On Wednesday, Skyline senior quarterback Chase Silva was named to the first team of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 4A All-State football team. His classmate, split back and safety Grayden Bridwell, made the second team.
At the top, Loveland quarterback Zack Rakowsky was player of the year and Jeff Mauch was coach of the year. The titles were well-earned after Loveland toppled three higher-seeded teams on the way to its second 4A state championship in three years.
Yet it might have been Silva or Bridwell taking home the top honors had it not been for a single hand in the air and a single point on Nov. 12 in Loveland.
The U.S. 287 rivals clashed in the regular-season finale that night. Both teams were 5-0 and in any other season besides 2020, both teams surely would have qualified for a 16-team postseason. Instead, they were battling for one spot in the COVID-shortened eight-team playoffs and the game went down to the wire.
After a drive consisting of almost all Bridwell running plays, Skyline reached the end zone to make the score 20-20 midway through the fourth quarter. The two teams lined up for the extra-point kick attempt and one Loveland player was able to leap and misdirect the ball heading toward the uprights. It proved to be the difference. Neither team scored before overtime.
Like penalty kicks at the end of long soccer games, high school overtime periods can be quick and cruel. Skyline scored a touchdown, but failed to convert a two-point attempt. Loveland responded with a score and when its extra-point kick sailed through the goalposts, Skyline’s fate was sealed.
Despite a tremendous regular season, the Falcons had to watch Loveland run through Broomfield, Dakota Ridge and Palmer Ridge to claim the state title.
Silva completed 63% of his passes for 1,196 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. Bridwell rushed for 1,263 yards on 140 carries in the six-game season and also was Skyline’s third-leading tackler.
Skyline senior guard and tackle Oscar Aranday and senior defensive lineman Joel Hesse made the 4A honorable mention list.
Looking toward 2021
Also on the 4A honorable mention list were an outstanding Longmont High School quarterback-receiver duo. Keegan Patterson and Caleb Johnson are both juniors and hope next year to improve upon a disappointing 2-4 season.
Among the best in Colorado, Patterson amassed almost 2,000 yards passing in just six games. Johnson caught 77 passes for 832 of those yards. In a thrilling 51-38 loss to Skyline on Oct. 23, Patterson was 41 of 55 for 490 yards in the air. Their teammate, senior defensive tackle Aiden Gaddis, also made the honorable mention list.Silver Creek’s lone representative on the All-State teams was junior receiver and cornerback Eli Hubert. The speedster collected 845 all-purpose yards in seven games for the Raptors.
Mead’s junior quarterback, Gavin Garrettson, was hoping to lead the Mavericks to a 3A state title after dominating all but one opponent this fall. But when a Mead player tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of the Mavericks’ first playoff game, their season came to a sudden end. Garettson made the 3A second team after amassing 896 yards with his arm.
Niwot senior quarterback Ayden Bartko and junior wide receiver Craig Wright also earned 3A honorable mentions. Bartko amassed 957 yards and 11 TDs, while Wright had 20 receptions for 465 yards and six touchdowns, according to maxpreps.com.