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GameNight: Skyline overwhelmed by Thunder

Skyline's Aaron Wood lowers shoulder against a Desert Vista defender. (Darryl Webb/MyNewsMesa.com)

By Isaac Colindres

Special to MyNewsMesa.com

Skyline showed glimpses of success on Friday night but not nearly enough against Desert Vista.

The Coyotes were unable to sustain momentum for long enough stretches in a 44-13 loss in a 6A Conference non-region game.

“We got a bunch of young kids … no one has experience. (Our players) got to know when adversity hits them how are they going to respond,” said Skyline coach Angelo Paffumi. “Right now we’re not responding.”

The Coyotes (2-2) struggled to move the ball downfield on the Thunder’s defense for most of the night.

Skyline quarterback Steven Castle didn’t have many opportunities but connected with Darius Glover for a 79-yard touchdown pass after the game was already decided.

Castle, a junior, completed 7 of 14 passes. The biggest of which came early in the fourth quarter on his touchdown pass to Glover.

For much of the game the Coyotes turned to their junior running back Aaron Wood to carry the load. Wood rushed for 108 yards on 24 carries, averaging 4.5 yards per carry.

Skyline trailed 24-0 at halftime, but it opened the half with the ball. The Coyotes marched 80 yard downfield, capping off the drive with a touchdown.

Skyline threw the ball once the entire drive and more than six minutes ran off the clock as a result.

“We were trying to move the sticks, trying to get something positive. That’s basically it,” said Coyotes assistant coach Bryan McDaniel. “We were were trying to have something positive to build on.”

Wood was that positive for the Coyotes Friday night. As was Glover, who scored both touchdowns for Skyline. The first of which came on the opening drive of the second half. Wood carried the ball six times that drive, and Glover found the end zone on a 25-yard touchdown run.

The score was 24-7 at that point.

Then on the very next play the Thunder’s Keishaud White returned the kickoff for a 95-yard touchdown to nullify any momentum Skyline gained.

Desert Vista (2-1) was in control of the game from the opening kickoff.

Senior quarterback Derek Kline completed 17 of 27 passes and threw three touchdowns. But the Thunder were balanced in all three phases of the game, and nothing — or no one — better embodied that than White.

White caught a touchdown pass, ran for a touchdown, and completed off his hat trick with the kickoff return.

“We started firing on all cylinders tonight … I really think we got [our] kids playing right now,” said Desert Vista head coach Dan Hinds. “They’re believing in themselves, and we just keep getting better every week.”

– Isaac Colindres is a sports journalism student at Arizona State University.

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