Sep. 1—LONGMONT — Growth can sometimes come through a slow progression. Skyline football embodied a microcosm of that concept in a 42-28 home loss to Standley Lake on Friday night.
The Falcons chipped away at an icy start, slowly melting the Gator defenses as the contest wore on, then let Standley Lake freeze them out again.
The growing pains come under the guidance of a new head coach, Erick Childers, who took the helm of the program in Mike Silva's absence. He moved around a few parts as the Falcons learn to compete without former quarterback Kaiden Box and other key seniors from last fall.
"That loss of seniors really hurt us. It really hit us," senior running back Rah Carson said. "We lost Logan (Miller), Box, all of our wide receivers, really. But I feel like we're just going to come back stronger from this and we're going to rise above through the adversity. We're going to hit the next team as hard as we can."
Senior quarterback Gentry Swanson took charge of both facets of the offense, passing for 104 yards and running for another 94. It was Carson, however, who took the reins of the Falcon scoring drive with three touchdowns and 192 yards. Senior Lennon Lusk added the other score.
A week earlier, the Falcons lost 48-19 to Denver South, but seemed to shake off the nerves during game two, showing spurts of life through small plays. Skyline first found its offensive pulse in the final minute of the first half when Carson, who had served as an offensive battering ram all night, scored on a short run.
Seconds later, Brian Hudson intercepted the Gators and ran it back 20 yards, only to be called back for a penalty. In the third quarter, he robbed the Gators of a touchdown when he picked off their quarterback at the goal line.
By that point, Standley Lake had already put three touchdowns on the board, and led 21-6 going into the midway point.
Skyline began the second half flying high after recovering its own kickoff, then capitalized with a Carson touchdown a few plays later. Lusk added his name to the scorebook with his own short running touchdown to begin the second half, but the Falcons couldn't close the gap they allowed the Gators to create.
The Falcons will travel to the Western Slope in search of their first victory when they visit Fruita Monument next Friday.
"I took a lot of the good pieces that coach Silva had put in and added a lot of my own to try to take us to another level," Childers said. "We have a lot of players that played a lot last year, but they're now playing in new positions, so we've kind of grown into the season a little bit and hoping that every week we get a little bit better."