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Skyline captures 5A championship despite a four-game losing streak; Highland loses 4A finals to Mtn. Crest

Nobody told the Skyline Eagles they couldn't win the Class 5A title; it was just assumed they wouldn't.

Especially since this team had finished fourth in its their region and had endured a four-game losing streak.

After beating Brighton 34-24 to capture the school's 14th state championship, head coach Roger DuPaix said he had his share of doubts about this Eagles team.

"I'm an optimistic person, but I was wondering when you go through a four-game losing streak," he said.

Skyline quarterback Matt Marshall, who ran for 75 yards and two touchdowns against Brighton, said he felt relieved after leaving Rice-Eccles Stadium as a champion.

"I wouldn't say surprised but just happy," he said. "We got down this year but not out."

Skyline was down this year, but DuPaix said a lot of the Eagles' misfortune had to do with injuries they suffered and the quality of their opponents.

"We lost to good teams," he said. "Most of the teams we lost to are in championship games, plus everyone kind of overlooked us."

4A championships

Former Yankee shortstop Bucky Dent was on the sidelines at the Class 4A title game between Mountain Crest and Highland. He even showed off his 1977 World Series ring. Dent will forever be known for his dramatic three-run homer that cleared "Green Monster" and helped the Yankees beat the Red Sox 5-4.

The infamous shot eventually propelled the Yankees into the 1978 World Series. Highland may have felt a little cursed last week, losing 16-13 to Mountain Crest.

The Rams had to overcome three turnovers and temporarily losing quarterback Thomas Bradley during a crucial drive in the fourth quarter.

The Mustangs' Phillip Rutledge converted the 18-yard field goal with only 53 seconds left to defeat the Rams.

Mustangs head coach Mark Wootton could sympathize with the Rams' heartbreaking loss.

"It's tough as a team to lose like that," he said. "As those players get older, they'll realize what a great accomplishment it was for them to make it to a championship game."

Highland head coach Ray Groth didn't take the loss too hard, saying the game could have gone either way and he was very proud of his team.

Last week, Region 6 handed out some postseason awards (see story on H7). Groth was named the Coach of the Year. Bradley was named Offensive Player of the Year. Ryan Roundy of Olympus was the Defensive Player of the Year and Stanley Havili of Cottonwood was named MVP.