Skyline had been waiting to figure things out this season.
For the Coyotes, the problem through six games was one of consistency across units – if the offense found a rhythm, the defense seemed to fall flat. When the defense tightened up, the offense would stagger.
In other words, plug one leak and another springs up. But Thursday night against section rival Mountain View, Skyline kept the holes covered just long enough to keep the ship afloat.
Aaron Wood scored the go-ahead touchdown with a minute left and Skyline’s defense authored a gutsy stand in the final seconds Thursday to hold off visiting Mountain View 43-36 in a 6A East Valley showdown.
“We just continued to fight,” Wood said. “The thing about this team is we’re young, so we get down easy sometimes. But tonight we fought back and didn’t get down. This is a big win.”
Skyline (4-3, 2-0) led for most of the evening but Mountain View (3-3, 0-1) was never far behind, and the Toros tied the game at 36 with 3:36 remaining on Jeremiah Hollen’s third rushing touchdown of the night.
Undaunted, Skyline embarked on a 64-yard game-winning scoring drive featuring a 15-yard “hitch-and-pitch” that saw receiver Darius Glover catch a short pass in mid-air and flip it to a streaking Wood, who was tackled at the Mountain View 15. On the next play Wood plowed his way through a Mountain View defender and into the end zone to put the Coyotes on top.
After Mountain View advanced down to the Skyline 9 with less than 30 seconds remaining, the Coyotes forced the Toros into three straight incompletions, the last coming on a fantastic play by Glover, who ripped the ball out of a Mountain View receiver’s grasp in the end zone to prevent the tying score and give Skyline the ball back.
“They did an awesome job down the stretch,” Skyline coach Angelo Paffumi said. “When you don’t have a lot of depth and you’re playing a lot of young kids, you got to learn under fire. When things go bad for us they don’t always know how to step up and stop it. What happens is it starts to spin out of control. But we made a couple nice plays at the end and finally someone stepped up. It was nice to have it fall our way.”
– Tyler Killian is a freelance sports writer for MyNewsMesa.com.
Skyline 43, Mountain View 36
MV 0 14 15 7 – 36
S 13 8 8 14 – 43
S – Brown 4 run (Fessenden kick), 9:41
S – Castle 4 run (kick blocked), 2:37
MV – Hollen 1 run (Ryan kick), 8:58
S – Brown 55 pass from Castle (Lopez pass from Castle), 4:09
MV – Hollen 1 run (Ryan kick), 1:02
MV – Nunez 7 run (Hollen run), 7:25
MV – Nunez 1 run (Ryan kick), 3:34
S – Wood 5 run (Brown pass from Castle), 2:45
S – Wood 1 run (Fessenden kick), 7:56
MV – Hollen 4 run (Ryan kick), 3:36
S – Wood 15 run (Fessenden kick), 1:00
First downs 18 16
Rush-yards 29-96 37-244
Comp-Att-Int 24-38-0 8-14-1
Pass yards 305 191
Total yards 401 435
Pen-yards 12-110 15-109
Fumbles/lost 2-0 0-0
MV – Yamada 18-58, Nunez 5-24, Hollen 5-8, Waite 1-6. S – Wood 25-104, Brown 6-17, Castle 4-70, Lopez 1-53, McGown 1-0.
MV – Nunez 24-38-0-305. S – Castle 8-14-1-191.
MV – Dinwiddie 8-56, Allen 5-96, Hodges 4-81, Waite 3-45, Yamada 3-18, Barney 1-9. S – Brown 2-95, Glover 2-55, Wood 2-22, Manzanares 1-11, Moore 1-8.