LONGMONT — High school rivalries can bring out the best in teams, and Longmont and Skyline football proved that on Thursday night at Everly-Montgomery Field.
At the end of a second-half scoring frenzy, the Falcons came out on top to defeat the Trojans by a 33-21 final score as both offenses logged impressive play after impressive play.
It was the kind of offensive breakthrough that Skyline head coach Mike Silva had been waiting for all season.
“I think, just in all facets, we’ve kind of found a way to step up and improve just basic stuff — blocking, running, tackling,” Silva said. “Those basic things are usually going to be the difference between wins and losses. We’ve found a way to do a better job in that area.”
Skyline senior quarterback Kaiden Box logged 356 passing yards by game’s end and took part in each of the Falcons’ five touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Logan Miller caught four of those touchdown passes and recorded 290 offensive yards of his own. Senior Dilan Bridwell accounted for the other receiving touchdown.
“Kaiden really put it on me today and I’m just very proud of my team,” Miller said. “I feel like we were more consistent tonight, didn’t tell our heads when things went wrong. I feel like this is going to be a big step in the rest of our season.”
On the other side of the ball, sophomore quarterback Kolby Holmes threw 124 yards and added 164 on the ground to his totals, including a pair of rushing touchdowns. Junior Cole Gaddis took the other score home on a short run while he added 113 offensive yards to his name.
Longmont utilized the game to grow, just one week after earning its first win of the season with a 26-13 victory over Far Northeast. Despite the loss, the Trojans’ performance on Thursday night was a step in the right direction.
“There’s a lot of new faces and just getting used to each other and new positions,” Longmont head coach Doug Johnson said. “We just executed better last week. We’ve just got to execute with passion without losing our assignments and that’s hard to do. It’s a great effort game, but you got to have controlled effort and discipline with what you’re doing.”
The Falcons and Trojans kept play fairly even throughout the first quarter as each team methodically moved the ball down the field and barely let the other gain much of an advantage.
The Falcons struck first with a short pass to Bridwell to lead 7-0 with 5 minutes, 48 seconds left in the first quarter, but Longmont wasted no time responding. The Trojans returned the favor in the opening seconds of the second quarter, thanks to a 3-yard run from Gaddis and a subsequent 2-point conversion to claim a slight, 8-7 advantage, even if for a brief moment.
After a couple of punts from each squad, Box decided to put an end to the back-and-forth. He connected with Miller for a monster 71-yard touchdown in the last 75 seconds of the first half. The Falcons held that 14-8 lead going into the break.
Things escalated quickly after that.
The football game from the first half turned into a track meet in the second, as each team scored on two of its three possessions in the third quarter. Box collected two passing touchdowns for 103 yards total, including a 74-yard behemoth to Miller.
Holmes, likewise, turned on the turbo jets as he ran in two scores for Longmont with 132 yards between the two plays. Skyline led 27-21 at the end of the third quarter before both teams slowed down their play significantly.
“Man, we could have done a lot better but I’ve got to give a huge thanks to my offensive line. We’ve been running the ball great these last few weeks,” Holmes said. “We really opened up the running game. Our line just stepped up. They started hitting guys, blocking holes, and we started running right.”
The Trojans will search for their second win when they head to Greeley West next Friday as Skyline, now 3-2, heads back home to face off with Silver Creek on the same night.
“It’s a big, huge rivalry game and it can catapult you into a good streak and good mojo,” Silva said. “It’s big to begin with, you just want to go win it, but it will play a huge role in how your season unfolds for both teams.”