LONGMONT — Momentum can be a wonderful thing ... it also can be cruel.
Skyline had lots of it early on Thursday night against visiting Windsor at Everly-Montgomery Field in a key Class 4A Northern league matchup.
However, the Falcons lost it before halftime, got it back somewhat down the stretch and came up just short against the Wizards, the defending 4A state champions, who took a 35-27 decision.
Skyline now is 7-2 overall, 2-2 in league and a game-and-a-half behind league-leading Monarch.
It was difficult for the Falcons — they went up 13-0 in the first quarter, then clawed their way back late and got within eight points, only to fail to recover an onside kick.
Turnovers did in Skyline, including an 81-yard return of an interception for a touchdown and head coach Michael Silva knew it.
"We batted our butts off," the coach said. "But too many turnovers was too much to overcome. To stay in there we just had too many mistakes."
Even though the Wizards are now operating under first-year head coach Skylar Brower, "They still look like a Windsor team to me," Silva said.
But early on, Skyline was in command, even owning the line of scrimmage, ordinarily a forte of the Wizards. First, Angel Perez returned a fumble 39 yards for a touchdown, then Nate Higgins, who's seemingly everywhere for the Falcons, ran 43 yards for another touchdown.
So 6 minutes into the game, Skyline led 13-0 and looked good doing it.
However, Windsor being the champion it is and peppered with assorted players from last year's title team, gradually took over. It scored the game's next 35 points, including 21 in the second quarter, to take command. Helping the Wizards along were the Skyline turnovers and the failure of the Falcons to cover a short kickoff. They recovered on the Skyline 17-yard line and took two plays to run it in for a 28-13 halftime lead.
"You can't do that against good teams," Higgins said.
Skyline added the two late scores, a 20-yard toss from Higgins to Jack Wathen and a 50-yard pass from Ben Harris to Kyle West, but the later score came with just 1:07 to play.
Windsor covered the onside-kick attempt and ran out the clock.
After the game, Silva, like so many others, made it clear he's not a fan of the new RPI system. His guys, despite just losing once in eight games before kickoff, stood only 24th.
"For losing, we'll probably move up five spots," Silva cracked.
He added: "I honesty believe we will jump four or five spots just by playing Windsor ... we'll go up exponentially in the RPI because of how stupid it is."
Silva yearns for the human element, "the eye test," as he calls it, but "all we can do is go out nd win next week."
The Falcons will finish at Loveland's Mountain View on Nov. 3.
As for Higgins, he threw passes, caught passes, rushed, played defense, kicked extra points ... for all we know, he stayed after the game to clean the stadium and turn out the lights.
"That's not my job," he said. "but if they asked me to, I probably would."
He rushed for 97 yards and a TD, threw for 32 yards and a TD and caught two passes for 7 yards in addition to making tackles.
It wasn't enough and he wished he could have done more to help his team.
"Once we got down, we kind of let it snowbank until we picked it back up," he said. "But we kept playing."
WINDSOR 35, SKYLINE 27
At Everly-Montgomery FieldWindsor 7 21 7 0 — 35 Skyline 13 0 0 14 — 27
Skyline — Angel Perez 39 fumble return (kick failed), 8:40. Skyline — Nate Higgins 43 run (Higgins kick),6:03. Windsor — Brandon Ramirez 3 run (Julia Broghammer kick), 1:31.
Windsor — Brayden Pedersen 54 pass from Brad Peeples (Broghammer kick), 10:10. Windsor — Jake Hammond 81 interception return (Broghammer kick), 4:18. Windsor — Ramirez 14 run (Broghammer kick), 3:38.
Windsor — Peeples 18 run (Broghammer kick), 10:54.
Skyline — Jack Wathen 20 pass from Higgins (Higgins kick), 9:01.
Skyline — Kyle West 50 pass from Ben Harris (Higgins kick), 1:07.
RUSHING — Skyline: Higgins 24-97; Scott 4-3; Harris 3-1; West 4-minus-6
PASSING — Skyline: Haggins 5-6-32-1-1; Harris 8-18-170-1-0
RECEIVING — Skyline: West 3-61; Wathan 3-44; Gutierez 3-34; Higgins 2-5; Caleb Zietlow 2-4; Braden Kram 1-12.