Friday, September 18, 2020
Sept. 18, 2020

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On Further Review: Skyview makes statement in league-opening victory

Storm ‘ready for anybody,’ play Union next


Skyview believed entering the season that it was no second fiddle to Union and Camas in the 4A Greater St. Helens League. The Storm went a long way to proving that on Friday in a 63-14 victory over Battle Ground.

The Storm took a 49-0 lead before the Tigers got on the board in the first half in a game that featured a running clock the entire second half.

It’s exactly the way the Storm wanted to begin league play.

“We’re ready for anybody,” said senior running back Jalynnee McGee, who had three touchdowns on five carries.

Added junior Xavier Owens: “They better watch out because we’re coming for them this year.”

And the Storm (4-1 overall, 1-0 league) are coming quickly, as Union is next on the docket in Week 6. That game is set for 7 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium.

The good news for the Storm is that its starters are plenty rested, after only playing 14 minutes in the victory over Battle Ground. Coach Steve Kizer was pleased to see the team got out healthy in advance of the huge meeting with the Titans. Union had to play Saturday against Puyallup.

“We’re 1-0 in league and that’s all we can be,” Kizer said. “We’ve got Union next and that will be a tough test. It’s still early for us.”

Relief comes late for Prairie

At no point Friday did the Prairie Falcons believe their lead was safe.

Especially against a well-coach Kelso team.

Prairie scored on four of six first-half drives. Yet in the midst of Kelso pulling within 30-22, the Falcons’ second-half drives consisted of a turnover on downs, punt, and a turnover before one long play gave the Falcons breathing room.

On a second-and-20 in its own territory, Prairie’s AJ Dixson ran 57 yards along the outside for the touchdown that pushed Prairie’s lead back to two scores with 3 minutes, 24 seconds remaining.

For Dustin Shelby, who had 140 yards on 11 carries Friday, felt the biggest sigh of relief watching Dixson sprint to the end zone.

“When I saw him run down the sideline,” Shelby said, “it was instant relief. Like I was on vacation.”

In five games, Prairie’s offense is averaging 44 points a game.

Run, rinse, repeat

In the fourth quarter of Ridgefield’s 24-21 win, officials walked off a 15-yard penalty against Washougal’s defense.

Someone in the Fishback Stadium press box joked: “Hunter Abrams is happy because he doesn’t have to run for that yardage.”

If Ridgefield’s game plan seemed repetitive, it’s because Abrams just kept pounding and pounding. Of Ridgefield’s 55 offensive plays, Abrams carried the ball on 39 of them, all runs up the middle.

Was that unusual? Not really.

Of Ridgefield’s 259 offensive plays this season, 120 (47 percent) have been runs by Abrams. His 188 yards Friday give him 693 through five games, along with eight touchdowns.

Abrams, of course, gave credit to his offensive line.

“I knew my guys would open a hole,” Abrams said. “I had to hit it and do what I could. Those guys killed it tonight. Shoutout to my line. Those guys work as hard as I do.”

La Center gets tested

After lopsided wins the past three weeks, La Center got a challenge to open Trico League play in a 38-21 win over King’s Way Christian on Friday.

“King’s Way did a great job,” La Center coach John Lambert said. “Their coaches had them prepared. They fought hard. They’re a lot better than they were last year, and they have some kids that can play. … They challenged us. There are things we want to do better. But it was good. We want that. We don’t want to blow through people and not improve because we’ll get more challenges down the road.”

The Wildcats came with wins over Woodland (35-6), Hoquiam (48-14) and Kalama (38-6).

But they had trouble putting the Knights away as La Center led 24-14 and 31-21 in the fourth quarter.

“We’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” Lambert said. “We were just far enough away (from them) to not feel comfortable, but be OK. And I don’t want our kids to panic anyway.”

La Center returns home next Friday to host Stevenson, which has posted back-to-back wins.