In arguably the biggest matchup in the entire state, two undefeated teams took to the field, and one left victorious as Sky View claimed a rivalry win over Ridgeline, 23-22, in a wild back-and-forth battle to begin Region 11 in Smithfield, moving the Bobcats to 5-0.

“We had to fight, scratch, and claw to make enough plays in all three phases to get a win against a really good Ridgeline team. I was so proud of our kids effort & ability to make some critical plays,” said Sky View coach Chris Howell.

The game pitted a scorching Sky View offense against a hard-nosed Ridgeline defense, and for much of the game, that defense kept the game in check as the two squads scored just a combined 13 points in the first half.

Surprisingly, it was actually Sky View that had the biggest defensive highlight of the game. Late in the third quarter, senior defensive back Easton Ballard nabbed an interception and took it back 29 yards for a touchdown. That gave the Bobcats a 16-9 lead entering the fourth quarter.

“Easton Ballard’s Pick 6 was a huge momentum play for us tonight. Brevin, the offensive line, receivers, and our quarterback had a couple really good drives that ended in touchdowns. Our two-point play execution was great & made all the difference. We still have a lot to improve on.”

Late in the fourth quarter, with the Riverhawks down, 23-16, sophomore Nate Dahl punched in an 8-yard TD to give Ridgeline a shot at the lead, but the ensuing pass attempt for two points fell incomplete.

Forced to try an onside kick with just over a minute remaining, Ridgeline surprisingly got possession with 46 seconds to go, but 20 seconds of play later, Sky View effectively ended it with a stop on fourth-and-3 to claim the final possession.

We had to fight, scratch, and claw to make enough plays in all three phases to get a win against a really good Ridgeline team,” Sky View Coach Chris Howell. “I was so proud of our kids’ effort and ability to make some critical plays. Ballard’s pick-6 was a huge momentum play for us tonight. Brevin, the offensive line, receivers and our quarterback had a couple really good drives that ended in touchdowns. Our 2-point play execution was great and made all the difference. We still have a lot to improve on.”

Sky View senior running back Brevin Egbert was as clutch as clutch could be throughout the game. He scored two TDs on the ground while also adding a critical four extra points with two successful two-point conversion runs, including on Sky View’s last score.

“I thought our defense played well and did a good job (against) a good offense,” Ridgeline coach Travis Cox said after the loss. “Offensively, we just didn’t make enough plays. I thought the kids battled all the way until the end and showed a lot of toughness. We will learn from it and move on to the next one.”

The Bobcats will move on in region play by hosting Bear River next Friday. Ridgeline projects to have another defensive slugfest coming its way when it hosts Green Canyon.