For the second week in a row the Sky View Bobcats have an impressive first half against an in-state 5-A powerhouse. Unfortunately injuries and the first four minutes of the third quarter proved to be the Bobcats undoing in a 45-17 route.
Maybe a sign of how the night would turn out for the Bobcats the game was postponed and the stands were emptied for about forty five minutes, as the indicator lights on top of the Sky View High School Gym flashed red, warning that the lightning strikes around the valley were a bit too close for comfort.
When the game resumed and Sky View’s first drive stalled the Bobcats were forced to punt the ball back to the Colts. With 8:33 left on the clock in the first quarter a three yard run by Cottonwood’s Nadan Hosea and a Riley Harper extra point results in the first score of the game putting the Colts up 7-0.
With 5:33 in the first quarter two Bobcat seniors hooked up for a twenty yard pass as quarterback Gabe Anderson tossed the ball to Jordan Hill who rumbled to the end zone. Junior, Josh Egbert extended his string of extra points and tied the score at 7.
A strong defensive stand that included a sack of Cottonwood quarterback Cooper Bateman returned the ball to the Bobcats. A good Sky View drive resulted in an Egbert eighteen yard field goal that would give the Bobcat’s their only lead of the game 10-7.
With just fourteen seconds left on the clock in the first quarter Naden Hosea would grind his way to pay dirt and the second Harper extra point put Cottonwood back on top 14-10.
With 8:21 to go in the second quarter it looked like Sky View had a shot to take back the lead when they went for it on fourth and three, but great defense by the Colt’s left Gabe Anderson with nowhere to dump the ball and he was brought down in the back field sending the ball back to the Colts. With a little more than three minutes left in the second quarter and facing third down and twenty two yards to go, Gabe Anderson left the game with an injured hand and junior quarterback Jason Oliverson came on in relief. Oliverson unloaded a deep pass that missed its mark and forced a Sky View punt. Another strong defensive stand by the Bobcats would force the Colts to turn the ball over on downs. Neither Cottonwood nor Sky View would find the end zone in the second quarter and a well played, hard fought first half found the teams headed into the locker room with Cottonwood up by 4.
The Sky View Bobcats who battled their way through a great first half would probably give anything if they could erase the first four minutes of the second half. The second half opened with a scare as Cottonwood returned the opening kickoff back to about the Sky View four yard line. With less than a minute off the clock and one play after the huge return Cottonwood would score for the first time in the second half as Nadan Hosea added his third touchdown on a four yard run. Harper’s third extra point put the Colts up 21-10.
Gabe Anderson who left the game with an injury to his hand at the end of the first half was back at the helm to test the hand in the third quarter. It was a test that would prove costly as his opening pass was intercepted and returned by the Colts Anthony Lewis twenty two yards for a quick second score with 11:02 on the clock. Harper’s fourth point after touchdown (PAT) extended Cottonwood’s lead 28-10.
Gabe Anderson came back for a second go, and on the next possession on a quarterback keeper he lost his grip on the ball and the fumble was scooped up by Cottonwood. A nineteen yard Bateman to Inoke Lotueluel pass would add the third touchdown with just over two minutes off the clock and the fifth Harper extra point had the Colts sitting in the driver seat at 35-10.
Gabe Anderson returned to action and on another keeper put the ball on the ground again, but was ruled down by contact. Another injury to his throwing hand would send Anderson to the side lines for the rest of the game.
Sky View dodged a bullet that would have given the Colts a fourth score within three minutes when Oliverson’s wayward pass was picked off and returned for six points. However, a penalty would keep the Colts from scoring on the play. The penalty would push the Colts back but not cost them possession of the ball, and shortly after Bateman would find Robert Beveridge for a thirty three yard catch and run for the fourth score in four minutes and three seconds. With 7:57 left on the clock in the third quarter, Harpers sixth PAT stretched the Cottonwood lead to 42-10.
A Sky View drive would stall and offsetting penalties would force the Bobcats to re-kick on fourth down. On the previous play Senior, Jordon Nielson’s huge kick pushed the Colts back across the fifty and into their territory. However that play was negated on the re-kick when a hit by Cottonwood, before Nielsen could get the ball off, forced a fumble that the Colts recovered on the twenty five yard line. Sky View’s defense came up big and forced Colts a field goal attempt that sailed just left of the uprights and would give Harper his only miss of the night. After opening up the third quarter on a scoring frenzy the Colts were shutout in the rest of the third quarter and a good portion of the forth by a rejuvenated Sky View defense.
Sky View’s impressive defensive would hold Cottowood scoreless until with 3:49 left in the fourth quarter the Colts settled for a field goal. Beveridge added their final three points in the game on the forty yard attempt making the score 45-10.
Similar to the finish in last week’s game Sky View refused to give up. Using their third quarterback of the night the Bobcats sent in sophomore Nicholas Carver to take over in the fourth quarter. Carver would take over the offense in relief of Jason Oliverson who had many of his passes miss their mark, while he also struggled with exchanges with his running backs. The junior that was asked to come into a difficult situation couldn’t seem to get things going in the air or on the ground. Coming off the bench Carver and crew, including some impressive runs by sophomore, Skyler Hunt, methodically moved the ball down the field until with seconds left on the clock Carver’s eighteen yard pass found its mark. Junior, Konnor Christensen would leap up over a defender and eventually haul in a pass that first bounced off his hands and then ricocheted off his face-mask before he scooped it up just as he landed in the end zone.
The injury bug has hit the Bobcats hard this year, and the Cottonwood game added to an already long list of injuries. In addition to the injury to quarterback Gabe Anderson, the Bobcats injuries included the grand slam duo of Jaren “Biscuit” Balls (Senior Defensive Lineman) with a shoulder injury, and Colby “Gravy” Villanueva (Senior-Defensive Lineman) also with a shoulder injury. Also knocked out of the game were starters; Jens Jorgensen(Senior-Running Back) elbow injury, Offensive Captain Jordan Hill (Senior-Wide Receiver) concussion, Brady Martin (Senior-Wide Receiver) elbow injury. Other players that did not suit up due to prior injuries were Zach Allen (Junior-Wide Receiver) concussion, Blake McKinnley (Senior Wide Receiver) foot injury, Defensive Captain Garyn Bennett (Senior Defensive Lineman) elbow, Riley Anderson (Senior Defensive Lineman) broken collar bone.
Frustrated Sky View Head Coach Craig Anhder, who hasn’t seen a Sky View team implode like what happened in the third quarter, will wait to hear from the medical staff before commenting on the injuries and who would and wouldn’t play in next week’s game against Jordan High School. Coach Anhder expressed praise for a defense that was put in some very bad positions and still found a way to stop many Cottonwood drives forcing them to punt or settle for field goal attempts. Commenting on the kids that came off the bench after all the injuries Anhder said, “There was a point there where our quarterback, tailback, and receivers were all second stringers with some starters on the O-line, and we were still moving the ball and that’s impressive. That is a compliment to our O-line and to some of those kids stepping up. But once again we let some turnovers get the best of us and some mistakes get the best of us. It was nice to let some of those kids get in, and let some of those younger kids get some very valuable experience. I was really proud of how they finished the game.”
Gabe Anderson finished the night eight of eighteen for 130 yards, one interception, and one touchdown. In relief were Jason Oliverson zero for four, and one interception, and Nick Carver two for eight for thirty yards and one touchdown. For the second week in a row Anderson lead the team in rushing yards carrying the ball thirteen times for seventy three of the Bobcats 149 yards on the ground.
Nathan Hosea carried the ball fourteen times and racked up 127 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Colts.
The field was littered with flags for much of the night as Sky View was penalized six times for fifty one yards. The “hanky” dropped on Cottonwood seventeen times, nine of which were personal fouls that went for fifteen yards each except for one that was an offsetting penalty. Penalties cost the Colts a total of 185 yards on the night.
The Bobcats cats will take a banged up team to face their third instate 5-A powerhouse in as many weeks when they travel to Sandy to face the Beetdiggers of Jordan High School next Friday, September 3rd. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.