LONGMONT - Jeremy Hollingsworth and Brett Yackey engaged in a battle of one-upmanship in the first half Friday night.
With their respective teams lighting up the scoreboard at Everly-Montgomery Field, the running backs shredded tackles and ate up yardage in huge chunks. Ultimately it was Hollingsworth and his Skyline teammates taking control in the second half though, coming away with the biggest prize in the form of a 70-44 victory over Greeley Central in Class 4A Northern League play.
Hollingsworth carried the ball 32 times for 362 yards and six touchdowns. The junior scored on runs of 24, 3, 41, 59, 32 and 1 yard.
"The holes were so wide I just had to run straight, basically," Hollingsworth said of the job the offensive line did. "They did the rest."
Yackey finished his night with 249 yards rushing, but 207 of those yards came in the first half. While quarterback Rudy Escamilla did some damage through the air - the senior tossed four touchdown passes and ran for another - the Skyline defense was much tougher against the run in the final two quarters.
"I was thinking we've got to stop that guy if we want to win this thing," Hollingsworth said of Yackey. "The defense came through in the second half for sure. We got the couple stops we needed and the offense just kept rolling like we do."
Nate McGregor threw two touchdown passes and ran for another and Moses Rivera returned an interception 65 yards for the Falcons (6-1, 1-1), who were coming off a 52-42 loss to Monarch last weekend. The high-scoring affair Friday night wasn't quite able to top the 120 combined points of the Coronado game earlier this season, but it came close.
"It's another thing where we're trying not to play both ways all the time," Skyline coach Michael Silva said. "Our offense is really good and gets off the field pretty quickly so it makes it tough on our defense, but we've got to be better defensively - that's the bottom line."
Skyline led 42-21 at halftime, and Hollingsworth essentially put the game away with touchdown runs of 59 and 33 yards in the third quarter. Even after Greeley Central answered with a pair of its own, the Wildcats couldn't close the gap enough on the Falcons.
"Jeremy just continues to gain more confidence and that's rightfully so because of the guys up front doing the work," Silva said. "He trusts it, and when he trusts it, he hits it even harder."
Skyline hosts Fort Collins next Saturday before closing out the season with two big matchups at Windsor and at home against Mountain View.
"That's always the cliché, and it's a cliché for a reason," Silva said. "We've got to take it one at a time, and it's Fort Collins that's next."
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Skyline 70, Greeley Central 44
At Everly-Montgomery FieldGreeley Central (2-5)714167—44
Skyline — Jeremy Hollingsworth 24 run (Ben Kalishar kick). Skyline — Nate McGregor 11 run (Kalishar kick). Skyline — Moses Rivera 65 INT return (Michael Hanna kick). Greeley Central — Rudy Escamilla 8 run (Brett Yackey kick). Skyline — Hollingsworth 3 run (Kalishar kick).
Skyline — Jack Wathen 45 pass from McGregor (Kalishar kick). Greeley Central — Escamilla 4 run (Yackey kick). Skyline — Hollingsworth 41 run (Kalishar kick). Greeley Central — Xavier Bonham 16 pass from Escamilla (Yackey kick).
Skyline — Hollingsworth 59 run (Kalishar kick). Skyline — Hollingsworth 32 run (Kalishar kick). Greeley Central — Donovan Salazar 12 pass from Escamilla (Bonham run). Greeley Central — Salazar 8 run (Yackey run).
Skyline — Hollingsworth 1 run (Kalishar kick). Skyline — Austin Robinson 5 pass from McGregor (Kalishar kick). Greeley Central — Salazar 20 pass from Escamilla (Yackey kick).
RUSHING — Greeley Central: Brett Yackey 21-249 Rudy Escamilla 15-59, Xavier Bonham 4-17, Donovan Salazar 3-8. Skyline: Jeremy Hollingsworth 32-362, Nate McGregor 7-72, Moses Rivera 3-18, Kyle West 1-0.
PASSING — Greeley Central: Escamilla 15-27-3-196. Skyline: McGregor 10-17-2-157.
RECEIVING — Greeley Central: Bonham 5-56, Salazar 4-42, Adrian Escamilla 3-69, Dylan Chartier 3-28. Skyline: Kyle West 7-88, Austin Robinson 2-24, Jack Wathen 1-45.