LONGMONT — Having stolen the momentum after an early 14-0 deficit, the Silver Creek Raptors had plenty of chances in the second half to turn Saturday’s football game against Roosevelt completely in their favor.
Time and again, whether by costly penalties or clutch stops by the Roosevelt defense, the Raptors came up short.
Visiting Roosevelt weathered the Silver Creek comeback attempt for a 21-14 upset of the Class 3A sixth-ranked Raptors on Senior Day at Everly-Montgomery Field.
“We definitely let one get away today,” Silver Creek tailback Josh Quiroz.
The loss marked the second in a row for a Raptors squad that began the season 6-0 — including wins over probable playoff squads like Frederick, Holy Family and Northridge — and looking like a state title contender despite losing several key seniors after last year’s 3A runner-up squad.
“We’ve played five really good football teams in a row,” said Silver Creek coach Mike Apodaca, whose squad dropped to 6-2 overall and 1-2 in Tri-Valley League play. “Our youthfulness is showing. They just need to find that swagger that they had (the first six games).”
Roosevelt (4-4, 3-0) began the season 1-4 against a brutal slate of foes but now finds itself all alone atop the league standings. It was perhaps some of the Roughriders’ desperation in knowing they need to win the league to reach the playoffs that made some of the difference Saturday, Apodaca said.
“We were underdogs, but I like it,” said bruising two-way Roosevelt player Joshua Semmler, who helped lead the defense along with chugging 95 yards through and over Raptors for a touchdown to open the scoring late in the first quarter. “We get to come back and show people what we can do.”
Roosevelt led 14-0 after quarterback Spencer Urban scored on a quarterback keeper from 18 yards out late in the second quarter.
But Silver Creek answered with a TD of its own just before halftime to cut the deficit to 14-7. Quarterback Ben Sjobakken — who was benched for three first-half series as Apodaca tried to spark his sluggish squad to life — re-entered the game and led the Raptors on a six-play drive that ended with a 36-yard scoring strike to Zane Lindsey.
The Raptors made it 14-14 on the first drive of the third quarter, marching 80 yards in 11 plays and scoring on a 16-yard pass from Sjobakken to Trey Fleming.
Silver Creek’s Ross Fitzgerald intercepted Urban on Roosevelt’s next two drives to set the Raptors up inside the RoughRiders’ 35-yard line. But both times Silver Creek turned the ball over on downs, and Urban finally hit the mark on his next pass.
The option quarterback hit Omar Rivera down the left sideline for a 55-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-14 early in the fourth quarter.
A punt return to the Roosevelt 26 gave Silver Creek a great chance to tie the game on its final drive. But on second-and-7 from the Roosevelt 11, a motion penalty and unsportsmanlike conduct foul backed the Raptors up and led to yet another turnover on downs to seal the upset.
Silver Creek turned in its own strong day defensively, holding Roosevelt to just nine first downs and logging the two Fitzgerald picks. But it wasn’t enough to overcome Roosevelt’s big plays and the Raptors’ missed opportunities.
“They shut down the run really well,” said Quiroz, who was averaging 105 yards per game entering Saturday but netted just 22 vs. RHS. “They hit hard. They always have.
“We couldn’t help ourselves. We got complacent and didn’t play the game we’ve played the first six weeks.”
Follow Josh on Twitter: @JoshLindenstein
ROOSEVELT 21, SILVER CREEK 14
At Everly-Montgomery Field
Roosevelt (4-4, 3-0) 7 7 0 7 — 21
Silver Creek (6-2, 1-2) 0 7 7 0 — 14
Roosevelt — Joshua Semmler 95 run (Adam Ghesquiere kick).
Roosevelt — Spencer Urban 18 run (Ghesquiere kick).
Silver Creek — Zane Lindsey 36 pass from Ben Sjobakken (Ryan Charles kick).
Silver Creek — Trey Fleming 16 pass from Sjobakken (Charles kick).
Roosevelt — Omar Rivera 55 pass from Urban (Ghesquiere kick).
First downs 9 15
Rushes-yards 37-214 28-45
Passing yards 59 191
Comp-Att-Int 2-10-2 22-37-1
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards 10-95 7-70
RUSHING — Roosevelt: Semmler 3-100, Urban 14-69, Molinar 6-30, Kammerzell 5-15, Kratz 8-0; Silver Creek: Quiroz 12-22, Fleming 3-9, Emberley 3-6, Kent 5-6, Sjobakken 3-5, Machmuller 1-1, Webster 1-(-4).
PASSING (comp-att-int-yards) — Roosevelt: Urban 2-10-2-59; Silver Creek: Sjobakken 17-28-0-164; Webster 5-9-1-27.
RECEIVING — Roosevelt: Rivera 2-59; Silver Creek: Lindsey 7-70, Ricks 7-58, Fleming 4-31, Machmuller 3-28, Emberley 1-4.