OGDEN — After a fairly slow and low-scoring first half, Sky View rallied late in the fourth quarter to defeat Bonneville 28-18.
What was a mostly defensive battle in the first half turned to the Bobcats' offense finding its footing to outscore the Lakers 21-12 in the second half en route to the team's second victory of the season.
Neither team's offense could find any type of rhythm through the first two quarters and the game became a defensive showdown as both teams traded giving the football back. Series after series ended in a quick three-and-out as run plays consistently came up short and passing plays were overthrown or dropped.
Bonneville recorded the only first down through the first quarter as Sky View failed to move the chains.
Bonneville defensive end Thomas Turpin found himself in Sky View's backfield repeatedly as he disrupted the offense with three tackles for loss that included a punishing blindside tackle. The Bobcats simply had no answer for Turpin.
As both offenses continued to struggle throughout the second quarter, it was poetic that Bonneville's defense was the first team to score in the game. Carson Jones scooped up a bad Sky View snap and returned it 73 yards to the end zone for the score; however, the PAT attempt was blocked with 2:58 remaining in the half, but Bonneville controlled a 6-0 lead.
Sky View answered 30 seconds later off a 68-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Garett Zollinger to receiver Davis Hall, who brought the pass down near the 10-yard line and proceeded to stiff arm his defender to the ground as he walked into the end zone. The Bobcats converted their PAT attempt to take a 7-6 lead into the halftime break.
The second half started much like the first with two quick offensive series, but Bonneville's special teams got things going when Jordan Jacquez returned a Sky View punt for a 93-yard touchdown return. Jacquez navigated his blocking lanes efficiently and switched to the other side of the field before he dove into the end zone for 6 points. Bonneville, again, failed to convert after the touchdown on a 2-point conversion attempt and had a 12-7 lead.
That lead quickly diminished, however, as Sky View finally found a rhythm on offense and scored three straight touchdowns. One came courtesy of a Lakers turnover on downs after a poor snap forced the Bonneville punter to fall on the ball on the team's own 18-yard line. A few plays later, Zollinger found Jackson Sundstrom in the back of the end zone on a perfectly timed corner route for the go-ahead score (14-12).
After another poor offensive series by the Lakers, Sky View struck again. On what turned out to be a 45-yard drive, Bobcat running back Reed Wilde went for multiple sizable gains and capped off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run right up the middle to extend Sky View's lead.
Minutes later, Boneville quarterback Koy Dixon threw a poorly aimed pass that was intercepted, and the Bobcats took over on the Lakers' 32-yard line. Zollinger connected again to Sundstrom on a 30-yard pass, which set up Wilde to run right up the middle for another touchdown.
"He's such a tough, gritty kid," said Sky View head coach Chris Howell of Wilde's performance. "You know, he plays his tail off every single down. He plays both ways, he's our long-snapper, he does it all, and so I am definitely proud of how hard he played."
Bonneville's offense would eventually find the end zone again, but it was too little too late as the Bobcats ran out the clock to cap off the victory.
"I like the way our kids battled, but we did not play very well at all tonight," Howell noted. "You know, in every phase of the game we weren't great. For the most part on defense we were pretty good, but we did give up that last one which set up their score. So we have a lot of things to clean up, that's what preseason is about.
"But I am proud of the way our guys fought and battled when we didn't play our best football," he added. "We definitely have a long way to go, we have to clean a lot of stuff up and we need to pay more attention to the details."
Sky View will travel to Rigby, Idaho, to face the Rigby Trojans Friday at 7 p.m. MT. Bonneville will make the short trek to Weber High to face the Warriors.