson (Muncy kick).
First downs 16 19
Rushes-yards 32-145 43-328
Passing yards 166 128
Comp-Att-Int 17-35-1 12-23-2
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 2-1
Penalties-Yards 5-35 5-70
RUSHING -- Mead: Richardson 21-113, Logan Anderson 8-34, Nelson 3-(-2); Skyline: Angstead 22-229, Israel Valdez 13-58, Jordan McEntee 6-29, Alex McHone 2-12.
PASSING (comp-att-int-yards) -- Mead: Nelson 17-35-1-166; Skyline: Angstead 12-23-2-128.
RECEIVING -- Mead: Rasmussen 4-40, Aaron Cheung 5-48, Anderson 6-43, Richardson 1-2, Alex Mead 1-23; Skyline: Javier Gonzalez 5-74, Valdez 3-16, McEntee 1-0, McHone 1-22, Eric Caballero 2-16.