Deer Valley’s football squad has until 8 a.m. this morning to enjoy its win over rival Mountain Ridge and relish its second place standing in the 5A-II Northwest region.
So says Skyhawk Head Coach Sven Christianson. Once the team hits the film room, he said, they were on Boulder Creek time.
”Starting tomorrow at 8 a.m. when we’re in that film room it doesn’t matter what we did last night, we have to work again to beat the next opponent,” Christianson said.
With Deer Valley’s 30-3 road win against Mountain Ridge (2-4, 1-2) the Skyhawks (3-3, 2-1) climb into a second place tie with Boulder Creek and Willow Canyon. The Jaguars fell to Sandra Day O’Connor 24-21 while the Wildcats beat Goldwater 34-13.
”This kind of win let’s us know we can play with anyone,” said sophomore running back Trae Armstrong. “And we know we’re going to have come hard again next week against Boulder Creek.”
What the Jaguars can expect, and what the Mountain Lions learned, is the defense can get confused with who is carrying the ball for Deer Valley.
The Skyhawsks controlled the clock with a run attack based on misdirection and delayed hand offs. Sophomore quarterback Austin Hillman had a trio of options, including Armstrong, senior Hayden McClellan and senior Brandon Colenberg, and at times it seemed all three were taking a hand off on one play leaving Mountain Ridge to play a guessing game.
”(The running game) is something we worked a lot on this week,” Armstrong said.
The Skyhawk sophomore put his squad on the board midway through the first quarter on a sweep around the left side for an 11-yard touchdown. He also would score on an 18-yard run in the fourth on a delay-fake with Colenberg to put the game out of reach.
”I have to hand it to the offensive staff, they watch a lot of tape and find the other team’s tendencies and allows our players to do what they do,” Christianson said. “(The staff) did a great job getting our players ready for tonight.”
After struggling during it’s first drive of the game, when a holding penalty curtailed a strong start, Deer Valley found its rhythm.
In the second quarter, the Skyhawks put together a 5-minute, 12-play, 43-yard drive capped by a 28-yard field goal, the first of three for senior Matthew Walberer. Hillman then added a strong finish to the half, connecting with senior wide out Jon Green on a 19-yard touchdown pass to make it 17-3.
”Offensively, this was a break out game for us,” Christianson said.
The Skyhawks kept the pressure on in the second half, kicking field goals (19 yards and 28 yards, repsectively) on two of their next three posessions. They nearly made it 3-for-3 during that span, however, Hillman was interecepted at the goal line by sophomore defensive back Cameron Fortuna.
With less than five minutes left in the third quarter, Mountain Lions quarter back Hunter Young went to the air, hitting junior wide receiver Jonathan Matter on a 23-yard pass in the flat. But the good fortune ended there as Matter would catch another Young pass two plays later and fumble the ball as he tried to spin and run upfield.
Young would fumble on the next Mountian Ridge drive when senior linebacker Deandre Daniels blitzed around the right side, hitting the sophomore quarterback on his blind side.
”You have to fight in this game and in life, and our kids didn’t do that tonight,” said Mountain Ridge Head Coach Bobby Green. “We expect them to fight and find a way to get it done, but that didn’t happen tonight.”
The Mountain Lions jumped on the board first when Jon Green kicked a 33-yard field goal to cap a 12-play, 40-yard drive.