GARLAND — They have done it again.
For the fourth straight season the Sky View football team has run the table in region play. The Bobcats claimed the Region 11 title outright Friday night with a 35-20 win over Bear River.
“This is our fourth one and we are 20-0 in region play and we couldn’t feel any better about it,” Sky View senior linebacker Hunter Lewis said.
The victory also made it 21 straight wins for the Bobcats (9-0 overall, 5-0 region), dating back to last season. It didn’t come easy against the Bears (4-5, 1-4) on their natural grass field.
“It wasn’t one of the prettiest wins, but we put up points and played decent on defense, much better in the second half,” SV head coach Christopher Howell said. “This is a tough environment and those kids (at Bear River) are really tough. ... I’m super excited for our kids to be able to win another region title outright.”
Bear River did battle to the end. The Bobcats made it interesting by committing 12 penalties for 125 yards. Many of the flags were of the 15-yard variety, and one brought back a long touchdown.
“We’ve got to clean up a lot of penalties; we had a lot, a lot, a lot of penalties,” said Lewis, who led his team with 14 tackles and a sack. “That cost us. We were on third down several times and it cost us a first down. We got to get off the field more. ... Tensions were high, especially that second half. It was a big game.”
Howell agreed: “We overcame a lot of adversity. We had a boatload of penalties. Every time we got a stop on defense, it seemed like we had a late hit or we have to run our mouth or something like that and that just killed us. And we had some big plays come back on offense.”
Sky View never trailed in the contest. The Bobcats finished with 365 yards of total offense. Quarterback Kason Carlsen threw for 223 yards on 14 of 23 attempts and a touchdown. The signal caller also ran for a score.
Running back Walter Collins only carried the ball six times Friday night for Sky View, but found the end zone twice and had a game-high 75 yards.
“We tried a few new things in our pass pro and used a different look, so Truman Moser played some, but Walter Collins is fine,” Howell said. “Truman doesn’t get to play much because Walter is so good.”
Moser finished with 33 yards on seven carries. Titan Saxton led the Bobcat receivers with five catches for 72 yards and a TD. Isaac Larsen also had 72 yards on three catches.
Bear River had 246 yards of total offense. Running back Kace Jones rushed for 69 yards on 14 carries and scored twice.
The Bobcats began the game with a bang on their first offensive possession of the game. Carlsen hit wide receiver Samuel Thatcher for a 40-yard gain. Carlsen would eventually score from four yards out on a fourth-and-one play.
The hosts responded with two explosive pass plays, the second coming on 30-yard pass from Josh Payne to Chance Udy for six. The extra point was missed.
In the second quarter the Bobcats reached paydirt twice in less than two minutes. Larsen brought back a punt to the house from 58 yards out. After forcing Bear punt, Sky View needed just two plays to go 60 yards with Collins busting free up the middle for a 38-yard score and a 21-6 lead.
Bear River pulled within 21-12 just before halftime with a 8-yard TD run by Jones.
Sky View took control in the third quarter. The Bobcats took the kickoff and ate up nearly six minutes off the clock in driving 89 yards in 13 plays. Saxton caught a 19-yard TD pass from Carlsen to give the visitors a 28-12 lead.
After a short Bear River punt, the Bobcats drove 35 yards. Collins picked up his second TD of the night, this time from four yards out to give Sky View a 35-12 lead.
The Bears scored early in the fourth quarter and converted the two-point conversion to make it interesting for a few minutes.
However, Lewis blew up a fourth-and short play with a great open-field tackle at midfield to end one threat. Then Thatcher picked off a pass to end the last Bear River drive of the night.
“That was just my instincts,” Lewis said of his big tackle for loss. “It wasn’t designed, but I trusted myself to make a play.”
Lewis certainly lived up to his nickname given to him by his father Patrick Lewis.
“In little league my dad called me ‘Moose’ because I always hit harder and it just stuck,” Lewis said.
Kimball Jackson had nine tackles for the Bobcats to finish second on the team behind Lewis.
“Hunter Lewis is a beast every week,” Howell said. “He is such a stud and makes key plays.”
The Bobcats now await the final RPI rankings and the state playoffs. Their last game of the season at Bountiful has been canceled.
BOBCATS 35, BEARS 20
Friday at Garland
Sky View 7 14 14 0 — 35
Bear River 6 6 0 8 — 20
SV — Kason Carlsen 4 run (Kasen Erickson kick), 7:55
BR — Chance Udy 30 pass from Josh Payne (kick failed), 6:06
SV — Isaac Larsen 58 punt return (Erickson kick), 5:55
SV — Walter Collins 38 run (Erickson kick), 3:39
BR — Kace Jones 8 run (run failed), 0:30
SV — Titan Saxton 19 pass from Carlsen (Erickson kick), 6:04
SV — Collins 4 run (Erickson kick), 2:12
BR — Jones 3 run (Udy pass from Payne), 10:34