LONGMONT -- The Longmont football team will play all four of its September games at Everly-Montgomery Field on the school's campus.

The Trojans aren't the home team in all four contests -- just three of them -- but it's a good opportunity to put together a solid record in the first half of the season. After all, Longmont has won more than 80 percent of its home games over the past four seasons.

After a season-opening loss at Pueblo East last week, Longmont started its Everly-Montgomery stretch in thrilling fashion on Friday night with a 36-35 non-league victory over Fort Collins in its home opener.

"It's high school football under the lights," noted senior quarterback Oakley Dehning, who threw for 173 yards and three touchdowns. "Those games at home, those are memories you're always going to remember. You don't get it back, especially senior season, so we're going to take advantage of it."

Friday's game featured an amazing six lead changes, with four of them coming in the second half.

In the end, the winning score came when senior Drake Engelking broke through the middle of the line and hit pay dirt from 13 yards out with 2:53 remaining, with Cruz Garcia adding the decisive point-after. Earlier in the 69-yard drive, Engelking had kept the chains moving with a 14-yard run off a pitch on fourth-and-2.


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Then after Longmont kept Fort Collins from scoring for the first time in the second half, the Trojans succeeded in running out the last 1:51 of the game, thanks in good part to another conversion by Engleking on a fourth-and-2 play.

Engelking finished the night with 108 yards on 19 carries, with two fourth-quarter touchdowns, plus 20 yards receiving.

"I was nervous, but our kids were confident," veteran LHS coach Doug Johnson said. "It was a heartstopper. Both sides of the ball made plays. We made crucial catches on some big downs. I was very, very pleased with our senior leadership tonight."

It was LHS' sixth straight win in home openers, with the Trojans outscoring their opponents 234-92 in those games.

Longmont, which has moved back up to 4A after going to the 3A state semifinals last season, are now 1-1 after coming into the game ranked 11th in its new classification.

Fort Collins (now 1-2) had taken its final lead at 35-29 with 5:13 remaining after driving 78 yards. QB Hayden Iverson and Joey Maguire hooked up for their fourth touchdown pass of the game, this one from 50 yards.

Iverson finished with 258 yards passing and Maguire with 168 yards on seven receptions.

Fort Collins came into Friday averaging 7.5 points per game early in the season.

But Longmont got it done down the stretch.

Longmont’s Jayden Elkins turns the corner against Fort Collins during Friday night’s game.
Longmont's Jayden Elkins turns the corner against Fort Collins during Friday night's game. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

"It's one of those games where resilience gets it done for you in the end," Dehning said. "All those lead changes, it's all about keeping momentum on our sideline even when we lose the lead, just to keep our offense going to go get it back.

"It's a group of seniors who have been working at this for four years now. We're all clicking together, and we all have faith in each other to go get it done on the field."

Next up, Longmont will host Greeley Central on Sept. 15 at 1 p.m.

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Longmont 36, Fort Collins 35

At Everly-Montgomery Field

Fort Collins39815—35Longmont87813—36

First quarter

Longmont — Beck Fieth 30 pass from Oakley Dehning (Dallas Dye pass from Dehning). Fort Collins — Louden Harger 29 FG.

Second quarter

Fort Collins — Joey Maguire 50 pass from Hayden Iverson (pass fail). Fort Collins — Harger 28 kick. Longmont — Sage Yazzie 5 pass from Dehning (Cruz Garcia kick).

Third quarter

Longmont — Yazzie 26 pass from Dehning (Fieth pass from Dehning). Fort Collins — Magire 7 pass from Iverson (Iverson run).

Fourth quarter

Fort Collins — Maguire 47 pass from Iverson (Harger kick). Longmont — Drake Engelking 1 run (kick fail). Fot Collins — Maguire 50 pass from Iverson (Dorion McGarity pass from Iverson). Longmont — Engelking 13 run (Garcia kick).

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Fort Collins: Iverson 12-98, Remmers 12-29, Reed 2-3, Bushara 1-0. Longmont: Engelking 19-108, McCormick 6-38, Garcia 5-12, Dehning 4-(-8).

PASSING — Fort Collins: Iverson 19-29-0-258, Vialpando 1-1-0-16. Longmont: Dehning12-17-0-173

RECEIVING — Fort Collins: Maguire 7-168, Vialpando 4-29, Slack 3-28, McGarity 2-21, VanMetre 1-10, Remmers 1-8. Longmont: Elkins 3-55, Fieth 2-52, Yazzie 4-46, Engelking 3-20.