Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Shaun Stanley/ For BoCoPreps.com
Class 3A semifinal
Kickoff: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Quick hits: Here we go again! A local matchup in what will likely be a packed Erie Tiger Stadium should make for a great final Saturday in November … Considering the parking limitations at EHS, it would be wise to get there early … Longmont, looking for its 14th state title game appearance since 1921, and Erie, looking for its fourth, have both gotten to this point by travelling a hard road. For the Trojans, obviously, it was getting past top-seeded Mead after the Mavericks had beat them the past two times they had played. For Erie, it’s been navigating through two stressful games that have gone down to the wire … Longmont’s win against Mead was no fluke. The Trojans had 395 yards of offense and were balanced between the pass (183 yards) and run (212). Danny Nichols was an unsung hero of sorts with 135 kick return yards and an interception, and senior Bryan Blanks had 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks … Longmont leaders include Drake Engelking (1,130 rushing yards, 17 TD’s), Jaydon Elkins (34 receptions, 8 TD’s) and Austin Hassler (120 total tackles) … Erie dug deep to beat the host Demons last week, with Noah Roper bringing home the game with four rushing touchdowns. However, Alex Mathis had a breakout game with 132 receiving yards and it was his fourth-down catch on Erie’s final drive that gave the Tigers a chance … Mathis now has five TD receptions and 332 yards … Other leaders include Roper (2,459 total yards, 34 offensive TD’s), Jacob Mansdorfer (646 total yards) and Nathan Hackney (39 tackles, 11 tackles for loss).
Bottom line: Longmont isn’t your typical Cinderella team, not with a veteran coach like Doug Johnson at the helm. The Trojans are playing their best at the right time, simple as that. Erie found success in the pass last week, and the Tigers will be focused on spreading the ball a bit more if they need to. That said, the Tigers have confidence that Roper can continue as the top rusher in the state.
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