A rough start was too much to overcome Friday night for Rocky Mountain High School’s football team, which dropped its third consecutive game to start the season.
Brighton built and early lead thanks to a turnover on the opening kick and quick first possession for the Lobos and held on for a 28-18 victory.
“The beginning was pretty tough and I started it with the fumble on the kick return,” Rocky senior Justin Schiller said. “We fought back from there and had a great second half.”
Indeed they did, but by then it was nearly too late for the Lobos. Rocky found itself down 14-0 just 3:31 into the game. At that point, they had only had the ball on the opening kickoff and for three plays.
Brighton (2-1) scored on the first play following the fumble and again in four plays following a three-and-out by Rocky. And they allowed only a safety to Rocky in the first half and led 21-2 at halftime.
Rocky struggled the entire first hall, accumulating only 115 yards. They also had two turnovers and punted six times.
“It wasn’t just the start; it was the first half. We were flat,” Rocky coach Mark Brook said. “We had a bunch of kids sitting around waiting for somebody to make a play. … We were flat and that’s something I have to get fixed. That’s on me. Our kids have to be ready to play at the start of the game.”
Rocky quickly got back into the game in the second half. Max McDonald scored on an 8-yard run to get the Lobos within 21-9 and moments later they picked up their second safety of the game.
Schiller scored on a 36-yard run with 4:57 to play in the third quarter, bringing Rocky within 21-18. The Lobos had two possessions to try to take the lead. One was a three-and-out and the other ended in a fumble, the third of four in the game.
Brighton took advantage of the fumble, scoring in four plays for the 28-18 lead.
“We got the ball rolling, but when you dig a hole like that, it’s a little bit tough,” Brook said. “Ball securing was an issue for us again tonight and a lot of the things we’re harping on, we have not seen when we need to.”
Rocky wraps up nonconference play next Saturday at home against Douglas County.
“The second half is something to build on, but the biggest thing is they need a win,” Brook said. “They’re hurting for it. We all are. I’m confident they’ll come out and have a great week of practice.”
Follow reporter Jeff Bersch at twitter.com/Coloradoan_JB