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Sky View refuses early exit, throttles West

SMITHFIELD — Sky View would be lying if it said memories of last year's early exit from the 4A playoffs wasn't on its mind when it kicked off Friday with West High.

It may not have been first and foremost on their minds, but but it was certainly there.

The Bobcats (9-2) made sure there wasn't another premature exit — at least for one week — from the playoffs this year as they posted a convincing 23-7 victory over West.

"We tried to learn from the past," Sky View quarterback Kyler Carlsen said. "In the past we've gotten a little too confident, I think. We need to come out and know it is our game to lose, and the only way to lose it to hurt ourselves."

The Bobcats, the Region 4 No. 1 seed, will face Mountain View next week in the quarterfinals.

Sky View, which was 11-0 before losing to East in the quarterfinals last year, got three field goals from Ben Brooksby and Carlsen threw for 178 yards in leading the Bobcats to the 16-point victory over the Panthers.

The Bobcat offense was sluggish pretty much the entire game, but it got a good shot in the arm from the defense, holding the Panthers (5-6) to just 189 yards total offense.

The Bobcat defense forced two West turnovers (fumble, interception) and the offense turned them into 10 points, and those 10 points proved to be enough to help the Bobcats advance.

Sky View scored its first three points off a turnover on West's first possession of the game — a 34-yard field goal by Brooksby.

The Panthers took their one and only lead of the game midway through the first quarter on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Daniel Wray to Garrett Nicholson.

From there on, the Sky View offense found just enough swagger.

Carlsen, who completed 16-of-31 passes, hit Kyle Allen, who finished the game with five catches for 53 yards, with a 15-yard touchdown, and John Hortin added a three-yard run giving the Bobcats a 17-7 lead at the half.

The Bobcats had the chance to drop the hammer even more in the second half, but they had to settle for two more Brooksby field goals (29, 19 yards).

"It was a little disappointing getting into the redzone and not being able to produce, but I think we'll work on that at practice a lot this week."

Then again, the Bobcats didn't need much more than field goals in the second half as the Panther offense, though it had more than 100 yards in the second half, couldn't sustain any scoring drives. Again, the Bobcat defense, led by Eric Bernston, who had three sacks, held strong.

Sky View held Nicholson, the Panthers' leading rusher, to just 46 yards, more than 50 yards below his average, while Wray completed just 8-of-26 passes for 94 yards.

The Bobcats finished with 237 yards total offense.