LONGMONT — If there’s reason to believe Silver Creek has turned the tables on its two-win campaign from last fall, its harassing and opportunistic defense delivered that message on full volume Friday night.
The Raptors forced seven turnovers and submerged Centaurus in a dominating defensive showcase at Everly-Montgomery Field, beating the Warriors 49-0 to open their 2019 campaign with two straight wins.
“It’s a whole new team this year,” Silver Creek senior Cole Riters said. “The energy at practice is so much better and the whole defense has come together. We are a unit now.”
They took turns in the spotlight in their home opener.
Riters intercepted Centaurus quarterback Nick Faraca as part of a blitzing start that put the Raptors up 21-0 with four minutes left in the first quarter.
Eli Hubert then put an end to the Warriors fourth drive with his second interception in as many games and brought it back 71 yards for a touchdown with 11:02 left in the second quarter.
Finally, Centaurus (0-1) appeared to grab some momentum off a successful fake punt down 28-0 — but Michael Tomaszewski ended the threat with a pick. And after that, Mason Goss had a pick-six nullified by a block-in-the-back penalty on the Warriors’ next drive, but he got the score anyway after hauling in a 19-yard pass from Carter Closson — the senior quarterback’s second passing TD and third score of the half.
Add it all up, Silver Creek led 42-0 with 3:41 remaining in the half. A running clock went into effect.
“I’m proud of the way the defense stepped up,” Silver Creek coach Brian McGee said. “I challenged them this week to go out and play the way I knew they had the capability to play. And they took advantage of that and they played hard. Obviously, we had some tips go our way, some batted balls and stuff like that, but I think for the most part the defense did a great job.”
A unit that allowed more than 27 points per game a year ago flew around the field and created chaos from the opening whistle.
It barraged Centaurus’ first pass of the night for a six-yard loss — and back and back the Warriors went.
The Warriors’ first drive ended with a short punt from deep in their own end zone, marred even worse by a catching interference call that set the Raptors up for a 12-yard TD drive.
Silver Creek then forced a fumble on the following kickoff and Riters returned an interception to the 15 the next time the Warriors touched the ball.
“It was amazing, they gave us great field position” Closson said. “There’s nothing better than an offense starting inside the 50-yard line.”
Closson went 7-of-8 passing for 83 yards and Alexander Estrada rushed for 133 yards and three touchdowns. The senior running back certainly found more room Week 2 after going for 49 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries in the team’s 30-19 win in their opener.
Dylan Johnson, meanwhile, caught a touchdown for a second straight game.
“I’m also proud of our offense,” McGee added. “We moved the ball well. Ran the ball effectively all night, which is what we wanted to focus on this week. On both sides of the ball I think we improved, and we definitely have a long ways to go.”
Bridger Sutherland came down with the fifth interception late in the game for the Raptors, who travel to face Windsor Sept. 20. Centaurus will look to get back on track in its home opener against Littleton next Friday.