Just in case people weren’t paying attention to last week’s thumping, the Skyview Storm made an even bigger statement Friday. This one for the people in the back: The Storm are for real.
In a dominating effort over the ninth-ranked and defending state champion Union Titans, the Storm bullied their way to a 30-3 victory at McKenzie Stadium.
Skyview tallied 409 yards of offense, including 147 from bruising back Jalynnee McGee and 227 from Utah State quarterback commit Yaro Duvalko. The defense, after allowing a 52-yard pass play from CJ Jordan to Tobias Merriweather on the first play of the game, was stout. They allowed just 35 yards the rest of the first half and 161 total on the game.
“It just shows us that we’re one of the top teams around here in Clark County, and in the state,” Barnum said.
A complete effort if there ever was one, the Storm (5-1 overall, 2-0 league) had everything working in the 4A Greater St. Helens League matchup with serious implications. It sets up a Week 8 bout with Camas as a potential league-title decider.
“It’s Olympia right now,” Barnum said. “We’re on to Olympia, and we’re not going to look past it. Every game counts.”
For Union (3-3, 0-1), it was a frustrating night all around. After the electric start, the Titans had to settle for a field goal, a 26-yarder from Sonny Pitts. It was a 3-0 lead that quickly dissipated, turned the other way and then disappeared into the moonlit sky over McKenzie.
Union had just one drive last more than five plays, and that one ended with a fumble. It was five three-and-outs, two fumbles and a pair of interceptions that wrote the script for the Titans.
The Titans had just 51 yards rushing, including just 15 yards on five carries from lead back Isaiah Jones. Several dropped passes and penalties stymied the Titan attack, but it was the Storm’s concerted defensive effort up front most impactful.
“Coach (Steve) Kizer prepared us good all week to what all their looks had, we had a good scout plan and we just all played together tonight,” lineman Josiah Cochran said.
Skyview got interceptions from Cooper Barnum and Michael Stromberg. On offense, it was McGee with a pair of 2-yard touchdown runs, Ahmani Williams with a 5-yard touchdown catch from Duvalko, and Barnum with a 45-yard trick play touchdown pass to Gavin Baskette.
— The Storm’s opening drive was a memorable one. It took three plays to go 63 yards and it was capped by a highlight reel, wide-receiver pass. Jalynnee McGee took the handoff from Yaro Duvalko and flipped it to Cooper Barnum, who hit Gavin Baskette in the back of the end zone for the game’s first touchdown. It was a 45-yard score that put the Storm up 7-3.
— With Union’s offense finally showing life, the Titans were knocking on the door of their first score. Isaiah Jones scampered his way to the outside midway through the third quarter and was evading Skyview tacklers on his way to the end zone, when defensive back Xavier Owens reached in and stripped the ball out. Cooper Barnum jumped on it, and it was Storm ball again, the second straight Union drive to end by fumble.
Cooper Barnum — Not only did the senior deliver the play everyone will be talking about this week, he also had a 13-yard sack of CJ Jordan, an interception and caught six passes for 91 yards.
Yaro Duvalko — Calmly orchestrated a Storm attack dead-set on beating the Titans deep. He was 12-15 in the first half for 162 yards before finishing 18 of 31 for 227 yards and a score.
Jalynnee McGee — The senior running back again had another monster effort with 147 yards and a pair of 2-yard touchdown runs on 32 carries.
“No, that’s my first one maybe. But I’m a pitcher, so it worked out well. ” Skyview senior and Washington State baseball commit Cooper Barnum on his 45-yard touchdown pass
SKYVIEW 30, UNION 3
U — Sonny Pitts 26 FG
S — Gavin Baskette 45 pass from Cooper Barnum (Sliman Farran kick)
S — Jalynnee McGee 2 run (Farran kick)
S — McGee 2 run (kick block)
S — Ahmani Williams 5 pass from Yaro Duvalko (Farran kick)
S — Kaiden Garrison 25 FG
Rushing —S: Jalynnee McGee 32-147, Yaro Duvalko 1-(-5), Sliman Farran 5-17, Jaydin Knapp 1-2, Team 2-(-24); U: Isaiah Jones 5-15, Maliki Campbell 1-7, CJ Jordan 11-31, Vinh Luong 2-0, Team 1-(-2).
Passing — S: Cooper Barnum 1-1-0-45, Yaro Duvalko 18-31-0-227; U: CJ Jordan 9-24-2-110.
Receiving — S: Cooper Barnum 6-91, Mason Wheeler 4-55, Ahmani Williams 1-5, Saunders Buck 1-6, Jalynnee McGee 3-29, Niko Arriola 1-14, Gavin Baskette 1-45, Micah Baylous 2-27; U: Isaiah Jones 1-19, Tobias Merriweather 3-73, Justin Chin 2-9, Kellen milliken 1-0, Jake Bowen 1-(-4), Jaydon Jones 1-13.