The way Friday night's football game started, things didn't look particularly promising for the Longmont Trojans in their 3A top-five matchup against Roosevelt.
The Roughriders and their option offense methodically drove 80 yards for a touchdown, overcoming 20 yards worth of penalties after getting to the LHS 3-yard line.
But after looking less than stout on that first drive, the Longmont defense redeemed itself in a big way. Junior Avery Peterson recovered a fumble by Roosevelt's Nick Wall on the Roughriders' next possession, and the tide turned.
The No. 3-ranked Trojans rode the wave of momentum to a 34-14 non-league victory over No. 5 Roosevelt at Everly-Montgomery Field.
Longmont's D stopped RHS the next two times it had the ball -- including once on fourth down at the LHS 26-yard line -- and the Trojans scored TDs all three times they had the ball in the second quarter. Then they went 80 yards after the opening kick of the second half.
"(The fumble recovery) definitely got both sides of the football going," Peterson said. "Everything started clicking after that."
Indeed, slowly but surely, LHS' multifaceted running attack softened up Roosevelt's defense. While no Longmont runner eclipsed the 100-yard mark, four Trojans exceeded 50 yards on the ground: Kelvin Townsend (76 yards and a TD), QB Oakley Dehning (73 and two rushing scores), Drake Engelking (53) and Cruz Garcia (52 and a touchdown). And Engelking added 45 yards and a touchdown receiving and Kelvin Townsend chalked up 17 yards in catches.
All told, the Trojans racked up 349 yards of offense.
On the defensive side, after giving up the touchdown following the opening kickoff, Longmont allowed just one score the rest of the night -- that after giving Roosevelt a short field after fumbling away a punt return in the third quarter.
In addition to how the LHS defense stiffened in the second quarter, twice in the fourth quarter it stopped the Roughridgers on fourth down in Longmont territory. Overall, the Trojans allowed Roosevelt a reasonable 256 yards of total offense.
"It was simply a matter of making some adjustments," Trojans head coach Doug Johnson said. "That's the first time some of these (Longmont) kids have seen (the option). The funny thing with the option is you start running and you miss assignments. It sometimes takes away your juice to just go. But the coaches settled them down a little bit and they did a great job.
"I'm really happy with our boys. I thought we executed really well."
The game was certainly a matchup of two of Class 3A's best in the state. Longmont, which has gone to the finals and semifinals in Class 4A the last two seasons, improved to 2-1 on the season.
Roosevelt, the state runner-up in 3A last season, dropped to 1-2.
The teams had Greeley West as a common opponent, with Longmont beating GW 30-3 last week and Roosevelt falling to the Spartants 35-11 two weeks ago.
Next up, Longmont will remain close to home in paying a visit to Mead next Friday night.
Longmont 34, Roosevelt 14
At Everly-Montgomery FieldRoosevelt (1-2) 7 0 7 0 — 14
Longmont (2-1) 0 21 6 7 — 34
Roosevelt — Cameron Hurtado 1 run (Kevin Vargas kick).
Longmont — Cruz Garcia 3 run (Oakley Dehning run). Longmont — Drake Engelking 45 pass from Dehning (Avery Peterson kick). Longmont — Dehning 1 run (kick fail).
Longmont — Dehning 4 run (run fail). Roosevelt — Nick Wall 5 run (Vargas kick).
Longmont — Kelvin Townsend 23 run (Peterson kick).
RUSHING — Roosevelt: C. Hurtado 23-106, Ukishima 8-42, McCloughan 6-41, Wall 5-14, A. Hurtado 3-9, Sanchez 3-7. Longmont: K. Townsend 10-76, Dehning 12-73, Engelking 12-53, Garcia 12-52, T. Townsend 6-27.
PASSING — Roosevelt: C. Hurtado 4-10-0-37. Longmont: Dehning 4-8-0-68.
RECEIVING — Roosevelt: Ortiz 2-23, Schlagel 1-10, Hernandez 1-4. Longmont: K. Townsend 2-17, Engelking 1-45, Elkins 1-6.