SMITHFIELD – Pine View was one half too late as the Sky View Bobcats walked away with the 35-21 victory, having just enough to advance to the 4A quarterfinals.
After having a nearly absent offense in the first half and finding itself down 21-0, the Panthers managed to turn the potential blowout into a close game in the second half. Pine View, thanks to some strong running from quarterback Dallin Brown and running back Jacob Mpungi, had cut the lead to six with nearly nine minutes to play. However, Sky View’s Jackson Siddoway had other plans as his passing game was spot on as the Bobcats sealed the victory with a touchdown the following possession.
“We started out a little slow through the first half and got behind real quick,” Panther coach Ben Meier said. “Against a really good team like that, it’s tough to try work your way back into the game. We didn’t want that to happen, but unfortunately, it did. It was tough coming back.”
The opening half was not pretty for Pine View. Trailing by three scores, the Panther offense barely squeaked out a couple of first downs in the opening half, with the first one coming at the 4:30 mark in the second quarter. The passing game for the Panthers was absent and the running game wasn’t much better.
Sky View, on the other hand, scored three touchdowns in its five possessions in the first half. Having marched 80 yards on their opening possession to score, the Bobcats faced a long fourth-and-goal at the 11-yard line. Avoiding the obvious choice to get points from a field goal, the Bobcat offense threaded the ball across the goal line as Siddoway hit wide receiver Mason Falslev as the first quarter approached a minute left.
Following their only punt in the first half, the Bobcats lit up the sky in their fourth possession. Siddoway’s wide receivers seemed to have glue on their gloves. Every ball seemed to be caught, no matter the difficulty, including the 40-yard bomb that set up another Sky View score at the 5:22 mark and the 21-point lead.
Thanks to a Mpungi 39-yard run and some halftime inspirational messages, the Panthers crossed the goal line for the first time at the 8:25 mark of the third quarter on a 5-yard dash from the Pine View running back.
“We went into halftime and just encouraged the boys to keep playing,” Meier said. “We know what our offense is capable of doing and we know how to score points. We just made the adjustments … the boys came out and they wanted to make sure that they did everything they could to get us back into that game.”
Still down 14, the Panther defense managed to make an appearance as it forced the Sky View offense off the field on its opening possession of the second half. The Pine View D-line applied heavy pressure, having forced dual-threat quarterback Siddoway into some tough situations.
Despite the obvious absence of the passing game – 49 yards for the game on 4 of 11 passing for Brown – the Panther rush attack continued its second half success. With another big run by Mpungi, the Pine View offense again found itself in the end zone as Brown scored his first of two touchdowns on the night with a 7-yard run; Brown rushed 23 times for 112 yards. That closed the gap to 21-14.
Just when the Panthers thought they had all the momentum, the Bobcat special teams appeared out of nowhere as it returned the Pine View kickoff all the way to the Panther 9-yard line to close out the third quarter.
Sky View didn’t wait long to answer as Siddoway rifled the ball to Derek Anthony in the end zone for his fourth touchdown pass of the day, stretching the lead to 27-14 after the missed extra point.
Michael Moten, Pine View’s speedy return man, responded with an impressive kickoff return of his own as he carried the rock to the Sky View 37-yard line. After an essential third-down conversion and several other crucial runs from Mpungi (he finished with 21 carries for 126 yards night), Brown found the end zone again on a 1-yard quarterback scramble, making it 27-21.
Just as the Panthers felt the game was within reach, the Bobcats responded swiftly and stealthily through the air. With passes of 17, 44 and 11 yards, Sky View ended Pine View’s season as it put the nail in the coffin with 6:55 left in the game. Siddoway – having thrown for 238 yards – tossed his fifth and final touchdown of the day to Tanner Stokes.
“Unfortunately, it goes that way sometimes,” Meier said. “We are going to feel like the better team didn’t get the win tonight. You know, that is how it goes. That is the game of football. You just kind of pick up and move on from there.”
Pine View finished its season with an impressive 8-4 record, going 4-2 in region play. Brown finished with 112 rushing yards on 23 carries as the Panthers had 287 yards of total offense.
“I just have to say how proud I am of our team and coaches,” Meier said. “It truly has been a great year for us. The Pine View boys have done an excellent job this season. I’m just proud of them.”
Sky View finished with 307 yards and Falslev was the top receiver in the game with nine catches for 175 yards and two scores.
Sky View, 11-0, advances to the 4A semifinals with the win. The Bobcats will play Orem on Friday night at Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium.
4A State Playoffs quarterfinal games
Mountain Crest 18, Dixie 17
Stansbury 38, Ridgeline 7
Sky View 35, Pine View 21
Orem 37, Desert Hills 17
State 4A semifinals (Rice Eccles Stadium)
Mountain Crest vs. Stansbury, 6 p.m.
Sky View (11-0) vs. Orem (10-2), 6 p.m.
4A championship game (Rice Eccles Stadium)
Nov. 17, 11 a.m.
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