LONGMONT — After three quarters of back-and-forth football, Longmont pulled away late in their regular season finale against crosstown rival Skyline on Friday. Trojans quarterback and defensive back Keegan Patterson helped secure the 40-31 win with a critical fourth quarter fumble recovery and score.
Both teams came into Everly-Montgomery Field with an opportunity to improve their seeding in the 24-team Class 4A playoff field. Skyline (6-4, 3-2 4A Northern 2) entered Friday No. 17 in the 4A RPI while Longmont (6-4, 4-1 4A Northern 2) was just behind at No. 18. While other factors are at play, Longmont’s head-to-head advantage could be helpful for playoff positioning.
The first half was about as entertaining as late-season football gets. On Skyline’s first offensive series, Longmont’s Caleb Johnson intercepted a third-and-long pass and brought it home for an early pick-six.
But Skyline quarterback Kaiden Box quickly recovered on his next drive when he found wide receiver Andrew Muncy on a 3rd-and-17 for about a 50-yard touchdown.
Jack Moll was a favorite target of Patterson in the second quarter as the duo connected for a 10-yard touchdown and later a 25-yard score. Moll’s second TD brought the Trojans up 20-14 with a failed two-point conversion.
Ball security was an issue in the first half with three combined turnovers. With under two minutes until halftime, Skyline’s Logan Miller picked off a Patterson pass and returned it to the LHS 6. On the very next offensive play, Miller finished the job with a rushing touchdown to give Skyline its 21-20 halftime lead.
Just as they did in the first half, the Trojans struck first in the third quarter. Soon after Moll caught a jump ball that brought Longmont into the red zone, Patterson broke the goal line for a one-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion, however, was once more denied by Skyline.
Longmont entered the fourth quarter leading 26-24 but turned the ball over on downs with about nine minutes remaining. Patterson, though, quickly moved past the fourth down failure and forced a Falcon fumble on the ensuing drive. He then scooped it up and brought it back 36 yards to give LHS a commanding 33-24 lead.
The Falcons didn’t fall entirely and scored a late touchdown but Longmont answered again to secure the eventual win.
The first round of the 4A playoffs begins next weekend, with seeds 9-16 hosting while the first eight seeds draw byes.