Day After Report: Skyview 43, Union 28

The Skyview Storm will be playing football in November.
Just like they have every season since 2005.
That’s a lot of playoff football.
The Storm treated Friday’s game against Union as if it were a playoff game. Yes, they could have lost and still made the playoffs, but a loss to Union would have made things very difficult.
Win and in, was pretty much the mindset of the Storm this week. They won. And they’re in.

GSHL math:
Technically, the Storm could still finish in a tie for second place with Battle Ground and/or Union.
Right now, Skyview sits at 2-1 in league play. Battle Ground is finished with league play at 2-2. Union is 1-2.
If Union were to beat Camas next week, that would get the Titans to 2-2. And if the Storm were to lose to Heritage, they would drop to 2-2.
These are not likely scenarios, of course, but it is not impossible.
Still, no sweat for Skyview fans. The first thing a league looks at to break any ties is head to head competition. Skyview beat Battle Ground 17-14 last week and Skyview beat Union this week. Skyview’s in no matter what.
By the way, that makes for one weird Week 9 in the 4A GSHL. Camas wants to have another undefeated league and regular season but the Papermakers are locked in as the No. 1 seed from District 4 to the upcoming Week 10 playoffs. Skyview would love a win and a Camas loss to share a league title. But even if that happens, Skyview is locked in as the No. 2 seed because Camas beat Skyview.
In other words, the final week of the regular season and the 4A GSHL contests mean absolutely nothing in terms of the postseason. Not sure I can remember that happening in my long time at The Columbian.


Salute to the 4A GSHL:
Even if Week 9 means nothing, the season sure does mean everything. Oh my, what a league.
The last three years, if you recall, three 4A GSHL teams made the Week 10 playoffs. In the last three years, all three teams won those Week 10 games to advance to state.
This year, though, only two could qualify for Week 10.
Look at these teams:

  • Camas has now won 37 consecutive league games, 49 consecutive regular-season games.
  • Skyview has now made the postseason for 12 consecutive years.
  • Battle Ground made it to state last year, then barely lost to Skyview this year.
  • Union barely lost to Battle Ground this year and was within seven points at halftime with Skyview on Friday.
  • Heritage has not won a league game this year but led Camas at the half and was tied with Union at the half. Yes, the Timberwolves have improved.

That’s quite a league.
“There are some good teams not going to the playoffs,” a relieved Skyview coach Steve Kizer said after Friday’s win.


The Drive of the Season:
If you read my game story, you know when Skyview won this game, when Skyview clinched a playoff berth. It was in the second quarter of a close game.
Sure, there was a whole half to play, but the way Skyview finished the first half, you just knew it was over. This was their night.
Union had just gone 80 yards in 10 plays and tied the game with 54 seconds left in the first half on a Tommy Strassenberg touchdown run.
Then the Storm kind of bungled the kickoff return. Eight more seconds came off the clock and the Storm were on their own 16-yard line.
A mistake here could given Union the ball in scoring position.
So many teams would have played it safe.
Not the Storm.

  1. Quarterback Brody Barnum with a 21-yard run to the 37-yard line. (Barnum, by the way, finished with 68 yards rushing and two touchdowns runs.)
  2. A wide receiver screen pass from Barnum to Tavis Pinkney for four yards to the 41-yard line.
  3. A 34-yard pass from Barnum to Cole Grossman to the Union 25-yard line. (More on Grossman in a minute or two.)
  4. An incomplete pass.
  5. Touchdown Skyview. Barnum finds Pinkney on 25-yard TD pass. Pinkney with great adjustment. A leaping catch while falling into the end zone with 6 seconds left in the first half. (Barnum would finish the night with 278 yards passing, with four TD passes.)

The aftermath of that drive: Skyview goes into the locker room with a 21-14 lead, knowing it was getting the ball first to open the second half. Sure enough, Skyview scored on that opening drive, making it 29-14 with 9:34 to go in the third quarter.
Just three-plus minutes of game time earlier, it was a tie game.

Cole “Biletnikoff” Grossman:
Cole Grossman did not score for the Storm on Friday night.
Scratch that, he did not find the end zone. He scored plenty of wow moments, plenty of praise from his teammates and coaches.
Grossman caught four passes for 85 yards, and three of those catches led to touchdowns.
Trailing 7-0, the Storm faced fourth-and-7 on the first play of the second quarter. Barnum found Grossman for a 10-yard gain to extend the drive. Moments later, Skyview was in the end zone.
Later, he had the catch-and-run of the night. On that Drive of the Season.
Grossman caught a pass near the Skyview sideline at the 50-yard line. He could have easily stepped out of bounds there, to preserve some clock. Instead he broke two tackles and gained 25 more yards to the 25-yard line.
Barnum told me that he was just expecting Grossman to go out of bounds. In fact, Barnum was kind of hoping he would go out of bounds.
“Then he broke those tackles and made something happen,” Barnum said.
Plus, Grossman DID go out of bounds. Just 25 yards later, setting up the defining touchdown of the game, of the Skyview season.
Grossman wasn’t done.
He also had a 37-yard reception on the opening drive of the second half, setting up a two-touchdown lead for the Storm.
Longtime readers of the Day After Report will know that I call this a Fred Biletnikoff game. (Go Raiders!)
Biletnikoff caught four passes for 79 yards in Super Bowl XI and did not score. But he was named the game’s MVP because three of his receptions led directly to Raider touchdowns.
Kind of like what Grossman did Friday night for the Storm.

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