It took a stalwart second half defensive stand, but the Sky View Bobcats made it happen.
After seeing a 17-0 lead evaporate in the third quarter, the Bobcats used a pair of fourth down stops to hold off the Highland Rams and come away with a 27-14 win in the first round of the 4A State football tournament.
“It was physical,” Sky View head coach Craig Anhder said. “I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Highland. They’re a strong team. They’ve got a good running game, they’re coached well and they’re a good team. I’m just proud of the way our kids kept battling. They took a couple of shots in the chin … in the second half.”
Quarterback Braxton Godderidge found wide receiver Justin Evans for a 7-0 lead, and after forcing Highland to go 3-and-out on it’s first drive, hit Logan Miller for a 40-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
The Bobcats added a field goal to lead 17-0 at halftime, but it didn’t take long for the Rams to storm back.
Highland got its run game rolling, and back-to-back drives ended with touchdowns and suddenly it was 17-14. Godderidge tossed an interception that led to the Rams’ second touchdown, but the Bobcats weren’t about to roll over.
The Rams rushed for more than 100 yards in the third quarter after only having 83 in the first half, but a crazy sequence of events turned the tide.
The Bobcats lost safety Logan Miller to injury at the end of the third quarter on a third down play, but Sky View’s defense stepped up in his absence to turn Highland away on fourth down.
Godderidge tossed his second interception of the game on the ensuing play, but four plays later the Bobcats held again on fourth down to take over at midfield, and this time, they made it count.
A pair of long runs from running back Dane Anderson took Sky View to Highland’s 8-yard-line and Godderidge capped the drive with a touchdown pass for a 24-14 lead with eight minutes left. From there the Bobcats were able to run the clock and keep the Rams’ passing game in check.
“They’re a field position team, the first half we nailed the field position battle,” Anhder said. “We scored and then pinned them deep so they had a long field to work with and we were able to shut them out because of that. In the second half we gave them good field position and they were able to march it down because of that. … It changed the game there.”
Sky View improved to 9-2 overall this season, and advanced to face Timpview in the second round of the state tournament on Friday, Nov. 8. It will be a rematch of the first week of the season when Timpview held off the Bobcats 34-28.