BROOMFIELD — The Holy Family and Longmont football teams entered Friday night's Week 5 game ranked seventh and 10th, respectively, in the CHSAANow.com poll.
The final non-league game of the season for both teams was every bit the knock-down, drag out battle one would expect from two of the best Class 3A teams in Colorado. In the end, it was Longmont that made more plays early on and down the stretch on the way to a 46-35 road victory.
Coming off a cross-town loss to ninth-ranked Mead last week, a pressure-filled win against a ranked team was exactly what the Trojans needed.
"It was huge," Trojans senior linebacker Austin Hassler said. "The way the Mead game turned out, we all really felt that and we were iffy about what we were capable of. But we put in a good week of practice and we knew that if it came down to the fourth quarter, we were going to do the right things this time that we needed to do to get the win."
Hassler, who had two interceptions and a sack, and the Longmont defense held Holy Family's high-powered offense that averaged 42 points per game through Week 4 to a slow start. The Trojans (3-2) intercepted Tigers' (3-2) quarterback Stone Samaras on his first two passes and three times in the first half. By the game's end, the Trojans defense totalled six sacks, four interceptions and a key fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.
Longmont's Kelvin Townsend and Cruz Garcia combined for three rushing touchdowns and the Trojans led 23-8 with 5 minutes, 22 seconds left in the first half.
Doing his best to get the Tigers offense back on track, tailback Michael Zeman rushed for 116 of his game-high 169 yards in the first half, scoring on long runs of 26 and 39 yards. With 1:28 left until halftime, the Tigers put together a 58-yard drive that ended in a 16-yard touchdown pass from Samaras to Joe Golter and cut the Longmont lead to 23-21 at halftime.
"That was like a playoff game," Trojans head coach Doug Johnson said. "We knew they were going to be tough. It was a fight all the way to the end."
Samaras hit Kyle Helbig for a 24-yard touchdown pass and the Tigers took their first lead of the night, 28-26 with 2:40 left in the third quarter. On the first play of the fourth, Zeman scored his third touchdown of the game on a 30-yard run to put the Tigers up 35-26.
Engelking set up Longmont's next drive with a 79-yard kickoff return and two plays later scored on a 7-yard shovel pass from Dehning. On the second play of Holy Family's next drive, Jarred Snow forced a fumble on a sack and the Trojans recovered. Four plays later, Engelking punched it in on 4th-and-1 to put the Trojans back up, 39-35 with 7:57 left. After the Trojans defense forced a Tigers punt, Engelking ran for five yards on 4-and-2 that set up a one-yard dive by Dehning to make it a two-score game with 1:50 left.
The Trojans will open 3A Northern League play at home against Thompson Valley next Thursday. The Tigers will begin their 3A Tri-Valley League schedule at Frederick on Friday.
Longmont 46, Holy Family 35
At Holy Family H.S.Longmont 8 15 3 20 — 46
Longmont — Cruz Garcia 22 run (Drake Engelking run). Holy Family — Michael Zeman 26 run (Travis Montoya pass from Stone Samaras).
Longmont — Kelvin Townsend 5 run (Townsend run). Longmont — Kelvin Townsend 8 run (Avery Peterson kick). Holy Family — Zeman 39 run (pass incomplete). Holy Family — Joe Golter 16 Stone Samaras (Matteo Lonardo kick).
Longmont — Peterson 26 field goal. Holy Family — Kyle Helbig 24 pass from Samaras (Lonardo kick).
Holy Family — Zeman 30 run (Lonardo kick). Longmont — Engelking 7 pass from Oakley Dehning (run no good). Longmont — Engelking 1 run (Peterson kick)Longmont — Dehning 1 run (Peterson kick).
RUSHING — Longmont: Drake Engelking 22-100, Kelvin Townsend 15-89, Cruz Garcia 6-61, Kobe Martin 8-59, Oakley Dehning 8-0. Holy Family: Michael Zeman 14-169, Stone Samaras 5-(-10), Travis Montoya 1-0.
PASSING — Longmont: Oakley Dehning 6-8-0-79. Holy Family: 14-25-4-244.
RECEIVING — Longmont: Drake Engelking 3-42, Kobe Martin 1-24, Kelvin Townsend 1-10, Will Preuss 1-3. Holy Family: Joe Golter 3-74, Brodie Wolfe 4-72, Kyle Helbig 3-54, Michael Zeman 2-43, Travis Montoya 2-1.