LONGMONT — It was, for a lack of a better reference, like a couple of brothers beating on each other.
And in a way it was. On one hand, there was Longmont, the established and original power in the city, that opened in 1901. On the other was Silver Creek, which began in 2001 and is itching to take over this northern area.
Plus, the score reflected how much rock-'em, sock-'em football was actually going on.
Ultimately, it was Silver Creek that made just enough plays, turned in just enough big hits and reached down for everything it had in taking a 10-3 decision at a crowded and energized Everly-Montgomery Field. The Raptors improved to 9-0 overall and 4-0 in the Class 3A Northern to clinch at least a tie for the regular-season championship and earn outright the top seed into the playoffs by virtue of tiebreaker.
Afterward, Raptor coach Mike Apodaca was as relieved as he was exhausted.
"We expected this," Apodaca said "(Longmont is) a great football team our offense struggled. That's definitely the best defense we've seen."
There was as much head-banging as at a Metallica concert, as many collisions as in a demolition derby.
"Our kids just hung in there," Apodaca said. "I'll tell you what — I really feel like this .... With the Northern Conference, at times, I feel like it's harder to win a conference championship than it is a state championship. It just says great things about these kids."
Longmont coach Doug Johnson couldn't argue ... about anything.
"Our defense did a super job," he said. "And our offense has to do a better job of executing. That's on me and it's a credit to (the Raptors). A tough game."
Silver Creek's only touchdown was set up by a botched punt attempt by the Trojans (6-3, 3-1), who gave it back to the Raptors on the Longmont 36-yard line when the snap wasn't handled. On its second possession, quarterback Dylan Ordway found George Ramirez virtually along near the right pylon for a 14-yard score with 6:43 to play in the first quarter.
The rest of the scoring was accounted for by field goals, one by Silver Creek's Coltan Grabau, a 27-yarder in the third quarter, and a 34-yarder by Longmont's Avery Peterson on the final play of the first half.
The rest of the offensive threats were squashed by defense, as in lots of it. Longmont was headed by junior Austin Hassler and Silver Creek did a lot of it by committee.
"They came to play and we did, too," said Silver Creek receiver Khari Harrison, who contributed four receptions. "And our defense just kept us in it."
The Silver Creek offensive front and Andreik Knechtel (75 yards rushing) helped keep the chains moving to a degree, most notably late, and the Raptors defense regularly harassed Trojans quarterback Oakley Dehning.
Plus, the Raptors were able to sit on Longmont's rushing attack (ony 72 yards), which had been effective and steady for about two months.
"You know, when you get into the playoffs, you're going to face teams that are going to run it down your throat," Apodaca said. "And I thought we were able to contain that."
SILVER CREEK 10, LONGMONT 7
At At Everly-Montgomery FieldLongmont 0 3 0 0 — 3 Silver Creek 7 0 3 0 — 10
Siver Creek - George Ramirez 15 pass from Dylan Ordway (Colton Grabau kick), 6:13.
Longmont — FG Avery Peterson 34, 0:00.
Silver Creek — FG Grabau 34, 6:04.
RUSHING — Longmont: Kobe Martin 10-33; Kelvin Townsend 6-19; Oakley Dehning 9-17; Drake Engel king 5-8; Cruz Garcia 4-minus-5 Silver Creek: Knechtel 70-75; Ramirez 4-6; Rich 1-6;Ordway 4-22; Harrison 1-0.
PASSING — Longmont: Dehning 6-18-65-0-0 Silver Creek: Ordway 10-21-84-1-1.
RECEIVING — Longmont: Engelking 3-40; Jaydon Elkins 1-11; Will Preuss 1-10; Townsend 1-4Silver Creek: Joe Roth-Bogrett 4-30; Harrison 4-29; Ramirez 1-14; T.J. Blazon 1-11.