BATTLE GROUND — The Skyview Storm made it look easy Friday night, and now it’s pretty easy to figure out the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League.
Skyview’s Jordan Berni threw for four touchdowns and ran for another, and the Storm rolled to a 42-7 victory over Battle Ground at District Stadium.
The win sets up Skyview for a Week 9 showdown with Union for second place in the league and a home playoff game in Week 10. The loser will finish third and open the playoffs on the road.
Camas clinched the No. 1 seed Friday night with its win over Heritage.
The Storm (6-2, 3-1 GSHL) made sure they did what they had to do with a near-perfect second quarter, pushing a seven-point lead to 28 by the half. The Storm scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter, making it a running clock to close out the contest.
“Every game is a battle for us,” Berni said. “We treat every game like it’s a playoff game.”
With that mentality, the Storm held Battle Ground (5-3, 1-3) to 71 yards of offense in the decisive first half.
The defense gave the offense plenty of opportunities to score, and the Storm capitalized.
Berni had touchdown passes of 45 and 21 yards to Daniel Thompson, and another for 20 yards to Spencer Miles, in the first half. He finished the game 11 for 13 for 206 yards and his four scoring tosses.
“It was the whole team,” Berni said. “Our whole offensive line did good, and I couldn’t have done it without the receivers.”
The Storm ended the competitive phase of the game with two touchdowns in 58 seconds just before the half.
Thompson’s big game — three catches, 111 yards — was a shout-out to anybody in the rest of the state who thought the Storm were finished this season. Thompson said he and his teammates took exception to a Puget Sound area newspaper’s prediction that Battle Ground was going to win this game.
Skyview, after all, played in the 4A state championship game a year ago, but the Storm think people have forgotten about them.
“We wanted to earn our respect back up north,” Thompson said. “We all got ticked off. It motivated us. We just want to get our respect back.”
Battle Ground was playing without starting quarterback Ian Humphrey, serving a suspension for his ejection last week during a controversial ending against Heritage. Kevin Haynes, the region’s leading rusher, moved over to quarterback, serving most of the game in a Wildcat-style offense.
“We are always prepared for the Wildcat, but we didn’t think they were going to do it the whole game pretty much,” Skyview defensive lineman Grant Vargo said. “But that first play they came out, we were ready.”
Defensive backs Gage Stumpf and Kyle Ponciano each had tackles-for-loss in the first quarter.
“It was great to shut them out, mostly. They’ve been running the ball well all year,” Stumpf said.
Skyview coach Steve Kizer was pleased with the performance, but he said his defensive players will be feeling this game all weekend.
Haynes finished with 85 yards on 23 carries, and it took a host of Storm to bring him down on many plays.
“He was forced to do a lot of stuff, taking over the offense like that,” Kizer said of Haynes. “He might be sore, but we’re sore from tackling that big guy.”
Next for Skyview is rival Union. Unlike the past two years, this game is not for a league championship. But there is a lot on the line.
“Union is a great team, but our coaches are really good,” Thompson said. “I believe in our coaches. We’re going to come after them.”
Kizer said this Week 8 performance will bring confidence going into the Week 9 contest.
“We’re getting better, and we need to be because we have Union,” Kizer said.
SKYVIEW 42, BATTLE GROUND 7
Skyview 7 21 14 0-42
Battle Ground 0 0 0 7-7
Sky – Daniel Thompson 45 pass from Jordan Berni (Carter Johnson kick)
Sky – Spencer Miles 20 pass from Berni (Johnson kick)
Sky – Jabari Marshall 23 run (Johnson kick)
Sky – Thompson 21 pass from Berni (Johnson kick)
Sky – Kalvin Johnson 26 pass Berni (Johnson kick)
Sky – Berni 3 run (Johnson kick)
BG – Jake Sachen 11 pass from Nic Manuel (Cole Hess kick)
RUSHING – Skyview: Marshall 10-63, Kalvin Johnson 6-39, Miles 1-0, Xavier Norman 1-2, Austin Davis 2-(-5), Berni 2-8, J.J. Richardson 1-1, Kyle Oman 1-3. Battle Ground: Kevin Haynes 23-85, Trevor Ingram 13-61, Blake Billingsley 3-17, Justin Smalley 3-(-2), Manuel 2-(-8), Brandon Paprska 1-5.
PASSING – Skyview: Berni 11-13-1-206, Mavericq Yamaguchi 1-1-0-1. Battle Ground: Nic Manuel 5-7-0-52, Haynes 0-6-2-0.
RECEIVING – Skyview: Thompson 3-111, Miles 2-30, Davis 1-1, Marshall 1-15, Anthony Chamberlain 1-19, Kyle Ponciano 1-7, Johnson 2-23. Battle Ground: Jake Sachen 5-52.