SV racks up rushing yards in win over Madison

SMITHFIELD — Sky View overcame four first-half turnovers and held Madison to just seven second-half points to earn a 45-33 win in the final game before region play.

Fans didn’t have to wait long to see points put up on the board. The first quarter featured 37 points, nearly half of the game’s total points overall.

Sky View (3-1) put its mark on the scoreboard first on a 33-yard field goal from Kasen Erickson. That kick was set up by a strong defensive stand that saw SV hold Madison (1-1) without a first down on the visitor’s opening drive and then stopping them on a bold fourth-down conversion attempt on Madison’s own 29-yard line.

A somewhat similar, though ultimately more bizarre situation came on Madison’s second drive, with the team stalling again before anything could start and going three-and-out. The visitors appeared to be going for it on fourth down again but a fly sweep turned into an attempted trick punt. Attempted because the Bobcats tackled the would-be punter, wide receiver Brandon Lewis, and fell on top of the semi-pointless fumble the tackle for loss caused.

Sky View capitalized on the second straight gift of a short field again but this time with a touchdown. Mason Falslev found Trey Nyman in the back of the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown pass.

Madison’s third drive of the game went marginally better than the first two, getting one first down courtesy of a 34-yard run from quarterback Easton Cordero. And though the drive still resulted in a punt, Sky View was pinned on its own 7-yard line after a holding penalty.

Undeterred by having to go a distance longer than both of its first two drives combined, Sky View one-upped itself by going the distance in one play. Walter Collins broke through the line, made a cut, ran through a few arm tackles and then made a visit to the promised land for a 93-yard touchdown.

“Everyone just did their blocks and (I) followed the blocks,” Collins said when recalling the play. “That’s how we execute.”

By giving Sky View a 17-0 lead, that run should have been the play to break open the game and kick-start an eventual blowout. But SV shot itself in the foot over and over for the remainder of the half, letting Madison back in the game.

The first two miscues both came on punts. Collins muffed a punt off the bounce just over a minute after his career-long run. That turnover became a Madison touchdown one play later as Joseph Lundin caught a rainbow pass from Cordero for a 28-yard score. The visitors missed the extra point, putting the score at 17-6.

Sky View blundered its first attempted punt of the game. Ryan Winfree blocked Kason Carlsen’s punt and recovered it on the 4-yard line. Again, it took only one play as Cordero threw another touchdown, this one to Dawson Wills.

In a span of less than three minutes of game time, a 17-0 game morphed into a 17-13 contest.

Scout Morris helped Sky View somewhat redeem itself, responding to the two straight Madison scores by taking the kickoff 84 yards to the house. Collins got himself back in good standing later in the quarter by scoring on a 7-yard run to re-establish a three score lead at 31-13.

But once again, Sky View couldn’t get out of its own way. After allowing Madison to score on its longers drive of the game — a 15-play, 80-yard march — Falslev threw an interception. That gave Cordero the chance, which he took, to go 69 yards in 1:12 and make it a game once again at 31-26 at halftime. Madison failed on a two-point conversion at the end of the half.

In the locker-room at halftime, nailing down the turnover problem was a huge focus point. Almost all of Madison’s first-half success could be directly attributed to the four giveaways.

“They scored on every turnover, that’s the story right there,” SV head coach Christopher Howell said. “We played decent defensively, we played pretty good offensively, minus the turnovers.”

Madison scored on three of the four turnovers, collecting 19 of its 26 points in the first half on SV giveaways.

In the second half, Sky View controlled the ball and protected it by taking the air out of the ball. Falslev threw just eight passes in the second half. The senior QB actually had more runs (nine) in the latter half than passes. Collins too got plenty of touches, 15 in the second half. Sky View only scored two touchdowns with this tactic, but SV still moved the ball up and down the field, only going three-and-out once in the final two quarters.

Running the ball ultimately became the lifeblood of Sky View’s offense. On the night, SV gained 372 yards on the ground alone. Collins accounted for 202 of those and Falslev had 166. Combined, the two averaged a hair under nine yards per carry. Falslev barely eclipsed the century mark through the air with 101 passing yards on 12 of 22 passing.

Howell said getting the run established “absolutely” helped settle the team down with the bonus that “it kept their offense off the field.” In the first half, there were 17 combined drives between the two teams. In the second, there were just 10 total.

“Their quarterback’s a really good player so it was huge being able to get that running game going,” Howell said. “That was one of our keys to the game tonight is to be able to run the ball effectively and I really felt like we were able to do that all night.”

Though given fewer chances, Cordero still made a valiant effort to pull his team from the brink. The senior QB was responsible for 404 total yards and five touchdowns — 280 passing yards, 124 rushing with three TDs on the ground and two through the air. However, just one of those touchdowns came in the second half, with 2:33 left in the game, and it was the only one Madison produced in that half.

Sky View took home the W, but it could have been dealt a terrible blow at the end of the game. On a run with less than two minutes to play, Falslev hurt his shoulder and did not return. He remained on the bench during the postgame handshake as the training staff attended to him and later his left arm was in a sling.

INDIANS 24, TIGERS 14

Preston downed Jerome for the second straight year, opening up its district play with a win. It’s the first win of the season for the Indians (1-1) after losing their first game of the season in the Rocky Mountain Kickoff to Logan.

The Indians scored most of their points in the first quarter, outscoring the Tigers (1-1) 17-7 in the opening 12 minutes. They then held on the rest of the way, adding an insurance touchdown in the fourth quarter to finish with the double-digit win. Preston’s defense performed admirably against a Jerome team that scored 41 points in its opener a week ago.