LONGMONT -- Call it the Bounce-back Bowl.
It was 4-0 Skyline vs. 3-1 Niwot Friday night at Everly Montgomery Field. Both teams have been showing definite signs of resurgence after extended slumps.
The Falcons haven't had a winning record in a season in more than a dozen years, going 6-23 over the past three seasons. And they haven't made the playoffs since 2000. The Cougars last posted a winning record in 2008, and are 3-26 over the past three years.
On Friday, Skyline continued its ascendance, while Niwot lost its second straight after a 3-0 start.
The Falcons scored touchdowns two of the first three times they had the ball and stifled Niwot's offense throughout in a 28-0 non-conference victory. It marked SHS' second shutout of the first half of the season.
The win -- Skyline's third straight against rival Niwot -- kept the Falcons undefeated at 5-0, matching their highest win total in a season since the early 2000s. Not bad for a team that has won two games each of the past three seasons.
"It's big for the community," said junior Tristan Balfour, who picked off two Niwot passes on Friday. "It gives us hope. It hasn't been done for a very long time. It's positive energy for all of us."
Coach Michael Silva will certainly second that.
"It's an awesome thing," he said. "The guys just have an expectation to win. They've showed that attitude. It's been that mentality that's (kept us unbeaten). To sustain that mentality is the challenge.
"When you haven't had a winning season in as long as we have, to establish that mentality is huge -- and it's not easy. When not many people believe in you, you've got to find a way, and we have. It's been really cool."
On Friday, the Falcons dominated on both sides of the ball.
Defensively, they not only notched shutout No. 2, but they allowed Niwot just 130 yards of total offense, and intercepted three passes. Cougar running back Jeremy Hollingsworth, who came into the contest averaging 125 yards per game, managed just 7 on Friday.
"We talk about playing for each other and in order to do that you've got to do your job," Silva said. "You've got to trust the guy next to you is doing his. That's why we've been able to get a couple of shutouts."
Meanwhile, Skyline sophomore Nate McGregor, who took over at QB last week when Ben Harris hurt his knee against Grand Junction, kept the Falcons' offense rolling. He rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries Friday, and threw for another 135 yards. Five of his rushes went for double-digit yardage and two of his passes were for more than 40 yards each. He also kicked four extra points to boot.
Overall, Skyline racked up 266 yards rushing and 401 yards of offense overall.
Next up, Skyline will play its third straight game at Everly-Montgomery when it hosts Monarch next Friday. Niwot will be at Brighton.
Skyline 28, Niwot 0
At Everly-Montgomery FieldSkyline 14 0 7 7 — 28
Niwot 0 0 0 0 — 0
Skyline — N. McGregor 24 run (McGregor kick). Skyline — N. Higgins 25 run (McGregor kick).
Skyline — McGreggor 1 run (McGregor kick).
Skyline — J. Warren 4 run (McGregor kick).
RUSHING — Skyline: McGregor 15-110, Rivera 10-77, Higgins 18-63, West 1-8, Zietlow 3-8. Niwot: Baun 7-24, Hollingsworth 6-7, Gomez 5-7, Jensen 4-5, Oelsner 1-1.
PASSING — Skyline: McGregor 9-21-0-135. Niwot: Baun 11-18-1-67, Gomez 2-8-2-19.
RECEIVING — Skyline: Wathen 3-48, West 2-51, Gutierrez 1-10, Higgins 1-9, Zietlow 1-9, Rivera 1-8. Niwot: Hollingsworth 3-29, Oelsner 3-13, Kolakowski 3-8, Nielsen 2-21, Helgeland 1-9, Jensen 1-6.