LONGMONT — Silver Creek football coach Mike Apodaca got the chills when he heard it out loud: the team is an undefeated, more-than-likely league champion.
After finishing the last two seasons a rough 3-7, Silver Creek has climbed to the top ranks of Colorado high school football standings, and made a huge statement with a top-10 takedown over a Northern League rival.
This week's Class 3A No. 3-ranked Raptors maintained their undefeated record on Friday night with a 10-3 victory over No. 7 Longmont at Everly-Montgomery Field.
"This group has persevered through the rough seasons and hung in there with each other and their coaches," Apodaca said. "I’m so proud they get to experience the fruits of their labor."
Offensively, Silver Creek didn't put up a ton of points, but the Raptors still scored when they needed to. The team took an early lead in the first quarter on a 15-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Dylan Ordway to senior wide receiver George Ramirez. Sohpomore kicker Coltan Grabau booted a good extra point for a 7-0 lead.
"I don’t think offensively we’ve yet hit our stride, but I think we have so much more and Ordway is going to captain that ship," Apodaca said. "We were outstanding on defense, and our defense gave us a chance to stay in the game."
The senior defensive players took charge on the Raptors' senior night, led by clutch pass rushing efforts from the sack attack: defensive end Tyler Gibbs and lineman Karl Olson, who each had one sack apiece. The defensive backs also provided excellent coverage and stayed with the Longmont offense.
"When Longmont got into passing downs and tried to throw, Gibbs and Olson on the edge put the pressure on them, and we knew if we brought the pressure, we’d have a chance to defend. But if you give Longmont all day to throw, they’ll make the play."
Longmont junior Avery Peterson had an interception early in the second quarter, but the Trojans didn't capitalize and missed a field goal attempt five minutes after the pick-off. But Peterson booted a good FG right at the end of the first half for a 7-3 score.
"Having only three points scored on us in the whole game, that says something about a really good team," Gibbs said. "Longmont is a really good team, it has a really good offense, and they’re known for scoring a lot of points. We just shut them down."
Grabau kicked a third-quarter field goal for the Raptors for the final 10-3 score in a very defensive battle.
Longmont has a 6-3 overall mark now and heads into another tough matchup next week against No. 6-ranked Fort Morgan.
The Raptors rolled to 9-0 and have one more game against Thompson Valley (1-8) next week that will be part of determining the 3A Northern League champion.
"Our last two seasons we went 3-7, so losing a lot of those games just pushed us to be better, and we have a ton of great leadership from 22 seniors," Gibbs said.