LOVELAND — Having beaten two different No. 1-ranked teams through the first five weeks of their 2017 campaign, the Longmont Trojans proudly own a pair of the biggest upsets in Colorado prep football this season.
On the road Friday night, the Trojans got a reprieve from playing the role of giant-killers and cruised to a lopsided victory over Thompson Valley. Given the excitement of toppling defending Class 3A champion Pueblo East in the season opener and knocking off top-ranked Holy Family last week, the Trojans took full advantage of being the favorites in the 40-8 victory.
Following a tumultuous non-conference schedule, the Trojans were happy to kick of their 3A Northern League season with a win.
"Both sides of the ball came out strong and we just had a spark early on that lasted the whole game," Longmont quarterback Oakley Dehning said. "In our non-conference schedule, our record wasn't what we wanted it to be. But now, heading into conference, it's time for us to come together and take that into the playoffs."
Currently ranked No. 10 in the CHSAANow.com poll, Longmont (3-3, 1-0 Northern) jumped on the Eagles (0-6, 0-1 Northern) for 26 points in the first quarter. Dehning connected with receiver Jaydon Elkins for a 50-yard touchdown pass on the third play of the game and the Trojans offense was off to the races.
Between the first and second quarters, running back Drake Engelking scored on three consecutive carries of 1, 18 and 38 yards while the Trojans defense held the Eagles scoreless. Engelking's third score of the game initiated the running clock mercy rule with 7 minutes, 10 seconds remaining in the first half.
"We stuck to our game plan and we hit the routes we wanted to in our passing game," Dehning said. "Our O-line blocked fantastic running the ball and we just got it done tonight."
Three turnovers and over 80 penalty yards were the Eagles' Achilles' heel in their latest defeat despite a 77-yard rushing effort from Braydon Besse. The senior tailback also scored his team's only touchdown, punching it in from one yard out to put the Eagles on the board with four minutes left in the third quarter.
The Eagles, who are dealing with rampant injuries that include their top two quarterbacks, did not complete a pass in Friday's loss and have now been outscored 288-44 this season.
"We ran into another solid opponent tonight," Eagles head coach Matt Smith said. "They knocked off Holy Family last week, who was ranked number one. They showed why tonight. Our kids are beat up and there's not many of us. It's tough, morale is a little bit down right now and we've just got to focus on the little things and start putting small victories together."
The Trojans will host Centaurus next Thursday. Also on Thursday, the Eagles will play at Northridge.
Longmont 40, Thompson Valley 8
At Thompson Valley H.S.Longmont (3-3, 1-0) 261400—40
Thompson Valley (0-6, 0-1) 0080—8
Longmont — Jaydon Elkins 50 pass from Oakley Dehning (Cruz Garcia run). Longmont — Cruz Garcia 66 run (Drake Engelking run). Longmont — Cruz Garcia 25 field goal. Longmont — Drake Engelking 1 run (Cruz Garcia kick).
Longmont — Drake Engelking 18 run (Cruz Garcia kick). Longmont — Drake Engelking 38 run (Cruz Garcia kick).
Thompson Valley — Braydon Besse 1 run (Kobi Turner run).
RUSHING — Longmont: Cruz Garcia 5-101, Drake Engelking 6-70, Beck Fieth 4-17, Jaydon Elkins 1-14, Oakley Dehning 3-4, Sage Yazzie 2-4, Dylan Stott 4-1, Kaden Lowrie 1-1, Levente Kalman 1-1, Lief Neuskin 1-(-2). Thompson Valley: Braydon Besse 15-77, Joey Shaffer 5-9, Kobi Turner 2-(-6), Ti Smack 1-(-7).
PASSING — Longmont: Oakley Dehning 5-10-0-123, Sage Yazzie 0-2-0-0. Thompson Valley: Ti Smack 0-7-0-0.
RECEIVING — Longmont: Jaydon Elkins 2-57, Drake Engelking 2-51, Nick Paone 1-15. Thompson Valley: None.