Storm just missed a shutout when Chieftains scored on game’s final play
VANCOUVER — The Skyview Storm are undefeated on Columbia River’s new football field.
“In my heart, that was a shutout,” junior safety Cooper Barnum said after Skyview took down Columbia River 34-6 Friday night at Columbia River High School.
“On their home field, the first game on their new field, we basically shut them out,” Cooper said. “They can have six. They can have six. But that was awesome. We throttled them.”
From the very beginning, in fact.
Mason Wheeler scored on an 82-yard return of the game’s opening kickoff, and Yaro Duvalko had four touchdown passes en route to the non-league victory.
“We’ve been looking forward to this night for a long, long time,” Wheeler said, noting all the new varsity members of the Storm who have been working so hard in the offseason just to get to play some real football.
The inexperienced Storm opened the season with a loss. But then they focused on their rivals.
“This second game, we were looking for some validation,” Wheeler said.
“We just knew we had to get things done,” said Ahmani Williams, who had a touchdown and interception for the Storm. “We told everyone we were going to get this done and we were going to do this together. No mistakes, and we had each other’s backs.”
It was 28-0 at halftime and 34-0 through three quarters. Columbia River avoided the shutout by scoring on the final play of the game. That came after the Skyview fans were penalized 15 yards for rushing the field before the game ended.
Yes, even the fans wanted to be part of the new field.
Duvalko completed 17 of 25 passes for 222 yards and his four touchdowns, picking up his first win as a varsity starting quarterback.
“It’s awesome, getting a win against a rival, too. It feels so good to beat them,” Duvalko said. “This momentum will carry us throughout the season. Our defense played great. Everybody had great games. We’re just ready to go.”
Barnum used a term that sometimes gets overused in football talk.
“We came out and punched them in the mouth right away,” he said.
In this case, it was appropriate. Wheeler took a second to get control of the opening kickoff, made one move, and then was free for an 82-yard touchdown. Just 13 seconds into the game, and the air was taken out of the home sideline.
“My first thought was, ‘Dang, I messed up, because I bobbled it,” Wheeler said. “All of a sudden, I was like, ‘I have to make one guy miss.’ From there, I got three fantastic blocks down the sideline and all I saw was green grass.”
Or, for the first time, green turf.
The field is a “blessing” according to Columbia River coach Christian Swain. The Chieftains had hoped for a better performance in the team’s debut on the turf. Skyview, though, was just too ready for this game.
The Storm held Columbia River to 43 yards of offense in the first half.
Duvalko found Gavin Baskette early and often, with Baskette catching all six of his passes in the first half for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Then it was Wheeler’s turn to get in the end zone on offense rather than special teams, scoring on two TD receptions to make it 28-0.
Leading to many of these scores was the rushing attack of Jalynnee McGee. He picked up 132 yards on 15 carries.
Williams completed the scoring on a 21-yard TD pass from Duvalko in the third quarter.
“It’s got to be my linemen,” Duvalko said of the key to his success Friday. “And my receivers. My line gave me all the time in the world. My receivers just kept making plays. They made my job a lot easier.”
Columbia River put together an impressive 2-minute drive to get on the scoreboard. Dawson Lieurance threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Blake Bryan, who took a big hit in the end zone but held on to the ball.
Until then, it was all Skyview.
“It’s always fun to beat the neighbors,” Skyview coach Steve Kizer said. “You know the deal.”
Skyview goes up 34-0 pic.twitter.com/lv1MERctkR
— Paul Valencia (@ValenciaCCT) September 8, 2018
SKYVIEW 34, COLUMBIA RIVER 6
Skyview 14 14 6 0 — 34
- River 0 0 0 6 — 6
S — Mason Wheeler 82 kickoff return (Michael Stromberg kick)
S — Gavin Baskette 8 pass from Yaro Duvalko (Stromberg kick)
S — Wheeler 14 pass from Duvalko (Stromberg kick)
S — Wheeler 2 pass from Duvalko (Stromberg kick)
S — Ahmani Williams 21 pass from Duvalko (kick blocked)
CR — Blake Bryan 15 pass from Dawson Lierance (no attempt)
Heritage 38, Hudson’s Bay 28
Skyview 34, Columbia River 6
Union 34, El Cerrito, Calif. 29
Camas 52, Hazen 0
Evergreen 47, Centralia 22
Mountain View 54, Juanita 7
Prairie 28, Washougal 21
Ridgefield 42, Fort Vancouver 0
Woodland 40, La Center 20
King’s Way Christian 35, Tenino 12
Charles Wright 7, Seton Catholic 6
Hockinson 42, Archbishop Murphy 13