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High school football: Sky View outlasts Highland in 4A playoffs

November 4th, 2013 Posted in Sports

By Tavin Stucki

SMITHFIELD — Sky View withstood back-to-back touchdowns early in the second half to beat Highland 27-14 in the first round of the Utah 4A State Playoffs Friday afternoon.

“I think our kids just realized that we’re going to have to stop their run if we’re going to win this game,” said Sky View head coach Craig Anhder. “We had guys in the right position. That’s a good team, that’s a good O-line. Our biggest adjustment was that we needed to just buckle down and put our feet in the ground and be successful.”

Sky View senior quarterback Braxton Godderidge led the way for the Bobcats with 23 completions on 35 passing attempts for 229 yards and three touchdowns in the win, with eight carries for another 59 yards.

“This is big, we haven’t even had a home playoff game is seven years,” Godderidge said. “It’s big-time. We came together as teammates, as brothers and got it done this year.”

Godderidge got things rolling for Sky View with two touchdown passes early in the first quarter: The first came from 23 yards out to receiver Justin Evans to make it 7-0 with 8:57 in the first quarter, and the second was a 40-yarder to senior Logan Miller — who later left the game with an apparent broken bone — to double the score less than three minutes later.

“We came out that first half and looked pretty sluggish,” said Highland head coach Brody Benson. “I don’t know if we were thinking about the bus ride over here or what, but we were just kind of heavy-legged.”

After a 42-yard Sky View field goal as time expired to make it 17-0 at the half, Highland came out firing. Quarterback Jamahl Greer marched Highland downfield and finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run on the first of back-to-back scoring possessions as the Rams rammed the ball up the middle.

“I don’t know if they adjusted much,” Godderidge said. “The momentum was in their favor and we couldn’t get anything done. I wasn’t making throws.”

Godderidge threw an interception to junior defensive back Alassane Niang near midfield between the two Highland drives, leading to the second— a 12-yard pass from Greer to junior tight end Brandon Jones —  to make it 17-14 with 4:31 in the third quarter.

“I threw two big picks and that hurt us a lot,” Godderidge said. “That’s pathetic play by me. It’s tough as a quarterback, you’ve got to have a short memory. As a leader on this team, kids look up to me. If I’m down, everyone else is down too, so I’ve got to stay positive as best I can.”

The rams forced Sky View to go three-and-out on their next drive and intercepted another Godderidge pass at the 43-yard line.

“It’s funny how momentum can have such an impact on a game,” Anhder said. “In the second half, they came out, you have to give them credit. Their coach got them excited, had them ready to play football, and they played tough.”

But Highland couldn’t find the end zone again and Sky View forced a late fourth-quarter fumble to kill the Highland comeback hopes.

“That fumble recovery was huge,” Anhder said. “I think that was the nail in the coffin.”

Benson said Sky View’s offense gave Highland exactly what he expected them to. “As far as what they were doing and what they were giving us, it was what we’d been practicing all week, it was just the execution,” Benson said. “We challenged them at halftime to come out and run our stuff and do what we’ve practiced all week, and they responded well, I thought.”

Sky View kicker Zayden Clark had two field goals in the game, which ended 27-14.

The win brings Sky View to 9-2. The Bobcats advance to the second round of the 4A playoffs.


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