LONGMONT — The creative attacks that have moved both Silver Creek and Skyline into the early conversation on best teams in the 4A classification proved something of an annoyance to each other Tuesday night.
Offenses and its star scorers dazzled in the Longmont programs’ matchup at Everly-Montgomery Field as each took turns putting the other in precarious spots, back on its heels. Late contests were then often called fouls inside the box. A battle of penalty kicks ensued.
Neruda King scored in the first half for Silver Creek, then set up the go-ahead PK chance for Kaden Riedel in the 59th minute. Keeper Alex Larner maintained the lead with the only deny among four game penalties (two for each) and the CHSAA 4A No. 6 Raptors beat the third-ranked Falcons, 3-1.
“I think maybe as a team we’ve faced three or four PKs and that might have been my first save on one, this year at least,” said Larner, who helped Silver Creek get back into the win column after losses to 5A No. 4 Boulder and Horizon. “I think our last game we shouldn’t have lost. Just didn’t play as we should have. So this win really picks us up.”
Tied at 1-all, King set up the winner for the Raptors (4-2) moments after teammate Luke Masson believed he was robbed.
Masson’s previous chance went down off the crossbar and apparently just outside the goal line. Play though continued, and the ball got to King in the box where he was fouled.
“I saw the ref was calling a lot of stuff and was trying to keep a tight grip on the game,” said King, who scored his fourth goal of the season, then scored a homecoming date afterward. “I realized that and decided to drive at players and hold onto the ball a little more to see if they’d foul me.”
Riedel scored his first goal of the season on the PK and Grant Gaddis scored on the penalty in the 72nd. Angel Pereyra’s PK was denied by Larner in the 64th for Skyline (5-1).
Earlier, Brian Heredia, who didn’t record a point in his last contest for the Falcons, got back to his torrid production, scoring his seventh goal in the past four games to put his team up early.
His goal came on the night’s first penalty kick, which he set up himself. Absorbing enough contact while slicing into the box, he drew contact and the call in the 6th minute.
Silver Creek responded in the 33rd as King reached a loose ball behind the defense, scoring the game’s only pure goal.
“They’re a good team, not going to take anything away from them,” said Skyline coach Luis Chavez, whose team suffered its first loss since Oct. 6 of last year — also against Silver Creek. “Today, we encourage our guys to reset. I see that you guys have your heads down which I believe means we could have done better.
“We’re just going to continue with our goals and our dreams. I think this team can really take us to state if we stay humble.”
Seeing Silver Creek in trying to get there will be something to monitor.
The Raptors are at Niwot Friday. Skyline is away against Severance Saturday.