VANCOUVER — Skyview football has participated in postseason play 11 consecutive years, second only to Camas among schools in Clark County.
Not long ago, the Storm won four consecutive Greater St. Helens League Class 4A championships. They’ve ended the past 10 regular seasons with a winning record.
Yet when it comes to football in 2016, Skyview is sort of the mystery team. Camas and Battle Ground have caught the biggest headlines, as those two blazed to 4-0 records before the Papermakers stomped the Tigers 49-28 last Friday.
Skyview, meanwhile, is moving along like usual, owner of a 3-2 record that includes losses to defending state champion Eastside Catholic and O’Dea of Seattle, currently 1-2 in the Associated Press’ top 10 Class 3A poll.
“We had some respectability in the state, then we lost two games to two good teams, and we’re kind of forgotten about,” Skyview coach Steve Kizer said.
Skyview can put itself back on the radar Friday night when it plays at No. 2 Camas. The Papermakers (5-0) have won 46 consecutive regular-season games, their last loss coming to Skyview in 2011.
Kizer feels like he has a good team that is improving and learned some lessons from the losses to Eastside Catholic and O’Dea. Since starting 1-2, Skyview scored the final 28 points in a 56-31 win over Mountain View, then blanked Columbia River 42-0 last Friday.
“The last six quarters of our season, we’ve been on a roll. We learned a lot from that O’Dea game. They had a big D-line, and we came out of it seeing some technique things we had to clean up,” Kizer said.
Kizer loves that he has a physical team, particularly on both sides of the line. Led by returning all-leaguer Skyler Martin, Kizer says “we’re fairly big up front and we’re starting to move people around more than we have the last five years or so. It’s been the strength of our team.”
Skyview has a versatile quarterback in senior Brody Barnum, son of Portland State coach Bruce Barnum. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound senior is having a big 2016 season, as he has nearly 1,300 yards in total offense and nine touchdowns.
Football isn’t even Barnum’s best sport. Barnum is an outstanding pitcher and hitter in baseball, and is likely to play in the Pac-12 next year.
“He’s such a good baseball player. We didn’t get him all summer. He’s kind of now just getting into mental football shape,” Kizer said.
So it’s on to Camas for the Storm. There’s no shortage of incentive. Camas has won four consecutive GSHL 4A titles, just like Skyview did from 2008-11. There’s the obvious want to be the team that ends the Papermakers’ long winning streak. Skyview’s season came to an end last season in the playoffs to Camas. The Storm’s 29-22 quarterfinals loss is the only time Camas has beaten a Clark County team by less than double digits since 2011.
Although Skyview is confident, beating Camas will take the Storm’s best performance of the season, and then some. The Papermakers are particularly tough at the outset of games; in their three home contests this season, Camas has outscored its opponents 28-3, 42-7 and 42-14 during the first half.
“You watch the film and they have just blasted people in the first quarter. If we can weather the first quarter, that’s good for us, but it’s easier said than done,” Kizer said.
The key for Skyview will be controlled Camas quarterback Jack Colletto. It hasn’t happened yet, particularly last Friday, when Colletto threw for seven touchdown passes in a 49-28 win over Battle Ground.
“We have the slow the quarterback down. The scariest part is, when you do a good job on him, and things break down, that’s when he’s the scariest. He can throw on the run, and he can throw really deep on the run,” Kizer said.