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Skyridge Falcons give explosive performance in victory at Farmington

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The Skyridge football team made a statement as they dominated the Farmington Phoenix with a 55-17 victory on the road.

The Phoenix put points on the board first with a 50-yard field goal kicked by Drew Romney but had to claw and scratch for even small bits of yardage for the rest of the contest. On the other side, the Falcons lit up the scoreboard as they cruised to an easy win over the Phoenix.

The Falcon offense ignited as senior running back Carter Sheffield led the scoring with a one-yard plunge into the endzone, followed by senior quarterback Jackson Stevens connecting with senior receiver Trevan McClellan for a 7-yard pass and catch.

“We had a slow start,” said Skyridge Head Coach Justin Hemm. “The first drive, we didn’t get what we wanted. We took a shot on the first play and we were off a little bit.

“We were a tad behind the chains and we didn’t convert,” he continued. “After that we settled in and got in a rhythm and from there we felt very comfortable and played our game.”

After a fumble in the redzone, the senior playmaker, wide receiver La’a Kalama, atoned for his earlier mistake with a 20-yard reception for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Kalama had several chunk plays in both the passing phase of the game and on punt returns. Kalama sparked the offense while Stevens looked at ease in the pocket with minimal pressure due to protection provided by the experienced offensive line.

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Junior left tackle Darius Afalava guarded Stevens on his blindside with vigilance, allowing the offense to move at will down the field.

Sheffield scored in the second quarter on a perfectly-set-up screen pass called by Hemm. Senior receiver Trent Call completed the first half scoring with a well-executed fade route in the corner of the endzone.

Sheffield said, “The O-line dominated the game tonight and allowed us to put points on the board, but we can’t go three and out anymore. It’s hard to do that and win a game.

“We are working on our game every week and learning where we are at and where we can be and how to get better as a team,” he added.

Seniors Brett Buhler, Sheffield, and Jack Burke rounded out the scoring in the second half as the game was quickly out of reach for the Phoenix.

Starting placekicker Blake Hester converted on four PATs in the first half before being taken to the sideline because of an undisclosed injury. Junior kicker Ethan Herfel filled in for Hester and converted three out of the four final PATs.

“Jackson spread the ball around tonight and all the receivers had some receptions. Offense overall did a great job,” said Hemm.

Call said, “We knew it was going to be a big night for the receivers. We got yards after the catch, we got deep catches and impressive blocking. The QB had all night to throw because of the O-line. That was the game plan coming in and we executed it well.”

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The Falcon defense dominated Farmington with their familiar style of play, aggressively pressuring the Phoenix offense resulting in several mistakes and long yardage situations. Senior defensive lineman Ian Mariner registered two sacks and several pressures on Farmington’s quarterback.

Junior linebacker DeShawn Toilolo also pressured Farmington into mishaps, including an interception on a crucial fourth and four in the first quarter. Defensive backs junior Tavian Edwards and senior Mark Baird generally locked down the Phoenix receiving corps, forcing several errant throws.

“We keep improving,” Hemm said. “This is week three and we don’t want to be a finished product right now. This is a learning experience for us and each week we want to continue to grow from the mistakes and develop so that near the end of the season we are at our potential and are prepared for everything.

“These guys have a great work ethic and want to learn. They play for each other, and I could not be more proud of that,” the coach added.

The Falcons hope to light up the scoreboard again next week as they face perennial power Bingham at home on Friday (Sept. 1)with a 7 p.m. kickoff.

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