GREELEY — Khari Harrison might want to leave his No. 21 jersey in his car every week.
The senior wide receiver had everybody from the District 6 announcer, the radio announcers and the Northridge defense trying to figure who was wearing No. 9 in white.
Harrison had the best night of his prep career, scoring five touchdowns in the Raptors 54-28 Northern League opener against the Grizzlies on Thursday night.
“After my second touchdown, I was just feeling it,” said Harrison, who finished with seven catches for 173 yards. “I was trying to get in the end zone on every play and every time I touch the ball.”
Fifth-ranked Silver Creek improved to 6-0 and 1-0 in the Northern; while Northridge dropped to 3-3, 0-1.
After an ugly first half that featured three interceptions by Raptors quarterback Dylan Ordway and a number of other mental errors, Silver Creek went to the break tied 14-14.
And for a team that hasn’t been in this position for three years, coach Mike Apodaca’s halftime speech emphasized one thing.
“Focus,” he said. “We were terrible at practice, we had kids missing and things we just can’t have against good teams and if you really want to make a run, you’ve really got to be 100 percent committed.”
The Raptors defense set the tone for the final 24 minutes on the first Northridge possession of the second half.
The Grizzlies were in prime position on the Raptors’ side of the field and on back-to-back plays, senior Brock Knechtel made huge plays. He cut down Alonzo Lopez for a 1-yard gain on a pass out of the backfield on third down and then on fourth down stuffed the Grizzlies running back in the backfield.
“Brock is one of our captains for a reason and when Brock is focused there is nobody better,” said Apodaca, whose team will host Fort Morgan next week. “He’s been extremely focused the last few weeks and I think it showed there.”
After the turnover on downs, it took just four plays for Harrison to find the end zone. Already with scoring grabs of 80 and 16 yards, his third came from 39 yards out and gave the Raptors the lead for good at 20-14.
“He’s a special player and we know we have to get the ball in his hands,” Apodaca said.
The Silver Creek coach also praised the effort of Joe Roth, who finished with five receptions for 75 yards.
Harrison would score two more times in the fourth quarter. The first on a 13-yard reverse and the next just moments after K.P. Werner cut the lead to 33-28 for Northridge, on an 88-yard kickoff return.
“It seems like this jersey is good luck,” Harrison said. “I think we might have overlooked them early on. The are a good team and we just went into this game thinking they weren’t going to be as good as they were.”
SILVER CREEK 54, NORTHRIDGE 28
At District 6 Stadium
Silver Creek (6-0, 1-0)
Northridge (3-3, 0-1)
Northridge — Alonzo Lopez 22 run (Kyla Beck kick).
Silver Creek — Khari Harrison 80 pass from Dylan Ordway (Coltan Grabau kick).
Northridge — Kaylor Werner 53 pass from Chance Eben (Beck kick).
Silver Creek — Harrison 16 pass from Ordway (Grabau kick).
Silver Creek — Harrison 39 pass from Ordway (kick blocked).
Silver Creek — Joe Roth 24 pass from Ordway (pass failed).
Northridge — Lopez 7 run (Beck kick).
Silver Creek — Harrison 13 run (Grabau kick).
Northridge — Werner 11 pass from Eben (Beck kick).
Silver Creek — Harrison 88 kickoff return (Grabau kick).
Silver Creek — George Ramirez 29 interception return (Grabau kick).
Silver Creek — Andreik Knechtel 7 run (Grabau kick).
RUSHING — Silver Creek: Andreik Knechtel 16-132, TJ Blazon 1-15, Khari Harrison 1-13, George Ramirez 2-6, Anthony Allman 1-1, Dylan Ordway 4-(minus-6).
PASSING — Silver Creek: Ordway 16-26-3-214, Ramirez 1-1-0-6.
RECEIVING — Silver Creek: Harrison 7-173, Joe Roth 5-75, Blazon 4-34, Ramirez 3-23, Tyler Gibbs 2-8.