SMITHFIELD – The Sky View Bobcat football team advanced to the second round of the playoffs after taking down the Syracuse Titans 38-14 Friday afternoon. Quarterback Garrison Beach completed 19-of-28 passes for 270 yards and four touchdowns in the win.
“It was a great win,” Bobcat running back Jamal Daines said. “We worked hard, but we weren’t totally focused, but this was a great chance for us to move on to the next round.”
The Bobcats wasted no time jumping out to a quick lead. It took just four Beach passes to move the ball 65 yards down the field and into the endzone. The scoring pass was a 47-yard bomb to Bryce Mortenson.
In an attempt to respond to the quick score, the Syracuse offense was able to pick up a couple of first downs, but the Sky View defense came up with the stop and got the ball back into the hands of Beach. Mortenson was once again Beach’s target – this time it was a 40-yard catch that got him into the endzone. The touchdown gave the Bobcats a 14-0 lead barely more than four minutes into the game.
On its next drive, Syracuse responded with two deep passes – a 55-yarder and a 30-yarder – to score a touchdown of its own the next time out.
“We stopped the run early, and because we stopped the run early we knew they were going to pass it a lot,” Sky View head coach Craig Anhder said. “They had a lot of success early with the pass, they were going deep.”
After getting the ball back, the Titans had a chance to tie, but on the first play of the second quarter Syracuse quarterback Ty Metcalfe fumbled the snap. It was quickly recovered by Bobcat Max Christensen on the Titan 35-yard line.
Running back Mason Tye helped Sky View take advantage of the turnover by picking up a first down on third-and-7 and then rushing for a 5-yard touchdown two plays later.
Each team scored once more in the first half. A 52-yard Titan endzone catch helped cut the Bobcat lead to a touchdown, but with just more than a minute left in the half, a 17-yard touchdown pass to Breygan Holbrook capped off a 75-yard drive. Sky View entered the halftime locker room up 28-14.
The Titans started the second half with the ball, but the drive didn’t go far. When Sky View took over, Beach orchestrated a 7-play, 64-yard drive that gave Mortenson his third touchdown catch of the day, and the Bobcats a 35-14 lead.
“It was really good to see our offense get rolling a little bit better,” Anhder said. “Last week we didn’t feel like we performed at the level we could.”
With 4:02 left in the third, the Sky View defensive show started. For the next seven minutes of the game the Bobcat defense was on the field for all but one play. In just three plays, Sky View cornerback Kade McCulloch intercepted the ball twice, but both times a penalty ruled the pick void. A goal line stand ended the Titan’s drive, but the Bobcat defense returned to the field when Beach’s pass was picked off on his first play out. Despite another opportunity in the red zone Syracuse was unable to get past the Bobcat defense and came away with no points.
“Our defense hung in there,” Anhder said of the goal line stand. “That’s our philosophy, don’t let them in the endzone. Keep battling and just don’t let them in.”
The defense sealed the victory late in the fourth quarter when it stopped the Titan offense on fourth down and Sky View turned it into a 29-yard field goal with just more than one minute left on the clock.
The Bobcats will host the winner of Jordan and Pleasant Grove next Friday in the second round.