LOVELAND — The mist swarmed unrelentingly the entire evening. Soon, the Thompson Valley defense followed suit.

It was an unfavorable mix for the Skyline football team Thursday night, as the Falcons endured their initial loss since moving up to Class 4A in a 13-7 setback to the host Eagles.

The Falcons (2-1) led for much the contest, but an 18-yard run by Mike Berg midway through the fourth quarter allowed Thompson Valley to overthrow a 7-6 deficit. Skyline had two possessions remaining under the lights at Ray Patterson Stadium after surrendering the lead, but those ended in an interception and a turnover on downs.

“Our kids played hard,” Skyline coach Kevin Rice said. “Thompson Valley is a good team with a bunch of physical football players. I think the story of the game is, we had some drives that entered the red zone at the end of the first half and in the third quarter, and we weren’t able to capitalize and get points out of those.”

The slick conditions made it challenging to move the ball, and the Thompson Valley pass rush made it even more difficult. Nine times, the Eagles either sacked Falcons quarterbacks or held them to a negative run.

On the final possession, which began at the Falcons’ own 33, Thompson Valley (2-1) sacked Dominic Mansanares, three straight times before breaking up a 4th-and-26 pass.

“Anytime an offense has to pass and the defense knows it, I don’t care what teams are playing each other, it’s hard on the offense,” Rice said.

After permitting an opening-drive touchdown, a four-yard run by Thompson Valley’s Patton Graff, the Skyline defense tightened up. A second-quarter interception by Dylan Kram set up the Falcons’ lone score of the night, a picturesque 27-yard connection from Mansanares to Angstead.

Justin Forsyth made two spectactular catches deep into Thompson Valley territory, but the Falcons couldn’t convert either into points. His diving catch for a 34-yard gain on a 3rd-and-22 play in the third quarter was picturesque, but the Skyline drive later stalled inside the Thompson Valley 10, nullifying a chance to add to the lead.

“They put up a good battle, and the weather was definitely hard for us,” Angstead said. “We need to get better. We made a lot of mistakes.”

Mansanares went 6 for 9 for 106 yards for the Falcons, but was picked off twice. Skyline threw three interceptions overall, the most costly a fourth-quarter pick by Thompson Valley’s Jake Hornick against Angstead (who replaced Mansanares for one play). It served as a precursor to the Eagles’ go-ahead touchdown.

Hornick also took over at quarterback for Thompson Valley after starter Garrett Smith left early with an injury, and helped engineer the winning drive with two key completions to Jack Varuska.

While the conditions undoubtedly beckoned the running game, each defense was on-point in stopping the ground game. Fullback Ilan Rodriguez’s 28 rushing yards were the most for Skyline. Counting yardage lost on sacks, the Falcons had a mere eight yards on the ground.

“It was a team loss,” Angstead said. “We need to forget this quick and just prepare for next week.”

For Rice, the sky certainly isn’t falling after one loss.

“We’re proud of how our kids have played and with their effort, their intensity level and their focus,” he said. “Our theme no matter what, win or lose, is improvement.”

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Thompson Valley 13, Skyline 7

At Ray Patterson Stadium

Skyline (2-1) 0 7 0 0 — 7

Thompson Valley (2-1) 6 0 0 7 — 13

First quarter

Thompson Valley — Patton Graff 4 run (kick failed).

Second quarter

Skyline — Josh Angstead 27 pass from Dominic Mansanares (Cezar Yanek kick).

Fourth quarter

Thompson Valley — Mike Berg 18 run (Jack Varuska kick).


RUSHING — Skyline: Rodriguez 8-28, Thomas 5-19, Galaz 9-3, Mansanares 9-(minus 46). Thompson Valley: Graff 12-58, Varuska 10-61, Hornick 5-10, Mengal 2-22, Berg 1-18, Moore 1-10, Jaramillo 3-2, Smith 1-(minus 3).

PASSING — Skyline: Mansanares 7-10-2-106, Angstead 0-1-1-0. Thompson Valley: Hornick 6-9-1-81, Smith 1-2-0-32.

RECEIVING — Skyline: Forsyth 2-62, Angstead 1-27, Dietz 1-14, Rodridguez 2-3, Thompson Valley: Varuska 4-56, Hornick 1-32, Berg 1-13, Mengal 1-12.