Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer
Tim Hurst/Staff Photographer
LONGMONT —The opening night crowd at Everly-Montgomery Field was sparse. Expressions, cheers, play calls — muted behind a mask.
But somewhere amid the oddity of it all, there was football. A fate that seemed improbable only a few weeks ago.
Skyline kicked off the fall season under the Friday night lights and new COVID-19 regulations, then gladly showed off its sparkling sophomore, Logan Miller, who scored three touchdowns in a span of 2 minutes and 35 seconds and had a total of four to propel the Falcons past Silver Creek 41-17.
Miller, in his first full-time varsity action, scored on a fumble recovery off the opening kickoff of the second half. He then threw a 50-plus yard scoring strike to Dilan Bridwell 45 seconds after that before hauling in a 47-yard TD from Chase Silva with 9:25 left in the quarter — upping a three-point halftime lead to 34-10.
He added his fourth TD of the night on an interception return with 2:14 remaining.
“I really just tried to play my heart out,” Miller said. “Just prove to the coaches that I could start.”
His debut was one of the big highlights across the state as fall football returned to the area.
What a juggle it had been: CHSAA first placed football in the spring with its initial release of its athletic calendar. After some stir, its board voted to keep the sport in there on Sept. 8 before variances came down from the governor’s office and a revote was conducted eight days later.
This, Week 1 of a six-game regular-season slate for the teams that opted into the fall, had an atmosphere unlike any from years’ past.
Protocol included limited admittance into the stadium. Masks were required at all times and bleachers were marked with X’s to space spectators for social distancing.
Among other nuances: There was no pregame coin toss. A statewide flip by CHSAA earlier in the week decided whether the Week 1 home or away team won. At halftime, teams went to opposite endzones instead of locker rooms. And, per Skyline coach Mike Silva, some players had to drive instead of taking the school bus to the game.
“It was weird, really weird,” Coach Silva said. “You can anticipate and try and coach them up on (the new rules), but until you’re in it, it’s really hard to feel. I think it’s kind of what ended up making us flat early on.”
In the opening half, Silva connected with Nick Peterson for catches of 30-plus yards to set up a pair of touchdowns for Skyline (1-0). Silva rushed for a 2-yard score after Peterson’s catch put the Falcons inside the 10. Peterson’s 35-yard reception a little later set up a 15-yard TD run by Grayden Bridwell.
Silver Creek (0-1) answered after picking off Silva late in the second as Logan Veeder hit Dylan Johnson for a short TD to cut the deficit to 13-10. Later, Eli Hubert took a short pass from Veeder 55 yards to snap Skyline’s 21-point spurt.
Silver Creek begins its 4A Northern League 1 schedule at home against Erie Oct. 16. The Falcons are at Greeley West Oct. 15 as they begin play in 4A Northern League 2.