UNIVERSITY PLACE — Yes folks, the 4A Greater St. Helens League in Southwest Washington boasts a ton of quality football programs.
Just ask anybody who has faced top-ranked Camas, which hasn’t had a close game this season.
Just ask those who have played 4A GSHL runner-up Union, which has only really been handled by Camas.
And just ask the sixth-ranked Curtis High School football team about third-place Skyview, which laid down a pointed message with a convincing 38-10 victory over the Vikings in University Place on Friday night.
The 4A GSHL made it a clean sweep in the district round, and will send all three of its teams to the Class 4A state playoffs. Curtis, which had won seven games in a row as the South Puget Sound League South Division runner-up, was eliminated from the postseason.
“We didn’t take them lightly at all,” Curtis coach Clay Angle said. “We knew with their record (5-4) … two of their losses were to Union and Camas. We didn’t look at their record. We thought they were a pretty good team.”
The Storm had the ideal tonic against the Vikings’ relentless blitzing defense — set up shifty receiver Jacob Dennis on quick screen passes in the flat. And the senior was magnificent with 10 receptions for a career-high 200 yards, often breaking off long-gainers.
Skyview went 75 yards on its first drive, capped by Zac Shomler’s 1-yard touchdown plunge on fourth-and-goal to grab a 7-3 lead with 3:23 to go in the first quarter.
The Vikings moved the ball fairly well early on, only to stall in the red zone. They settled for Mason Mahoney’s 21-yard field goal, and drove to the Storm 3 on their next march.
But on third down, they missed on a pass to Mitchell Hersey. And on fourth-and-goal, Donnell Diego was stopped for a 1-yard gain on a sweep play.
Skyview then went 98 yards in 11 plays, highlighted by Shomler’s 32-yard pass to Dennis down the right sideline. And Josh Seynaeve’s 11-yard scoring scamper gave the Storm a 14-3 advantage with 7:32 remaining before halftime.
“We executed well,” Skyview coach Steve Kizer said. “I was real proud of the way we got off the bus and was able to do this.”
Skyview grabbed a 21-3 lead at the 3:54 mark on Michael Knox’s 33-yard touchdown run, and suddenly the game was well on its way getting out of hand.
“Our league is good — very good,” Dennis said. “Kingco is obviously a very good league. But you can make the argument the GSHL is (the best) because we have great coaching, from top to bottom.
“A lot of us in Vancouver schools, we get overlooked in Seattle because they have a lot of great athletes. We are trying to prove we can come out and play with anybody.”
Skyview ran Knox on 17 of its first 29 second-half plays to control the clock, although Dennis did catch a 41-yard touchdown pass on a middle screen in the third quarter. Knox finished with 147 yards on 28 carries with a pair of touchdowns.
The Vikings’ lone touchdown came on quarterback Scott Wismer’s 1-yard sneak midway through the third quarter.
SKYVIEW 38, CURTIS 10
Skyview 7 14 10 7–38
Curtis 3 0 7 0–10
C — Mason Mahoney 21 FG
S — Zac Shomler 1 run (Braden Hadfield kick)
S — Josh Seynaeve 11 run (Hadfield kick)
S — Michael Knox 33 run (Hadfield kick)
S — Hadfield 28 FG
C — Scott Wismer 1 run (Mahoney kick)
S — Jacob Dennis 41 pass from Shomler (Hadfield kick)
S — Knox 15 run (Hadfield kick)