LONGMONT — Something about playing any opponent with a No. 1 in front of its name has brought the best out of the Longmont football team this season.
Three weeks and three losses removed from upsetting then No. 1-ranked Pueblo East in the season opener, the Trojans upset the top-ranked Holy Family Tigers 39-3 on Thursday night.
The Trojans have lost more games than they have won so far in 2017. But when facing No. 1-ranked teams at Everly-Montgomery Field, they're undefeated.
"We've had some problems this season with playing down to other teams' levels and I think when it comes to the top teams, we play up to their level," Trojans linebacker Austin Hassler said. "It showed the talent we have and what we're capable of. It's a statement win because we kind of had our backs to the wall and we knew that if we let another game slip, it would really hurt our season. We wanted to come out here and give it all we got so that's what I did."
With starting quarterback Stone Samaras leaving the game with an injury after just four plays, the Holy Family (4-1) offense that averaged 38 points through its first four games struggled. Backup quarterback Calahan Carter threw for 54 yards in the first half but the Trojans (2-3) secondary did a good job of covering standout tight end Kyle Helbig and the Tigers scored just three points on a 42-yard field goal before halftime. Trojans linebacker Hassler ruined the Tigers' best scoring opportunity by intercepting a Carter pass at his own five-yard line in the second quarter.
Leading 11-3 to start the second half, the Trojans exploded for 21 points in the third quarter and scored on four of their six possessions in the second half to pull away for good. Trojans tailbacks Drake Engelking and Cruz Garcia combined for 377 yards and two touchdowns while quarterback Oakley Dehning threw for 118 yard and long touchdown pass to Jaydon Elkins.
"We get really fired up when we play like we've got nothing to lose," Engelking said. "We just came out and tried our best tonight. Cruz and I made some cutbacks and got some yards that way, but our offensive line was really the key in this game. We just had to be patient and they opened up plenty of holes for us to run through."
The Tigers will look to bounce back when they host Frederick (4-1) next Friday. Longmont will play on the road at Thompson Valley.
Longmont 39, Holy Family 3
At Everly-Montgomery FieldHoly Family 3000—3
Holy Family — Matteo Lonardo 42 field goal. Longmont — Drake Engelking 5 run (Cruz Garcia run).
Longmont — Cruz Garcia 21 field goal.
Longmont — Cruz Garcia 25 run (Oakley Dehning run). Longmont — Jaydon Elkins 34 pass from Oakley Dehning (kick missed). Longmont — Oakley Dehning 3 run (Cruz Garcia kick).
Longmont — Beck Fieth 16 run (Garcia kick).
RUSHING — Holy Family: Hayden Strange 11-43, Mitchell Guyot 5-26, Braedon Peters 6-12, Trevin Johnson 5-21, Stone Samaras 1-(-2), Calahan Carter 5-(-29). Longmont: Drake Engelking 29-210, Cruz Garcia 15-167, Beck Fieth 2-20, Jaydon Elkins 2-14, Oakley Dehning 3-(-6), Christian Hart 1-6, Caden Lowrie 1-(-3), Dylan Stott 1-(-3).
PASSING — Holy Family: Calahan Carter 6-19-2-69, Matteo Lonardo 1-1-0-21, Stone Samaras 1-1-0-14. Longmont: Oakley Dehning 8-15-0-118.
RECEIVING — Holy Family: Kyle Helbig 4-41, Devin Doroff 2-29, Davis Martinek 2-13, Dilan Gonzalez 1-21. Longmont: Jaydon Elkins 4-91, Drake Engelkin 2-12, Beck Fieth 1-6, Cruz Garcia 1-9.