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Football: Skyline shows off against Fort Collins and former coach

FORT COLLINS — The computers say one thing, but the eye test will tell you a completely different story about the Skyline football team.

The disrespected Falcons entered Week 8 with a sterling 6-1 record; yet found themselves No. 24 in the latest RPI rating … which if you are doing the math would leave them out of the 16-team Class 4A state bracket.

So all they can do to their naysayers is keep on winning.

On Friday afternoon, Skyline was dominant from the get-go against Fort Collins and improved to 7-1 with a thorough 54-38 whooping of the Lambkins at J. Ray French Field.

“It is what it is and we are going to play our schedule and that is irrelevant as far as I’m concerned,” said Skyline coach Michael Silva, whose team will prepare for their biggest test of the season next Thursday night against Windsor at Everly Montgomery. “We go win a lot of games and we don’t get in (the playoffs), that is asinine.

“It is what it is. We know our history and more importantly, we know our future and we know we are going to go play (next week) like we did tonight with a bunch of effort, a bunch of battle and a bunch of fight. That’s why we win football games.”

Skyline established the tempo on both side of the ball in the first two minutes.

On the first offensive play from scrimmage, Nathan Higgins threw a bubble-screen pass to Kyle West, who went 80 yards through the porous Fort Collins defense — ironically under the direction of former Skyline coach Kevin Rice.

Before two minutes had even run off the clock, the Falcons defense got into the act. Caleb Zietlow picked off Fort Collins quarterback Jonathan Erickson and went 55-yards the other way for a pick 6.

“And we will only continue to get better in all three facets,” Silva said.

Higgins, like most of the Skyline offense on Friday, was unstoppable. The Falcons senior rushed for 216 yards, threw the opening touchdown, had a pick 6 of his own in the fourth quarter and oh-by-the-way kicked six extra points.

“I owe a lot of credit to the O-line for sticking with it. They opened up the holes and we were able to execute our game plan,” Higgins said. “It was frustrating when we didn’t score because we thought we could do it on every drive, we just had to stick with it and get the big stop on defense and answer back on their scores.”

Senior quarterback Ben Harris, who despite having a torn up knee, played extremely well too. His 25-yard hook-up with Braden Kram in the third quarter extended the Falcons lead to 41-22.

“He loves it and he wants to be a part of it,” said Silva of his quarterback. “I can’t keep him off the field and against probably any doctors advice, he’s playing and playing well. That’s senior leadership.”

Jon Yunt: or


At J. Ray French Field

Skyline (7-1, 2-1)



Fort Collins (2-6, 1-2)



First quarter

Skyline — Kyle West 80 pass from Nathan Higgins (Higgins kick).

Skyline — Caleb Zietlow 55 interception return (Higgins kick).

Fort Collins — Connor McGraw 6 run (kick failed).

Skyline — Higgins 19 run (Higgins kick).

Second quarter

Fort Collins — Jake Leone 8 pass from Jonathan Erickson (run failed).

Fort Collins — FG Colby Shade 32.

Skyline — Higgins 16 run (kick blocked).

Skyline — Higgins 57 run (Higgins kick).

Third quarter

Fort Collins — Leone 12 pass from Erickson (Shade kick).

Skyline — Braden Kram 25 pass from Ben Harris (Higgins kick).

Fort Collins — Erickson 11 run (Leone pass from Erickson).

Skyline — Jack Wathen 95 kickoff return (kick blocked).

Fourth quarter

Skyline — Higgins 76 interception return (Higgins kick.)

Fort Collins — Jackson Schoor 6 pass from Erickson (McGraw pass from Erickson).


RUSHING — Skyline: Nathan Higgins 22-216, Moses Rivera 2-11, Kyle West 2-10, Caleb Zietlow 1-(minus-4), Ben Harris 4-(minus-4). Fort Collins: Jonathan Erickson 19-127, Connor McGraw 18-99, Cory Lange 3-12, Antonio Burgos 1-10, Michael Kadlick 1-0.

PASSING — Skyline: Higgins 3-4-0-129, Harris 4-9-0-61. Fort Collins: Erickson 27-51-3-267, Lange 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING — Skyline: West 3-108, Hunter Gutierrez 2-23, Jack Wathen 1-34, Braden Kram 1-25. Fort Collins: Jake Leone 13-121, Jackson Schoor 5-55, Burgos 4-37, Lange 3-19, McGraw 1-19, Kadlick 1-16.

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