Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer
LONGMONT — Skyline football rode a high at the start of week three when the Falcons finally cracked into the Class 4A CHSAANow.com rankings at No. 10. Then, tragedy struck when news spread that one of their teammates, Savion Lowe, had died unexpectedly.
The Falcons entered their top-10 home matchup against No. 9 Golden on Friday night at Everly-Montgomery Field with little preparation, as they only managed two days of practice this week. Head coach Michael Silva knew that fundamentals would be key if they hoped to get the slip on the Demons, but Golden got the better of them in the end in a 33-21 final.
“We weren’t as prepared as them, but that wasn’t what it was,” Silva said. “They played well. Tip your hat to them.”
Penalties plagued the Falcons all night long. Still, Skyline put up some strong offensive numbers as junior quarterback Logan Miller threw for 70 yards and two touchdowns and ran for an additional 207 yards. Senior running back Wynn Drewes and junior wide receiver Dilan Bridwell added 70 and 109 yards, respectively, to those totals.
Coming out of the gate, the Falcons struggled on offense but relied on their defense to keep the Demons steady throughout the first half. Golden gained a 12-0 advantage early before Skyline’s offense started to figure things out. With each passing play, Miller — who’s normally a wide receiver when injuries aren’t plaguing his team — gained more and more confidence.
No series illuminated the Falcons’ top-notch first half performance more than at the very end of it when Isaiah Quesada recovered a fumble on their own 17-yard line on Golden’s first play after a Skyline touchdown. Miller didn’t waste the opportunity his defense handed him, as he connected with Andrew Muncy for the touchdown and the 21-12 lead on the very next play.
“We brought the energy after the first few drives and then we threw the ball, we were running it well,” Bridwell said. “Our line was doing great.”
Golden took over throughout the second half as Skyline couldn’t get any offense going. Now, the Falcons must turn their attention to their road game at Silver Creek on Thursday as they look to bounce back.
Long before fans filed into EMF, Eden Barry and some of her friends decorated the stands with purple, red and yellow streamers. Signs adorned the railings with messages such as “We love Savion” and “Long live Budda,” the nickname that Savion Lowe’s mother called him. Hundreds of fans donned “Wings up for Savion” T-shirts.
Lowe passed away on Tuesday morning at the age of 17. His team took the field for the first time since the news shocked the Skyline community, and Longmont wanted to make sure everyone in attendance felt the love for their classmate, friend and teammate.
“We made some posters to represent him, just say, ‘Hey, we love you. We miss you,’” Barry, an SHS sophomore, said. “It seems that the whole town of Longmont knows about it, so I’d say that he made a pretty big impact.”
Although Barry admitted she didn’t know him all too well, only having sat next to him in math class last year, she was struck by how funny and kind he was. But that was just who Savion was — someone who always made everyone around him smile.
“He was such a goof. I’ll never forget that about him and that smile he always had on his face,” senior Tony Muniz said. “He definitely made a huge impact on all of us. He was such a big part of everyone’s life. .. It hurt a lot seeing the team down and all of us. We were just surprised and wondering why this happened.”
Why. That was the main question resonating through the Skyline community all week. Why did this happen, especially to a guy like Savion?
Few people on the team felt the loss like senior Adrian Rabun. Rabun called him a best friend since the day he moved to Colorado from Arkansas in seventh grade. But in a community as tight-knit as Skyline, the hole that Savion left behind ran deep.
“He was part of a team that loves each other with everything they have, a team that fights for each other no matter what,” senior Jose Ivarra said. “It’s something that we never expected. … It just doesn’t happen. When you hear something like that, it impacts you. It really does. You just got to look up and know that he’s there for you. Know that whatever you do out here, he’s going to be looking down on you and that he loves you.”
After Tuesday, the Falcons’ season has taken on a whole new meaning. Winning was always the goal, sure, but now they’ll have someone — a higher purpose — driving them toward victory throughout the rest of the season.
From here on out, it’s all for No. 46.
“It changes everything,” Rabun said. “Now when we go out here, we have a purpose to win. Now we have a purpose for the rest of the season. It’s not, ‘Let’s go have fun. Let’s go play.’ That’s aside. The main priority is to win it for Budda.’”