SMITHFIELD — It was a mismatch before the game even began.
Sky View hosted first-year football program Providence Hall Wednesday night, and the Region 11 champs had no trouble with the 3A charter school. The Bobcats scored early and often, then let the backups play three quarters in a 35-0 victory to end the regular season.
“We talked before the game about how the seniors opportunities are quickly diminishing in the sense that they don’t have a lot of games left in their high school career,” Sky View head coach Chris Howell said. “We focused on valuing this opportunity and getting better and taking a step forward.”
Eight different Bobcats (9-1) caught a pass, and six different athletes rushed at least once. Sky View also used two quarterbacks and finished with a pretty balanced attack — 192 yards rushing and 158 yards passing.
“I loved watching from the sideline,” Bobcat starting quarterback Kason Carlsen said. “You always want to be out there and play, but it’s fun to watch the other kids get out there play because they work so hard in practice. They did good.”
Carlsen played three offensive series before giving way to Garrett Zollinger. In those three series, Carlsen guided just 12 plays, but the Bobcats had a 28-0 lead when he left the game. Carlsen completed 4 of 6 passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
“I feel like we have gotten better every week,” Carlsen said. “That was our goal coming into this game. I think we did that.”
Zollinger completed 7 of 15 pass attempts for 57 yards and a score. He also picked up some big yardage with his legs, rushing for a team-best 60 yards on six carries.
The Patriots (1-9) threatened to score several times in the game. They fumbled inside the Bobcat 20 just before halftime. Jackson Sundstrom recovered the loose pigskin after Parker Vail knocked it loose.
Early in the fourth quarter Providence Hall reached the SV 21, but Easton Howell picked off a pass inside the 5. On the next Patriot possession, Bobcat Dalton Jensen recovered a fumble.
“We started subbing down pretty early, and our JV kids held their own on defense,” Howell said.
The Patriots finished with 214 yards of total offense, with 142 coming on the ground.
Sky View also got some big plays from its starting defense. Blake Johnson blocked a punt that set up the Bobcats’ second score. Three plays later Mason Falslev intercepted a Patriot pass and returned it 40 yards for a pick-six.
Sky View took the opening kickoff and went 80 yards in three plays. Carlsen ran a nice fake and found Brigham Lewis all alone in the middle of the field. Lewis hauled in the pass and was off to the races for a 65-yard TD 65 seconds into the contest.
The blocked punt set up the next Bobcat score. It took one play for Carlsen to hit Jacob Zollinger for a 9-yard TD strike and a 14-0 lead with 9:21 still left in the opening quarter.
Falslev made it 21-0 at the 7:53 mark of the first quarter.
A pass interference against the Bobcats on a fake punt and then a completed pass on another fake punt by the Patriots got the visitors to midfield. Facing a third fourth down, Providence Hall elected to punt.
There was a scary moment during that Patriot drive when running back Jake Ramsay went down. He eventually left the field on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance. He was having neck and head issues.
The final Sky View drive for the starters lasted eight plays and covered 90 yards. Running back Walter Collins capped it with a 20-yard scoring run, giving the hosts a 28-0 lead with a minute left in the first quarter.
The final Bobcat score came late in the third quarter. On a third-and-10 play, Garrett Zollinger hit a wide open Dee Wilde for an 18-yard score.
“I felt like our younger guys did a good job moving the ball and holding these guys scoreless,” Howell said. “I’m proud of the direction our kids went tonight.”
Johnson and Dylan Gunnell drew praise from the coach for seizing opportunities when given a chance to play.
The Bobcats will now have more than two weeks before starting the state playoffs.
“We have to make sure we come with the right attitude, because it’s do or die at this point,” Howell said.