TACOMA — For the first time, a Skyview Storm is in the football forecast for December.
Skyview threw over and ran through the Lake Stevens defense Saturday night at the Tacoma Dome, completing a 38-14 victory over the Vikings in a Class 4A state semifinal game.
The Storm (11-2) will take on Skyline of Sammamish in the championship game, next Saturday night in the Tacoma Dome. Skyline (10-3) defeated Woodinville 26-21 in an earlier semifinal.
The battle of the Sky squads will feature a traditional power vs. a newcomer to December football. Skyline has played in the last three 4A titles games, winning in 2008 and 2009. Skyline also won the 2007 Class 3A championship.
The Storm will be making their first title game appearance.
“Teams to remember play in December,” Skyview coach Steve Kizer said.
The Storm broke through with quarterback Kieran McDonagh on target for most of the night with his passing touch. He also did damage with his legs and body, crushing the Lake Stevens defense with powerful running plays.
McDonagh finished 22 of 31 for 339 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 65 yards rushing with two more touchdowns.
Forrest Russell had 10 catches for 144 yards and a TD.
“I didn’t even notice,” McDonagh said of his big statistical night. “I was just throwing the ball around. Pitch and catch.”
“That’s what he does,” Russell said. “And he does it real well. He finds the open man, no matter who it is. That’s what he does.”
McDonagh appreciated the respect, but he has more for his teammates.
“The guys in front of me, and my receivers, they make it easy for me,” he said.
Parker Henry, keyed by the Lake Stevens defenders all night, still had 77 yards and a touchdown.
While the offense was clicking, the Skyview defense was devastating to Lake Stevens’ plans.
Riley Bockmeier and Cody Eldridge had back-to-back sacks in the first half. In the second half, Bockmeier got another sack and on the next play recovered a fumble that was forced when Willie Lopez sacked the Vikings quarterback Jake Nelson. Hayden Schuh and Xavier Miles also combined on a sack.
Yeah, it was that kind of night for the Storm.
When the pass rushers weren’t getting pressure, Jabari Marshall was making tackle after tackle for minimal gains in the passing game. Mo Morrison was knocking down passes deep. David Garlington and Kyle Ponciano were making open-field tackles to stop potential long gains. Garlington also had two second-half interceptions.
“This is our dream, man,” Bockmeier said. “We’ve been working in the weight room since freshman year. We all said we were going to get here. I can’t believe it’s here.”
Kizer gave credit to an assistant for slowing down the Lake Stevens offense.
“Coach (Julian) Williams did an awesome job,” Kizer said, referring to the team’s defensive coordinator. “We bent a little bit. We knew they would complete some passes. We didn’t want to give them anything big, and we didn’t.”
The first half featured three touchdowns off of turnovers.
Skyview got a 1-yard touchdown run from Henry after the Vikings fumbled on the first play from scrimmage.
On the first play of the second quarter, Reiley Henderson caught a 7-yard TD pass from McDonagh, cashing in on another Lake Stevens fumble.
McDonagh would add a 26-yard touchdown run up the middle and through the defense for a 21-0 lead.
The Storm were on their way to the end zone again for another score, but they fumbled. Lake Stevens converted a few minutes later, a 14-yard touchdown pass from Nelson to Brady Pahukoa with 10 seconds left in the half.
That gave the Vikings some momentum at the break.
However, the momentum did not carry over in the second half.
The Storm went 73 yards on 10 plays to open the third quarter, with McDonagh cashing in from a yard out to make it 28-7.
After forcing a punt, the Storm quickly made it 35-7 on a 16-yard pass from McDonagh to Russell.
“You know what? No words can explain it,” Russell said. “When big plays are needed, you just come out and play and just have fun.”
Lake Stevens would get a TD midway through the fourth quarter. But by then, it was too late for the Vikings.
Schuh capped the scoring for the Storm with a 31-yard field goal with 3:40 remaining in the game.
The rest of the night was a celebration for the Storm, who are making December plans for the first time in the program’s history.
“Most people don’t even know who Skyview is,” offensive lineman Jonah Koreski said. “Everybody’s always writing our name wrong.”
Interestingly, a lot of people, when they see the Skyview S, ask if Skyview players are from Skyline.
The two teams will be playing for the championship next week.
“Ridiculous,” McDonagh said. “I always say ‘ridiculous,’ but it’s the only was to describe it. We talked about if we could make it happen. We made it happen tonight.”
SKYVIEW 38, LAKE STEVENS 14
Skyview 7 14 14 3—38
Lake Stevens 0 7 0 7—14
Sky — Parker Henry 1 run (Hayden Schuh kick)
Sky — Reiley Henderson 7 pass from Kieran McDonagh (Schuh kick)
Sky — McDonagh 26 run (Schuh kick)
LS — Brady Pahukoa 14 pass from Jake Nelson (Tanner Sellers kick)
Sky — McDonagh 1 run (Schuh kick)
Sky — Forrest Russell 16 pass from McDonagh (Schuh kick)
LS — Christian Gasca 9 pass from Nelson (Sellers kick)
Sky — Schuh 31 FG
RUSHING — Skyview: Henry 19-77, McDonagh 9-65, Jabari Marshall 1-2, C.J. Vernon 2-(-3). Lake Stevens: Nelson 16-37, Shae Giddens 6-23, Gasca 1-8, Brad Barry 1-4.
PASSING — Skyview: McDonagh 22-31-1-339. Lake Stevens: Nelson 26-41-2-224.
RECEIVING — Skyview: Russell 10-144, Mo Morrison 2-84, Henderson 5-60, Schuh 1-21, Gabe Manske 1-14, Spencer Miles 2-9, Henry 1-7. Lake Stevens: Gasca 8-97, Pahukoa 9-74, Giddens 7-32, Quincy Carroll 2-21.