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Sunday, March 3, 2024
March 3, 2024

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Skyview clinches playoff berth with win over Battle Ground

Dennis catches three TDs, Shomler throws for five

By , Columbian Sports Editor
8 Photos
(Photo 1 of 8) Skyview's Dylan King (14) makes a run against Battle Ground during the first half Friday at Kiggins Bowl.
(Photo 1 of 8) Skyview's Dylan King (14) makes a run against Battle Ground during the first half Friday at Kiggins Bowl. Photo Gallery

Skyview saluted its 22 seniors on Friday. But its final regular season home game turned into a celebration of all classes.

Skyview needed its depth to outlast a pesky Battle Ground team 44-24 at Kiggins Bowl.

The win sets up a showdown next week with Union that will decide the No. 2 and No. 3 playoff berths from the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League.

The top star Friday was, of course, a senior. Jacob Dennis caught two of his three touchdowns in the second half. That let the Storm break open a game they led 21-14 at halftime.

“Jacob is the best football player I’ve ever played with,” quarterback Zac Shomler said. “He can do it all. He’s a great leader and a great playmaker. He makes me look good.”

A junior, Shomler made the Class of 2015 look plenty good Friday. He threw for five touchdowns and 302 yards, 124 of them to Dennis.

Two sophomores offered a vital, albeit not flashy, contribution. Beyden Heppler and Josh Seynaeve combined for 136 yards rushing for a team missing its leading rusher. Nate Arriola sat out Friday’s game with a hamstring injury.

“I wouldn’t have been in one-on-one coverage if we weren’t running the ball so well,” Dennis said. “Our line did a great job.”

“It’s a tribute to the total team effort,” Skyview coach Steve Kizer said. “We had a ton of injuries, but the next guy comes in and we don’t miss a beat.”

While Skyview (5-3, 3-1) celebrated clinching a playoff berth, Battle Ground has reason to be proud. The Tigers set a school record for most points in a season Friday, its total of 287 eclipsing the 284 points scored in 2003.

Quarterback Colston Vukanovich is a big reason Battle Ground ( 4-4, 2-2) has returned to relevancy. He showed why Friday with 258 yards passing and 79 yards rushing.

“A couple years ago against a Skyview or a Union, it wouldn’t have been nearly as close of a game,” said Vukanovich, a senior. “We’re really putting a face on who we want to be as a team.”

Though it had to dig deep on Friday, Skyview has kept its spot near the top of the GSHL. And the depth it showed Friday has the Storm hopeful they’ll stay there for years to come.

“It shows that tradition doesn’t graduate,” Dennis said.


Battle Ground – 0 14 10 0–24

Skyview – 7 14 17 6–44

First quarter

S – Kyle Oman 1 run (Braden Hadfield kick)

Second quarter

S – Jacob Dennis 12 pass from Zac Shomler (Hadfield kick)

BG – Chris Waters 90 kickoff return (Hayden Humphrey kick)

S – Noah Bonner 16 pass from Shomler (Hadfield kick)

BG – Justin Smalley 8 run (Humphrey kick)

Third quarter

S – Dennis 23 pass from Shomler (Hadfield kick)

S – FG Hadfield 39

BG – Colby Cahoon 66 pass from Colston Vukanovich (Humphrey kick)

S – Dylan King 63 pass from Shomler (Hadfield kick)

BG – FG Humphrey 31

Fourth quarter

Dennis 17 pass from Shomler (kick blocked)

Individual statistics

RUSHING – Battle Ground: Fry Jonsson-Cook 4-5, Vukanovich 17-79, Smalley 3-20, Parker Randle 1-6. Skyview: Oman 5-23, Beyden Heppler 12-64, Dennis, 1-40, King 2-20, Josh Seynaeve 11-72, Josh Emmy 5-44, Shomler 1-minus 5.

PASSING – Battle Ground: Vukanovich 15-26-258-1. Skyview: Shomler 16-27-302-5.

RECEIVING – Battle Ground: Cahoon 4-112, Kaiden Grotte 2-18, Smalley 3-30, Humphrey 2-8, Randle 3-76, Chris Waters 1-2. Skyview: Dennis 8-124, King 3-81, Bonner 3-75, Colton Johnson 1-14, Keaton Flores 1-8.