LONGMONT — Sometimes time of possession is over-rated.
Despite running just three offensive plays in the first quarter, the Silver Creek Raptors raced out to a 14-0 lead and rolled to a 38-13 victory over crosstown rival Skyline on Friday night at Everly-Montgomery Field.
Of their five touchdown drives, three came on a combined four plays. Another took just five.
The Raptors led 28-0 before Skyline finally answered with a touchdown just before halftime. The Falcons ran 37 plays to Silver Creek’s 22 in the first half but found themselves in a hole too deep to dig out of with their run-heavy offense.
Austin Hartman scored on touchdown passes from Austin Wood of 71 and 80 yards. And tailback Caden Bradbury scored on a 65-yard scamper early to help set the tone for the evening.
“We knew we had to make some big plays this week,” Wood said. “We’ve been giving them up but that’s one thing we’ve been lacking (on offense).”
The victory improved the Raptors to 2-5 overall and 1-1 in Northern League play in their first year at the Class 4A level following three straight trips to the title game in 3A.
A brutal early schedule for SCHS included Discovery Canyon, Dakota Ridge, Greeley West and Longmont, four teams that entered Friday with a combined record of 19-5. And things don’t end easily either, with second-ranked Fort Collins and always-tough Broomfield sandwiched around a bout with Greeley Central.
“The big difference in the two classifications is you don’t get any weeks off,” Silver Creek coach Mike Apodaca said. “A win is a win. When you haven’t had many you take them as they come.”
Wood had a big night, completing 15 of 24 passes for 285 yards and four touchdowns. Hartman led the way on the receiving end with four catches for 179 yards, with Collin Peterson adding four catches for 32 yards and a score, and Mitch Webster catching a 37-yard TD pass.
Bradbury, meanwhile, stepped up big in the absence of injured tailback Anthony Kasper, who is expected back next week. Normally the SCHS fullback, Bradbury piled up 128 yards on just 14 carries. His 65-yard score came on the first play of the Raptors’ second drive.
“It felt really good,” Bradbury said. “I just knew I had to do my part, not both our parts. I felt like the line did an awesome job blocking and it all worked out.”
Silver Creek’s defense also had a solid night after entering the game allowing 36 points per outing. Skyline’s strong running back trio led by Ilan Rodriguez kept the Falcons moving for much of the game. But the Raptors managed to keep the scoring to a minimum with some timely stops as well as some Skyline penalties.
Rodriguez rushed for 151 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries to lead Skyline (2-5, 0-2), while Seth Thomas chipped in 51 yards on the ground.
“I thought we moved the ball well with our run game, but the penalties on offense set back some drives that were working,” Skyline coach Kevin Rice said. “The penalties and big plays were the main story from our point of view.”
The Falcons had a shot to take control early, too. After Skyline’s first drive resulted in a punt, Silver Creek fumbled the return. But the Falcons’ drive stalled at the Silver Creek 32.
On the Raptors’ second play from scrimmage, Wood hit Hartman for a 71-yard score to make it 7-0. The two connected again for an 80-yard strike on the first play of the second half to make it 35-7.
“It just jumpstarts things,” Apodaca said of the big plays.
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Silver Creek 38, Skyline 13
At Everly-Montgomery Field
Silver Creek (2-5, 1-1) 14 14 10 0 — 38
Skyline (2-5, 1-1) 0 7 6 0 — 13
Silver Creek — Austin Hartman 71 pass from Austin Wood (Sean Peskin kick). Silver Creek — Caden Bradbury 65 run (Peskin kick).
Silver Creek — Collin Peterson 9 pass from Wood (Peskin kick). Silver Creek — Mitch Webster 37 pass from Wood (Peskin kick). Skyline — Dominic Mansares 1 run (Cezar Yanez kick).
Silver Creek — Hartmann 80 pass from Wood (Peskin kick). Silver Creek — Peskin 31 field goal. Skyline — Ilan Rodriguez 1 run (kick blocked).
RUSHING — Silver Creek: Bradbury 14-128, N. Hartman 2-10, Wood 5-(-3), Ramirez 1-2, Lopez 1-0; Skyline: Rodriguez 29-151, Thomas 16-51, Galaz 6-15, Mansanares 9-(-15).
PASSING — Silver Creek: Wood 15-24-0-285; Skyline: Mansares 6-19-1-69.
RECEIVING — Silver Creek: A. Hartman 4-179, Peterson 4-32, Higgins 2-13, Bradbury 2-11, Bush 2-13, Webster 1-37; Skyline: Forsyth 2-13, Galaz 1-(-5), Dietz 1-10, Kram 1-19, Angstead 1-32.