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Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Feb. 28, 2024

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Skyview tops Puyallup, advances to 4A state football playoffs

Storm (8-2) will learn state playoff seed, opponent Sunday

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Ask any coach or athlete and they’ll tell you winning is hard. 

Winning playoff games is even harder. 

Winning a playoff game in less-than-stellar elements? It’s a different brand of tough. 

Such was the case for Skyview in its 14-11 victory over Puyallup on Friday night at Kiggins Bowl, where the elements were far from perfect, yet the Storm’s defense and ground game powered their way to next week’s round of 16. 

Skyview is back in the Class 4A state playoffs. It’ll learn its seed and opponent Sunday. 

16 Photos
Skyview senior Alex Betancourt, left, and sophomore Hezechariah Po Ching, right, celebrate with sophomore Sam Cates after a sack Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, during the Storm’s 14-11 win against Puyallup in a 4A playoff game at Kiggins Bowl.
Prep Football Playoffs: Puyallup at Skyview Photo Gallery

The Storm (8-2) hope their 2022 season resume is worthy of a home state playoff game next week. 

“We deserve a home game,” junior running back Trey Jacob said. “We deserve to go to state. We deserve everything. Everybody in the state is doubting us right now. Tonight, we proved we can play with anybody.”

Steady rain all day Friday made for a drenched Kiggins Bowl turf even before the 7 p.m. kickoff. The rains never let up for 48 minutes. As it turned out, the Vikings weren’t the only opponent the Storm dealt with. 

“It was a struggle,” Jacob said. “It was slippery; everybody had their hands set. We couldn’t really pass the ball, so we had to just run the ball. And it worked.”

And boy, did it. 

Of Skyview’s 279 total yards, 225 came on the ground behind a heavy dose of Jacob and his 154 yards on 27 carries. Both were game-highs. 

While Jacob powered the run game, fellow junior Cameron Crooks had a career game on defense. A starter at cornerback all season, Crooks came up with not one, but two interceptions — his firsts of the season. On the game’s fourth play, his interception return for a 25-yard touchdown got the Storm on the board 90 seconds into the game and a 7-0 lead. His second came in the second quarter at 7-3. 

Puyallup (6-4) entered Friday’s contest dropping their last two games after starting the season 6-1. With Skyview’s lead at 14-3, Puyallup’s best drive ended in its only touchdown. It marched 11 plays, including its largest pass play of 35 yards by Mal Durant, that pulled the Vikings within 14-11 to open the fourth quarter. Quarterback Kaden Rolfsness’ fourth-and-goal keeper at the 1-yard line, plus the successful conversion run by Jacob Valesco, cut the lead to one score with 10:02 left in the game. 

But on Puyallup’s final possession, Crooks was at it again. The junior made the fourth-down pass breakup that prevented a first down inside a minute left. The ball went back to Skyview and the Storm ran out the clock. 

On the previous possession, Skyview ate more than 8 minutes off the clock still nursing its 14-11 lead. But a turnover on downs on fourth-and-goal gave the ball back to Puyallup with 1:33 to play. 

Fifty seconds later on fourth and 4, Crooks came up clutch again with the big play. 

“I was thinking I had to make the play,” he said, “and if I didn’t then the game goes on. I had to do it.”

Like Jacob, Crooks knows the Storm have done all they can to convince the 4A state seeding committee of why they’re deserving of a home state playoff game. 

But regardless, Crooks said, “We’ll ball out either way — road or home.”

SKYVIEW 14, PUYALLUP 11

Puyallup 3 0 0 8 — 11

Skyview 7 7 0 0 — 14

First quarter

S — Cameron Crooks 25 interception return (Jimmy Garduno kick good)

P — Luke Faccone 19 FG

Second quarter

S — Trey Jacob 15 run (Garduno kick)

Fourth quarter

P — Kaden Rolfsness 1 run (Jacob Velasco run )

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Puyallup: Jacob Velasco 4-28, Kaden Rolfsness 12-17, Dane Parker 1-4, Lenno Reinhardt 6-14, Mal Durant 1-13; Skyview: Jake Kennedy 15-39, Trey Jacob 27-154, Gavin Packer 1-34, Team 1-(minus-2). 

PASSING — Puyallup: Velasco 1-2-1-4; Rolfsness 8-17-1-87; Skyview: Kennedy 8-16-0-54

RECEIVING — Puyallup: Durant 4-31, Kai Richardson 1-16, Kyson Douglas 1-1, Parker 1-14, Micah Bach 1-11, Reinhardt 1-8; Skyview: Packer 4-34, Trey Jacob 3-11, Riley Artis 1-9.

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