At the beginning of the season the Sky View Bobcat football team was picked to finish last in the region. Against all odds and as the underdogs in most every game this season the Bobcats battled to a second place tie in the region. Friday night this Band of Brothers came together and battled for four quarters, and when the final buzzer blared they were on the losing end of the score, but never gave up, they fought to the end.
It didn’t take long for Skyline to show why they were favored to be the winners on Friday. With just three plays from scrimmage, Chris Williams took a handoff from 36 yards out and sprinted past the Sky View defense and into the end zone to put the first points on the board.
Sky View in typical Bobcat fashion refused to roll over and put together a very good drive of their own. A few minutes later Nick Carver punched in a 7 yard touchdown, on a quarterback keeper, to polish off a drive where the Bobcats seemed very capable of moving the ball against the Eagles. Josh Egbert’s extra point tied the game up at 7-a-piece, which is how the first quarter would end.
With 9:14 in the second quarter Sky View drove the ball down to the 3 yard line and Carver hit his favorite target, in this game, when he found Corey Jensen for a touchdown strike. The Bobcats would enjoy their first and only lead of the game for a short period as the scoreboard read 14-to-7.
A couple minutes later Skyline moved the ball deep into Sky View territory and a 2 yard quarterback keeper tied the game up at 14. Skyline scored again with 5:28 in the second on a Zach Williams to Patrick Nielson 8 yard pass.
At the end of the second quarter Sky View began a drive that had the ball moving but came to an abrupt end when Carver’s pass was intercepted. A William’s 9 yard touchdown run capped off that drive and sent the Cats to the locker room down 14-to-28.
Head Coach Craig Anhder said, “I thought there were four things that just really took the wind out of our sails. It’s amazing how those four things can have such a big impact on the game. Two of them were the kick returns, one was that pick, and the other one was they were in a 4th-and-7 going for a field goal and we jumped off sides. All of those turned into scores that didn’t have to be scores. Unfortunately you hate to see that happen in a game, but it did happen and we didn’t overcome them.”
The second half belonged mostly to the Eagles as they would put up three more scores, but the Bobcats struck first on a 23 yard field goal by Josh Egbert. The ensuing kickoff was taken by Michael Binford on the 1 yard line and then he proceeded to wind his way 99 yards for a touchdown.
The next Skyline scoring drive ended when Dylan Daugherty sprinted 80 yards for a touchdown.
Down but not out Sky View put together another scoring drive late in the 3rd quarter when Carver hooked up with Jensen for a 27 yard touchdown pass. The 3rd quarter ended with a score of 24-to-42 in favor of the Eagles.
Of battling back and putting together another scoring drive when the game seemed to be out of hand Anhder said, “You know I’ve said all year that I think these kids have great character. I’ve really enjoyed coaching them. They’re fine young men, they’ve shown great effort all year, and because of that it’s been fun to coach them. So I knew they weren’t going to quit. In fact even the very last play they wanted to try one more thing, they didn’t want to stop playing football. So they tried one more thing and it didn’t work out well, but that is just a testament to who they are and what kind of men they are becoming.”
When asked about being the favorite target in Friday’s game Corey Jensen said, “I don’t even care how I played today to be honest with you, it’s just ‘Band of Brothers,’ these guys are my brothers for life.”
Of the season Jensen said, “We worked so hard . . . all the Bobcat majors in the summer, we’ve worked so hard and we haven’t given up. We came together, all the hard work, you have to kind of come together, when we faced adversity we just came together.” Jensen’s post high school plans include some college work on general education requirements before he’ll head off on an LDS mission.
Skyline had one more score in them with 7:18 in the 4th quarter Maurice Mapps scored on a touchdown run from 12 yards out. As the clocked ticked down to zero the final score would read 24-to-49, bringing the Bobcats season to a close.
Defensive big man Tre Hansen had a big game and a great season speaking of his year and season Hansen said, “I couldn’t have done it without my defense, they made it possible for me, they helped me out a ton. Comparing to last year our defense has stepped up a ton, our defensive coaches are amazing, we couldn’t have done it without them.” Hansen has had a scholarship offer to play some college football at Snow College.
The Bobcats picked up 19 first downs in the game, amassing 309 yards of offense. They struggled to contain the running game of Skyline that put up 337 yards rushing but grounded the Eagles, by holding them to 76 yards passing. Sky View racked up 129 yards on the ground and added another 180 yards in the air.
Jensen led the way in receiving with 10 catches for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the ground Alex Watts carried the ball 16 times for 77 yards.
Corbin Lee picked up a big interception in the game.
Not many would have picked the Bobcats to see any post season play this year. They went into most games as underdogs, and for the most part were undersized and possibly over matched. In most games the offensive and defensive lines were smaller than their counterparts. The cornerbacks were often a head shorter than the receivers they were asked to cover. By all accounts the Bobcats probably should not have won many of their games this year.
Anhder said, “Athleticism makes a difference and size is a part of that. Some of those teams had bigger, stronger athletes than what we had, and those aren’t things that we can change. Those are just things that they were blessed with . . . our kids never gave up. It didn’t matter if someone was bigger or smaller than them, they just played as hard as they could and we beat some teams that were bigger and stronger than us. We didn’t get it done on Friday night, but I’m not disappointed in our kids because of that, they did their very best.”
As both a reporter and a father of a senior player please indulge me as I offer my opinion of the way this season has gone.
Throughout this season someone forgot to tell the Bobcats that they weren’t the best team on the field each week. What they lacked in size they made up for with talent and most importantly heart. They fought their way through insurmountable odds and came out victorious in five of their pre and regular season games. They were picked to finish last in the region, yet battled to a second place tie. Our hearts broke with theirs when they lost a close game, that they seemed in charge of, when they faced off against valley rivals Mountain Crest. We were as thrilled as they were when they handed 4A powerhouse Olympus their only loss of the regular season.
Dictionary.com defines Synergism as “The interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual contributions.” This year’s team proved that definition to be true.
I had the distinct pleasure of helping coach many members of this year’s senior class when they were in little league. They have shared a bond on and off the field for many years. Their accomplishments may not go down as the best season in the history of Sky View football. However, coming off a disappointing season last year, the way this team rallied and pulled together was refreshing and rewarding for those that played and those that watched.
The Bobcats have a mantra that they follow, and this year I think they brought back renewed meaning to their pre-game chant of “Band of Brothers.” As the curtain falls on this season I believe that this group of young men will forever remember the words, “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, For he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.”
To the senior class and the rest of this year’s team we all say, thanks for the memories.