LONGMONT — Everly-Montgomery Field may be a district stadium for all the sports hosted there, but whenever the Longmont Trojans step on the artificial grass they cannot help but get the sense it's theirs to defend.
With the Trojans football team being in the unique position of hearing the talk of the city belonging to what Skyline was bringing to the table this season, senior Drake Engelking said they were happy to be able to do something about it.
Some performance it was on Friday, in what turned out to be a wild and topsy-turvy non-league Class 4A matchup that brought the series back out from the dark. In the first meeting between the two teams since 2011, Longmont used a balanced offense and capitalized on some second half mistakes from the Falcons to hold on to a 42-34 win and move to 3-1 on the season.
Engelking used his trusty friend Jaydon Elkins on the edges for most of his 162 yards rushing, and Oakley Dehning accounted for four touchdowns to help down the hot-as-coals Falcons — who had achieved a No. 3 ranking by CHSAANow.com. Longmont had leads of 22-7 and 42-20 before seeing SHS fight for every possible chance at a rally.
Both teams are now 3-1 on the season.
"It was always the tradition to play Skyline, and so it was actually really exciting just to get a chance at the game this year," said Engelking, who scored twice and had 28 carries. "Coach (Doug) Johnson comes up with different words each week to go by, and the words this week were they don't step on our field without a tough game. We brought the tough game and came out on top."
"We didn't come out and play well right away, and the bottom line is we didn't match their energy and intensity," said Skyline coach Mike Silva, whose team managed over 300 yards of offense. "We played pretty well second half and got ourselves in it, but then I thought we had a couple of calls not go our way. But those are irrelevant when you get whooped first half in the areas of energy and intensity."
Skyline did came out swinging on its first possession but a 58-yard run from Jeremy Hollingsworth that set up a Kyle West touchdown catch was really the only big play the Falcons could muster until their final possession of the first half.
Meanwhile, Longmont used good field position to strike for three touchdowns on four first-half drives. Engelking, last year's Class 4A state 160-pound wrestling champion, was just fine watching Elkins clear a path in front of him on the edges, and six of his first eight carries went for more than 10 yards apiece.
Engelking scored LHS' first touchdown with 4 minutes, 51 seconds left in the first quarter, and Longmont stretched its lead to 22-7 with TD receptions from Elkins and Sage Yazzie.
Skyline, on its homecoming game night, was determined not to go down for the count, and an 82-yard drive to end the first half was capped by another West TD. The Falcons stopped Longmont on the first possession of the third quarter and cut it to 22-20 with West's 5-yard run with 6:55 left in the third.
But Longmont scored the next 20 points to stake a commanding lead — a lead it ended up needing in full, however. Dehning ran in a score from 17 yards out to retaliate to the Skyline score, a Chase Silva fumble parlayed into a four-play, 17-yard "drive" to give Longmont a 35-20 lead, and LHS made it 42-20 on an 80-yard drive following a Jack Wathen fumble at the Skyline goal line — a controversial play that could have made it 35-26 or closer.
The Falcons picked their heads up to score twice more but could not recover an onsides kick with 2:01 left, giving Longmont the chance to run the clock out.
"(Elkins) has always been my guy ... it's just a trust thing," Engelking added. "You have to trust your (blockers), and he was 100 percent there tonight."
Both teams had seven penalties, but it seemed the biggest ones — along with the only two turnovers of the game — came on Skyline's side at the most crucial times.
"We forced ourselves to have to play perfect in the second half, and you just can't do that against a team like that," Silva said.
Skyline will play at Holy Family next week in what should be another tough local contest, while Longmont hosts Silver Creek.
Longmont 42, Skyline 34
At Everly-Montgomery FieldLongmont (3-1)814614—42Skyline (3-1)76714—34
Skyline — Kyle West 4 pass from Chase Silva (Ben Kalishar kick). Longmont — Drake Engelking 18 run (Engelking kick).
Longmont — Jaydon Elkins 16 pass from Oakley Dehning (Cruz Garcia kick). Longmont — Sage Yazzie 26 pass from Dehning (Garcia). Skyline — West 16 pass from Silva (kick failed).
Skyline — West 5 run (Kalishar kick). Longmont — Dehning 17 run (kick blocked).
Longmont — Engelking 2 run (Garcia kick). Longmont — Brecken Khleif 27 pass from Dehning (Garcia kick). Skyline — West 26 pass from Silva (Kalishar kick). Skyline — Jeremy Hollingsworth 24 run (Kalishar kick).
RUSHING — Longmont: Skyline:
PASSING — Longmont: Skyline:
RECEIVING — Longmont: Skyline: