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Niwot's Dillon Manzanares, left, shakes off Skyline's Trey Harrison at Everly-Montgomery Field on Friday.
Joshua Buck/Times-Call
Niwot’s Dillon Manzanares, left, shakes off Skyline’s Trey Harrison at Everly-Montgomery Field on Friday.

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LONGMONT — Niwot senior Nate Edwards gingerly held his right arm after Friday night’s game, saying that he hoped it wasn’t broken after taking a helmet to the wrist.

But the pain was numbed by the Cougars’ performance, a 29-19 victory over Skyline at Everly-Montgomery Field. It also helped that Edwards posted some of the biggest and most pivotal plays of the game.

Holding a slim lead in the second quarter, Edwards and linebacker Jake Sarosi pressured the Falcons’ Garret Angstead, forcing the quarterback to throw a pass over the middle that was intercepted by Dillon Manzanares.

Edwards had scored on a reverse play two series earlier and, on the first play after the pick, he hooked up with Nate Merriman for a 22-yard touchdown reception to take control of the game.

“We bring Jake and I up the middle and hope the two of us can make a play,” he said. “If we are able to get to the quarterback, good things are going to happen in the secondary. It takes the D-line and secondary working together to make it happen.”

Edwards finished with 44 yards on four receptions and 39 yards on two carries, Manzanares tore up the turf for 137 yards on 19 rushes and Merriman looked strong with a 9-of-19 performance with 127 yards passing.

Niwot (1-1 overall) held Skyline’s offense totally in check through the first half, allowing just one first down (with 47 seconds remaining in the second quarter) and 35 total yards.

The Falcons (0-2) also struggled with penalties, racking up 16 yellow flags for 152 yards.

“We didn’t play with the intensity or the effort we needed to from the start,” Skyline coach Kevin Rice said. “I need to look at what I can do on my part to make that better and the kids have to look at themselves too.”

Jake Sarosi opened the scoring for the Cougars, running hard through tacklers and stretching the ball just across the goalline for a 5-yard touchdown.

Niwot’s defense followed by forcing Skyline to go three-and-out on offense, something it did on its first four possessions before throwing the interception on its fifth, and Edwards took the reverse the distance to make it a 12-0 lead after one quarter.

Trailing 19-0 after the half, Skyline found some life. Angstead threw a short screen pass to Trey Harrison, who cut toward the left sideline and scorched his way to a 77-yard touchdown.

But Niwot answered on the next drive, with Manzanares busting free for 57-yard scoring run.

“The blocking was great,” he said, smartly. “The line turned them in when we needed to go in and pushed them out, made big piles, just created the open space that I needed to run the ball. A running back is only as good as his line.”

Skyline had a chance late, scoring on a 30-yard pass to Austin Gutierrez to pull with 16 points. But consecutive penalties on the point-after attempt forced the Falcons to throw a long pass into a crowded end zone to keep it a two-score lead for Niwot.

NOTES: Niwot football and its fans honored injured Skyline player Tyler Hoog with a placard signed by the entire team and staff and presented it to Hoog’s father, Michael, and Falcons coach Kevin Rice before the game. Tyler Hoog was hurt in a off-roading accident on Aug. 28 and remains in the hospital … Niwot had to forfeit its victory over Adams City last week because it used an ineligible player. Brady Delander can be reached at bdelander@times-call.com.

NIWOT 29, SKYLINE 19

At Everly-Montgomery Field

Skyline (0-2) 0 0 7 12 — 19

Niwot (1-1) 12 7 7 3 — 29

SCORING SUMMARY

First Quarter

Niwot — Jake Sarosi 5 run (kick failed), 5:30.

Niwot — Nate Edwards 27 run (run failed), 1:46.

Second Quarter

Niwot — Edwards 22 pass from Nate Merriman (Tommy Dyer kick), 6:32.

Third Quarter

Skyline — Trey Harrison 77 pass from Garret Angstead (Luciano Quesada kick), 9:46.

Niwot — Dillon Manzanares 57 run (Dyer kick), 8:43.

Fourth Quarter

Niwot — Dyer 35 field goal, 9:02

Skyline — Austin Gutierrez 30 pass from Angstead (kick failed), 7:31.

Skyline — Angstead 6 run (pass failed), 2:47.

SHS NHS

First downs 8 19

Rushes-yards 33-150 46-249

Passing yards 171 127

Comp-Att-Int 3-12-3 10-20-0

Punts-Avg. 5-33.8 4-34.2

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-1

Penalties-Yards 16-152 8-56

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Skyline: Angstead 19-101, Harrison 4-21, Alex McHone 4-18, Quesada 4-6, Israel Valdez 2-5; Niwot: Manzanares 19-137, Sarosi 11-48, Edwards 2-39, Bryan Meek 4-20, Merriman 7-11, Joey Lambert 3-(minus 1), Elijah Noterman 1-(minus 5).

PASSING (comp-att-int-yards) — Skyline: Angstead 3-12-3-171; Niwot: Merriman 10-20-0-127.

RECEIVING — Skyline: Gutierrez 3-94, Harrison 1-77; Niwot: Edwards 4-44, Max McCaddon 4-33, Cahill Kelleghan 1-32, Noterman 1-18.

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