Heading into Friday night's game, we were set for one of the most hyped up games of the year. With each team coming into it at 5 - 0, two of the top five teams in the state were ready to battle it out to the finish. American Fork(Away) just came off a fantastic win against Herriman and Skyridge(Home) equaled that energy crushing Jordan. We could not have expected a game like this though. The outcome was surprising, ending in a 41 - 9 victory for Skyridge.
Skyridge started things off hot, hastily scoring two touchdowns within the first three minutes of the game. The first was a sweet 7-yard touchdown rush from Jeter Fenton set up by a long run after their D forced the Caveman to punt. The second also came after a punt. It was created after Mccae Hillstead sprinted, picking up a bunch of yards with a long run, setting up a 29-yard dart from Breck Parker to Mitch Adamson to put Skyridge up 14 - 0.
Uncharacteristically, American Fork did not respond back offensively. Their defense did not want to get scored on again though, so they fought hard preventing Skyridge from scoring for the rest of the first quarter. They started to turn things around with PJ Nettenshein kicking them a field goal, but shortly after Skyridge barged in another touchdown, this time on a run by Carver Cole. The Cavemen started to regain some of their hope back, but the next possession a mishap play ruined that energy… Just as it started to look good, Falcon defensive end Stone Mulitalo hopped up and snatched the ball out of the air, before running it back for six.
American Fork maturely drove back down the field and Maddog Madsen shot back with a bullet to Will Zundel, who ran it for just around 40 yards. Following the momentum shift, Madsen took it himself and scrambled for 20 yards to set himself up for a beautiful lob to Sam Hafen on the next play giving the Cavemen their first touchdown of the game. This would make the score 9 - 27.
Coming into halftime, Madsen’s low completion percentage of just above 30% was part of the reason the Cavemen were down 9 - 27. When nothing else has worked, he always has, which wasn’t the case today. That is in part to Skyridge’s steller secondary play. They had American Fork figured out fast.
American Fork heavily struggled to gain momentum. Right as they would get back up they got punched back down. There were two possible interceptions that could have definitely helped, but they just barely did not come up with either. Even when they would start moving the ball on offense something would happen, whether that be a sack, an interception, etc.
The thing that officially put the nail in the coffin was when they attempted an offside kicked and landed it. That poured a bag of salt straight into the already deeply thrashed wound. It was almost cruel, especially because they scored again right after.
The Cavemen had not been stopped until this game. When they played against opponents like Herriman and Lehi they were really successful in the passing game. In fact, they have been one of the best offenses in the state this whole season, not even just during those games. Skyridge really came out and shut them down, which shows the strength they have and the immense planning their coaches did to prepare for this game. Their strategy was perfect. The Falcons defense is special all around, not just the secondary. Specifically, defensive end Stone Mulitalo was putting pressure on Madsen all night.
Skyridge didn’t just succeed on defense, they excelled on offense. Hillstead threw for a touchdown and ran it in for another while running back Jeter Fenton rushed all over American Fork. He amassed a total of three touchdowns, a few of which were impressive long rushes. Fenton did his job and more, opening up the air and ground for the offense. The Skyridge offense DOMINATED this game. There is nothing else to be said except that.
With as forceful a win as this against the #1 team, the Falcons definitely are making a case to take hold of that esteemed top spot. They just couldn’t go wrong in this game. When they threw the ball it landed. When they rushed the ball it worked just as good, if not better. And on the other side of the field, they did a thing that no other team has done this season. Shut down Madsen. He dominated against every other team, but they made it so he just couldn’t get it done this game. I give applause to Skyridge.
While it didn’t turn out to be the crazy shootout we expected, we still learned a lot about each team and know what to look for in the future. Opposing teams now know that if they lock off the air and keep putting the pressure on, American Fork isn’t perfect, but the big question is can they do that? The Cavemen aren’t going to be put down that easy. I bet next week's practices are going to be the hardest, most intense practices they have had yet. This isn’t a team to back down. They know the squad they have and they will be back with a chip on their shoulder.