It's hard to imagine a better start to a season.

In the opening game of 2017, the No. 7 ranked Longmont Trojans made a statement by thumping the defending 3A state champs on their home turf.

In what started off as a defensive slugfest, Longmont pulled away in the second half to beat Pueblo East 31-6.

The Eagles, who came into the season ranked No. 1 in class 3A, have won the last three state championships in a row. So, seeing them lose at all--much less handedly--is a rare sight for high school football fans.

But, the Trojans capitalized on big offensive plays and key moments on defense on their way to an impressive week one victory.

Longmont sent its packed home crowd into a frenzy late in the first quarter when Quarterback Oakley Dehning found Wide Receiver Nick Paone deep downfield for a long touchdown pass to make it 6-0 Trojans.

They added a field goal in the second quarter to extend their advantage to 9-zip.

Pueblo East had a chance to cut it to just a one-score game right before the half after an impressive drive into the Longmont red zone.

But, just when it looked like the Eagles would punch one in to make it 9-7, the Trojans defense made a huge play that changed the momentum heading into the locker room at halftime.

Senior Austin Hassler read a slant pass from Pueblo East QB Luc Andrada and jumped the route for a huge interception with about a minute to go in the second quarter.

From there, the defense held strong, and the offense kept putting points on the board.

The message was received. The Longmont Trojans are a dangerous team to watch out for in 2017.