MEAD — Friday's game marked the first meeting on the gridiron between the new Mead High School and storied Longmont.
While both teams were 2-1 before Friday's game at Mead High, Longmont has appeared in the past two Class 4A state semifinals and Mead has emerged as one of the fastest growing programs in the state, having just made its first postseason appearance in 2015. The first game between the City of Longmont's prep football big brother and the newest football team in the district, however, did not go at all how history would have predicted.
After six lead changes in the first half and the Longmont Trojans pulling away briefly in the third quarter, Mead scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth to win 49-35. It was, without question, the biggest win in the Mead's seven-year history with a varsity football program.
"We've never gotten a chance to play these big, big teams," Mead tailback Nathan Mackey said. "We've never played Longmont and when we finally got the chance, everyone was just ready for it. It's the biggest win we've ever had and it's awesome."
Ranked third in the latest CHSAANow.com poll, the Trojans (2-2) held a 32-28 lead at halftime. That slight advantage came courtesy of linebacker Austin Hassler, who broke a long string of trading touchdowns with a 14-yard interception return for a touchdown with 4 minutes, 33 seconds left in the second quarter.
Avery Peterson kicked his second long field goal of the game to put Longmont up 35-28 to start the fourth quarter. With 11:04 left to play, Mavericks (3-1) quarterback Riley Glynn hit tight end Derek Edwards for a 16-yard score and tied the game.
On Mead's next possession, Peterson knocked down the go-ahead touchdown pass from Glynn on 4th-and-goal. But when Longmont took over at its own 15-yard line, Mead's Evan Hanson intercepted a pass and returned it 17 yards to put the Mavericks up a score with 6:40 left. On the first play of the ensuing Longmont drive, the Trojans fumbled the ball away and the Mackey put the Mavericks up 14 points with a 13-yard run two plays later.
"Our defense stepped up and that's what we needed," Mackey said. "Both offenses were producing but our defense stepped up at the end. Our defense won us the game."
The two teams combined for 839 yards of offense, with the slight edge going to the Mavericks with 438.
The Mavericks will face another of the state's best teams when they host No. 1-ranked Fort Morgan next Friday. Also The Trojans will play at Holy Family next Friday.
Mead 49, Longmont 35
At Mead H.S.
Mead — Nathan Mackey 28 run (Taylor Kamigaki kick). Longmont — Cruz Garcia 47 run (Drake Engelking run). Mead — Tyler Keys 1 run (Kamigaki kick).
Longmont — Drake Engelking 57 pass from Oakley Dehning (Avery Peterson kick). Mead — Ryan Lavanchy 22 pass from Riley Glynn (Kamigaki kick). Longmont — Kelvin Townsend 4 run (Peterson kick). Longmont — Austin Hassler 14 interception return (Peterson kick). Mead — Nathan Mackey 8 pass from Riley Glynn (Kamigaki kick). Longmont — Avery Peterson 41 field goal.
Longmont — Avery Peterson 39 field goal.
Mead — Derek Edwards 16 pass from Riley Glynn (Kamigaki kick). Mead — Evan Hanson 17 interception return (Kamigaki kick). Mead — Nathan Mackey 13 run (Kamigaki kick).
RUSHING — Longmont: Cruz Garcia 6-65, Oakley Dehning 15-47, Kelvin Townsend 8-31, Drake Engelking 6-19, Telvin Townsend 2-5. Mead: Nathan Mackey 16-164, Gino Musick 9-60, Tyler Keys 10-40, Riley Glynn 7-14, Derrick Edwards 1-0.
PASSING — Longmont: Oakley Dehning 15-30-1-234. Mead: Riley Glynn 12-20-1-160.
RECEIVING — Longmont: Drake Engelking 4-94, Hayden Mosness 4-50, Jayden Elkins 3-33, Kelvin Townsend 2-27, Will Preuss 1-17, Kobe Martin 1-13. Mead: Nathan Mackey 3-70, Dom Esters 6-47, Ryan Lavanchy 2-27, Derek Edwards 1-16.