A great season and a heroic effort both came up a little short for Sky View on the football field Friday night.
It couldn’t have happened in more dramatic fashion, either.
After losing their star quarterback for the first half, Sky View couldn’t quite overcome a gritty Park City team in the 4A State Quarterfinals. The Miners prevailed 15-14 after taking a lead in the fourth quarter on a 2-point conversion. Sky View pieced together a drive late in the game, but missed a go-ahead 31-yard field goal with :29 remaining to see their 2018 season come to an end. Before Friday night’s loss to Park City (9-3), Sky View (10-1) was undefeated.
“We kind of lost our focus and our discipline at the end of the game, but we still had a chance,” Sky View head coach Danilo Robinson said. “… Hats off to Park City and the run they’re on, I’m excited to see what they do next.”
Down by one point with just over four minutes and two timeouts left, the Bobcats took over on their own 4-yard line. Sky View quarterback Mason Falslev got things started with a 13-yard scramble, and he followed it up with a 45-yard bomb to David Carver. Five rushing attempts later, the Bobcats ran into 4th-down and six with :29 left.
They elected to settle for a field goal, which missed wide left. As the ball came wobbling back down to the turf through the back of the endzone, the Bobcats’ sideline let out a collective groan.
In an almost made-for-the-big-screen script, the Bobcats faced some serious adversity early on. Falslev left the game on his team’s first possession, when he got smacked at the end of a 24-yard run. The junior was helped off of the field with an apparent knee injury. He headed to the locker room, where he was attended to by Sky View’s training staff. Not only did Falslev hyperextend his knee, but he also had a gash below his lip that required some stitches.
Meanwhile, Sky View’s offense struggled in his absence. The Bobcats put up a valiant effort defensively, however, and both teams headed into halftime scoreless.
Sky View came out of the intermission with a new attitude. They marched down the field on their first drive of the second half. Tanner Stokes and Josh Aller teamed up for 67 yards on nine carries, before the Bobcats ran into 3rd and nine from the Park City 19.
Robinson and his staff made a quick decision; Falslev came trotting out onto the field again. As he headed to the huddle, his coaches yelled out directions.
“Don’t run!” they yelled.
He didn’t listen. Falslev dropped back, and rolled right, before tucking the ball and reversing field. He side-stepped a pair of would-be tacklers and shot across the goal line to make it 7-0 for the Bobcats.
“The adrenaline just kicked in, I guess,” Falslev said.
Park City’s drive stalled on their next possession, but the Miners pulled off a 42-yard fake punt pass on 4th and nine. A few players later, Park City running back Dylan Bauer tied things up with a short touchdown run.
Falslev and company answered back, as the University of Utah basketball commit scored a touchdown on a quarterback sneak to cap a long drive. The Bobcats led 14-7 with 11:36 left in the game.
Things got a bit out of hand on the next drive. Park City marched into Sky View territory, and elected to go for a long fourth-down conversion. SV’s Traeson Martindale picked off a Jack Skidmore pass. Martindale cut up field, before receiving a vicious hit from Park City’s Evan Pointer. Martindale lost control of the football and the Miners recovered. The two players got into a tussle, and players and coaches from both sidelines poured onto the field. The officials ended up ejecting Martindale, Pointer and Bauer, and the Miners retained possession due to the fumble recovery.
Park City ended up finding the endzone a few plays later, and they elected to go for the go-ahead two-point conversion. Skidmore found Mark McCurdy in the back of the endzone and the Miners led 15-14 with 4:26 left.
“When you’re on the road, you maybe take an extra gamble or two that you might not take at home,” Park City head coach Josh Montzingo said. “It’s the playoffs, and so we figured what do we have to lose? We decided to go for it.”
Stokes finished with 132 yards rushing on 22 carries, and Aller added 51 yards on 10 touches. Falslev finished with 76 yards on eight carries. The loss marked the end of 31 different Bobcats’ football careers at Sky View.
“I’m proud of this team and I’m proud of everything these juniors and seniors have done,” Robinson said. “In the last two years we’ve won twenty-two games. It’s a great way to build a foundation of a program. We’re proud of these seniors and what they’ve been able to accomplish.”