Coming off back-to-back losses, Skyview needed a pick-me-up before preparing for a playoff push in the Greater St. Helens 4A League.
The Storm got just what they needed Friday night at Chieftain Stadium — a 49-16 victory over archrival Columbia River.
It may have been only a non-league game, but everything about this game screamed must-win for the Storm (5-2, 2-2).
“Losing to Mountain View like we did was really hard on us,” said senior Blake Ingram, referring to the previous week’s last-minute loss to the Thunder. “The coaches said they could see in our eyes how sad and disappointed we were after that game. Tonight was redemption for us. This is such a huge rivalry game. This means so much to Skyview, but not just for us as a team, but for our whole community around us. It’s such a big deal.”
Ingram ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns and also had a team-high seven tackles at linebacker, while Brody Barnum threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns, two going to Jeremiah Wright (nine catches for 135 yards).
All three Barnum touchdown passes were part of a Storm blitzkrieg over a 5 1/2 -minute stretch that spanned halftime, during which Skyview scored four times to blow open what was a 14-6 game.
“A lot of guys stepped up,” Ingram said. “We just got going downhill, making plays, and we kept pushing.”
Barnum’s first scoring pass, a 30-yarder to Tavis Chunphakvenn-Pinkney with 3:49 left before halftime, gave Skyview a 21-6 lead.
On the first play after the kickoff, Chyrius Duckett forced a River fumble that Ryan Matyniak recovered. Three plays later, Barnum faked a flat pass that freed Wright down the right sideline for a 32-yard score.
“We were playing pretty good defense until then, but that fumble took the air out of us,” said River coach John O’Rourke.
Skyview then forced a quick three-and-out, leaving it 1:49 to move 67 yards. The Storm were helped by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after River held on third down. Ingram made the Chieftains pay three plays later, racing off right tackle for a 4-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left in the half.
Finally, the Storm took the second-half kickoff and needed only three plays and 65 seconds to put the game away. Barnum hit Wright on a 38-yard scoring pass, and Skyview was comfortably ahead, 42-6.
“We got rolling right before the half,” said Skyview coach Steve Kizer. “The difference in our teams is not as much as the scoreboard shows. That score right before halftime, that was a huge momentum swing. We just had some good things happen for us, and we fed off that.”
The Storm forced three turnovers, sacked River quarterback Garrett McKee twice and made eight other tackles for loss over the first three quarters before the reserves took over.
“We needed an uplifiting (win) to get a boost for a playoff run,” said Wright, whose team takes on Evergreen and Union to finish GSHL 4A play, needing wins in both to stay in contention. “After what happened last week, we didn’t want to lose another one.”
While Skyview hopes Friday’s win propels them to an 11th consecutive playoff appearance, River knows its season also comes down to the final two weeks, when it finishes with 3A GSHL rivals Prairie and Kelso.
Wins in their final two games would give the Chieftains (3-4, 1-0) a second league title in a row, a fourth consecutive playoff berth and a home first-round game.
“We have to face Prairie on a Thursday night, so it’s a short week, preparation-wise,” O’Rourke said. “We just need to eliminate some of those key mistakes.”
SKYVIEW 49, COLUMBIA RIVER 16
Skyview 14 21 7 7—49
Col. River 0 6 0 10—16
S—Dyvon Green 10 run (Braden Hadfield kick)
S—Blake Ingram 3 run (Hadfield kick)
CR—Blake Duhamel 24 pass from Garrett McKee (kick failed)
S—Tavis Chunphakvenn-Pinkney 30 pass from Brody Barnum (Hadfield kick)
S—Jeremiah Wright 32 pass from Barnum (Hadfield kick)
S—Ingram 4 run (Hadfield kick)
S—Wright 38 pass from Barnum (Hadfield kick)
CR—FG McKee 27
S—Green 21 run (Hadfield kick)
CR—Ray Clark 20 pass from Anthony Jenkins (Austin Carter kick)
RUSHING—S, Ingram 18-120, James Millspaugh 3-24, Green 2-31, Chunphakvenn-Pinkney 2-44, Barnum 3-(minus-23), Hayden Froeber 1-11, team 1-(minus-2). CR, Ryder Waite 14-58, McKee 10-24, Hunter Pearson 9-22, Jenkins 6-18, Duhamel 1-1.
PASSING—S, Barnum 17-27-0-278. CR, McKee 13-22-2-145, Jenkins 4-4-0-37.
RECEIVING—S, Wright 9-135, Skyler Martin 3-24, Chunphakvenn-Pinkney 2-47, Ingram 1-37, Travis Yajko 1-27, Millspaugh 1-8. CR, Dakota Mason 5-58, Duhamel 3-58, Alex McGarry 4-30, Clark 2-19, Daxton Reid 1-6, Koben Jamison 1-(minus 1), Shane McCarroll 1-12.