Two high-powered offenses locked horns Sept. 28 in Broomfield as Holy Family (4-1, 1-0 in conference) escaped Skyline (3-2), 47-41. In a contest where the two offenses combined for 1,093 yards, two …
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Two high-powered offenses locked horns Sept. 28 in Broomfield as Holy Family (4-1, 1-0 in conference) escaped Skyline (3-2), 47-41.
In a contest where the two offenses combined for 1,093 yards, two clutch defensive plays sealed the victory for the Tigers in front of their ruckus home crowd.
In a first half of perfect offensive execution and back-and-forth scoring for both sides, six touchdowns on six straight possessions concluded the half, putting the game at a 35-28 affair.
The feeling in the stadium was whoever forced a key turnover or had the ball last would take home this non-conference win.
Fortunately, for the Panthers, both categories fell in their favor.
After Skyline tied the game at 35 on an 11-play, 72-yard drive with 3:05 left in the third quarter, Holy Family answered back with a 71-yard drive on eight plays, capped by a 7-yard run from senior quarterback Kyle Helbig. Following the game-leading score, the Panther defense pounced.
Skyline, as it did all night, came back at the home team, driving all the way to Holy Family’s 10-yard line. Three stops in the red zone later, the Falcons faced a crucial fourth down.
As sophomore quarterback Chase Silva threw to the end zone, senior Jack Alderman batted the ball away to maintain the 6-point lead with 10:06 remaining.
Three punts in a row (two for Holy Family, one for Skyline) followed before the Falcons found themselves again driving down the field, hoping to take their first lead of the night. Down six, it took seven plays to find themselves on Holy Family’s 15-yard line with less than three minutes to go.
Cue the game clincher.
As Silva surveyed the field, the gunslinger fired a pass into the end zone. Waiting on the football was senior Joseph Hepp, who secured the interception and the team’s fourth win of the season.
“We talked at halftime, and we knew if we got one stop we could build on it and get another,” Holy Family head coach Michael Gabriel said. “The kids did exactly what I asked them to do and momentum built on our side.”
The key defensive stops helped win the ballgame for Holy Family, but Helbig played big for a squad that lost its starting senior quarterback, Calahan Carter, for the season a week earlier.
Behind Helbig’s 270 passing yards, 163 rushing yards and six touchdowns (four rushing, two passing), Holy Family’s offense didn’t miss a beat.
“First of all, you don’t replace Calahan Carter. He’s an amazing player, and I’m sad that he’s not with us,” Gabriel said. “But the kids have really rallied around him and Kyle. Calahan’s injury is unfortunate, and it’s kind of a battle cry for the kids now. They want to win for Cal and keep going.”
Despite Holy Family’s offensive success, Skyline offensively played toe-to-toe with the Panthers with 526 yards themselves. Silva’s impressive stat line of 31-for-40 with 427 yards kept his team in contention all night. Senior backfield mate Jeremy Hollingsworth’s 89 yards on 17 carries combined with the two outside threats of seniors Jack Wathen (13 catches for 214 yards) and Kyle West (13 catches for 142 yards) showcased the weapons Skyline has in store for the rest of their opponents this season.
Senior Matt Delgado led the Holy Family defense with 12 tackles as junior Ben Nappe and sophomore Benito Hernandez followed with eight apiece against the explosive Falcons attack.
In five games in 2018, the Panthers have tallied as many wins as they did a season ago. As the main stretch of conference play approaches, Gabriel is ready for what awaits.
“I’m excited. To me, that’s a playoff-type game, and that’s a team that’s going to do really well in 4A,” he said. “They’re going to help us gain some points going into the playoffs, so that’s a game we will look back on going into the postseason and league play for sure.”
Holy Family travels to Denver North (4-1) Oct. 6 (time TBD) in a crucial conference game. Skyline looks to get back on track Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. at Silver Creek (1-4).
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