GREELEY — A gas leak on an oil well near District 6 Stadium in Greeley on Thursday night caused the abrupt ending to what was an already wild game between Greeley West and Longmont.

Halting just as quickly was a seven-game win streak for the Trojans in the series between the teams, as Greeley West officially claimed a 34-20 victory when Greeley Fire Department officials forced the stadium to be cleared with 2 minutes, 39 seconds to go in the contest.

Greeley West had just gotten the ball back on an interception when coaches and game officials were notified of the problem. After further discussion between the coaches, home administration and the CHSAA it was determined the rest of the game would not be played out.

The Class 4A Spartans improved to 2-0 by dominating the second half, limiting the Trojans, who had claimed to No. 1 in the Class 3A poll, to just 92 yards of offense after halftime. Longmont (1-1) also had 108 penalty yards for the game while allowing the Spartans to score three touchdowns on fourth-down plays.

Derek West followed up an 83-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter with a controversial 80-yard punt return for a score, putting the game out of reach late after LHS had taken a 20-14 lead in the third stanza.


"They finished better than we did, for whatever reason, and I didn't do a good job to close out the game as a coach," Longmont coach Doug Johnson said after the dust had settled. "We have to execute a lot better in certain situations, and even though we did some really good things tonight there were some plays that didn't go our way.

"We have to go back to the drawing board and fix some things."

Coming off a win against Pueblo East last week, Longmont had some fireworks for the beginning of Thursday's contest as Oakley Dehning hit Nick Paone for a 72-yard touchdown pass on the game's first play from scrimmage. The Trojans went up 14-0 with 7:22 left in the first quarter off a 57-yard drive capped with another touchdown pass from Dehning to Danny Nichols.

Greeley West seemed shaken, but after an interception by Carter Bruning put GWHS at midfield the Spartans gained some momentum. They tied the game before halftime and then answered Drake Engelking's 43-yard touchdown in the third quarter with a 74-yard drive.

In the fourth, Longmont managed just two first downs.

"This is going to come down to penalties and some bad decisions," Johnson said. "We executed really well and did some great things and then had those drive-killers. They got some huge plays on third and 18, third and 25 — we just weren't prepared enough for those."

Engelking had 137 yards on 17 carries, and Cruz Garcia added 54 yards on nine carries. West and DJ Starks each surpassed 100 yards rushing for Greeley West.

Adam Dunivan: or

Greeley West 34, Longmont 20

At District 6 Stadium

Longmont (1-1)14060—20Greeley West (2-0)77614—34

First quarter

Longmont — Nick Paone 72 pass from Oakley Dehning (run failed). Longmont — Danny Nichols 6 pass from Dehning (Dehning run). Greeley West — Derek West 3 run (Perez kick).

Second quarter

Greeley West — Starks 30 run (Perez kick).

Third quarter

Longmont — Drake Engelking 43 run (pass failed). Greeley West — Joseph Piacenza 7 pass from Aaron Rojas (kick failed).

Fourth quarter

Greeley West — West 83 run (kick failed). Greeley West — West 80 punt return (Piacenze pass from Rojas).


RUSHING — Longmont: Drake Engelking 17-137, Cruz Garcia 9-54, Oakley Dehning 4-9. Greeley West: Derek West 17-155, DJ Starks 9-132, Aaron Rojas 4-5, Rodrigo Perez 3-17, Eddie Ramirez 1-(minus-3).

PASSING — Longmont: Dehning 9-19-2-143. Greeley West: Rojas 3-6-0-19.

RECEIVING — Longmont: Jaydon Elkins 4-52, Nick Paone 1-72, Danny Nichols 1-6, Garcia 3-13. Greeley West: Perez 2-12, Piacenza 1-7.