A twist of fate landed sophomore quarterback Chase Silva into the starting role a year earlier than expected. And a dazzling debut has planted him there for the foreseeable future.
"He's been lights out," Skyline coach Michael Silva said.
The younger Silva — who is of no relation to his coach despite popular misconception — has been marvelous since taking over for senior quarterback Nate McGregor, who broke his ankle in the second quarter of the opening game.
Once looked at as the future of the program, Silva has proven he's the here and now for the Falcons — throwing for a 4A-best 19 touchdowns and 1,796 yards through his first 6 ½ games.
"We've known Chase was going to be really good for us and it was just a matter of time before he took the driver's seat so to speak," Skyline's coach said. "Honestly, I didn't think it was going to be until next year with the way Nate has gone. But that's where we are and Chase has done a good job."
The Falcons welcomed back a healthy McGregor earlier in the month, but the starting QB job appears to be Silva's going forward. Coach Silva said his plan is to stick with the youngster behind center, while McGregor takes over as the team's outside linebacker and slot tight end to help fill the voids left by other injuries.
"We're just a better team for that," Coach Silva said. "I think Nate will still get some snaps because Nate's a really good quarterback as well. But I think it's a better situation for the team right now with the momentum Chase has established."
Good news for the coach, all players involved appear to be taking their roles in stride.
Last week against Monarch, Silva connected with McGregor on a key fourth down, hitting the senior for a 28-yard touchdown.
Asked about his new target, the sophomore quarterback said it makes him feel good knowing he has another trusty leader on the field.
"It's like having another quarterback out there," Silva said. "So that's pretty awesome."
McGregor insists he's happy for Silva, too.
And that's good for Skyline.
The senior very well could have returned to the field disgruntled after losing his starting job. Last year, he was one of the most efficient quarterbacks in 4A — throwing for 1,812 yards with 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions.
Instead, though, he's looked for ways to help where he could.
"When he went down, and I had to go in, I'm sure he knew I was a little nervous," Silva recalled. "Every time I came off the field he was there to remind me to take a deep breath. Like, 'Don't take it so seriously. Just take a deep breath and go have fun'."
Silva ended up throwing for 133 yards and a score in relief duty as part of a 42-21 win over Westminster in Week 1. And since then, he's never looked back.
Pacing one of the most dynamic offenses in Class 4A, Silva has thrown for 256.6 yards per game while touted-running back Jeremy Hollingsworth has rushed for 138.4 yards. The Falcons, meanwhile, have been held under 40 points just twice this season.
On Thursday, Silva will make his seventh start as Skyline (5-2, 2-0 4A Longs Peak) hosts Greeley Central (2-5, 0-2).
It's Silva's time now. And McGregor is OK with that.
"I'm just happy with Chase," the senior said. "He's doing pretty good right now. And that's good."
Brent W. New: firstname.lastname@example.org and @brentwnew