SALT LAKE CITY — Sky View head coach Christopher Howell had his team make a simple adjustment at halftime.
And it was all his team needed as the Bobcats scored 28 unanswered points to beat the Dixie Flyers 49-21 to advance to the 4A title game. The adjustment? His team needed to relax.
“Super impressed with the way our kids played in the second half,” Howell said. “I thought it was a complete turnaround. You know, it was back and forth, and then we came out and got one stop and then got our defense energized a little bit and got us going. And then we got our running game going in the fourth quarter, especially.”
Dixie (9-3) opened up the scoring on their first drive of the night when Reggie Graff ran into the end zone for a 1-yard rushing touchdown to take an early lead in the first quarter.
But a trick play set Sky View (11-1) up perfectly to score on their opening drive and answer Dixie's opening score. Mason Falslev, the University of Utah basketball signee, connected with Scout Morris to put the Bobcats on Dixie's 5-yard line and to set up a rushing touchdown by Kason Carlsen to even the score.
On the ensuing drive, Graff had a pass intercepted that was returned to their 16-yard line by Falslev. The Bobcats then used Falslev to throw a touchdown pass to Brigham Lewis just one play later to put Sky View up by a touchdown.
Putting his first interception of the game behind him, Graff led the Flyers on another scoring drive that was capped of by a 19-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Walden to tie the game. The Flyers would score again on a 6-yard rushing touchdown by Preston Moore to take a 7-point lead.
That would be the last time the Flyers would score the rest of the night.
Sky View answered back quickly and got into the end zone, a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Carlsen, with less than a minute left in the half to tie the game.
But out of the break, the second half was all Sky View and Falslev.
The future Runnin' Ute scored two touchdowns, a 51-yard run and a 20-yard run, and rushed for 123 yards on seven carries, in addition to the first-half interception that was returned 13 yards.
“Everybody knows who Mason is, he’s a special talent,” Howell said. The cool thing about Mason is he wanted the ball going down the stretch right there and we actually had a bad snap and he turned it into a touchdown. He’s really just a special kid, a great leader and a tremendous asset.”
“Its my senior year, and I was thinking in the locker room I’m going to give it all I got,” Falslev said. “We got it done in the second half and it was awesome.”
Carlsen, who finished the night throwing for one touchdown on 13-of-23 passing got the scoring started in the second half on a 27-yard pass to Lewis. Carlsen added a 9-yard rushing touchdown of his own late in the game for the final score.
Sky View will take on Park City in the 4A State Championship game on Friday, Nov. 22 at 11 a.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Carra McManamon is a native of Washington State and is attending the University of Utah. Contact her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter: @curramac22