Undefeated no more: Sky View goes down, Orem headed to 4A finals

Orem's Puka Nacua is congratulated after scoring a touchdown | Screen cap courtesy WATCHit Network

SALT LAKE CITY – Two of the most prolific offenses in the state of Utah clashed Friday in a 4A semifinal at Rice-Eccles Stadium, but it was the defenses that ruled as Orem ousted Sky View 28-12.

The victory earns the Tigers a berth in the 4A state championship game next Friday at 11 a.m. at Rice-Eccles against the Mountain Crest Mustangs.

Sky View held the Tigers to 11 points below their season average, an admirable feat against Orem stars Cooper Legas and Puka Nacua. But the Tigers defense was most impressive of all, allowing just two touchdowns to the previously unbeaten Bobcats, more than 24 points below Sky View’s season average.

Shawn Anderson intercepted Jackson Siddoway and Nacua knocked away a potential touchdown pass by Siddoway that might have made things interesting in the game’s final four minutes.

After a scoreless first quarter, Orem struck first with a 2-yard bootleg scramble by Legas for a score in the first two minutes of the second quarter. The play came on a fourth-and-goal and happened three plays after Nacua had his 30-yard touchdown pass negated on an illegal man downfield penalty. The extra point by Canyon Esplin made it 7-0 with 10:05 left in the first half.

Orem’s Puka Nacua (12), file photo of Desert Hills vs. Orem, Football, Orem, UT, Nov. 3, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

After a Sky View punt, Nacua scored again … and had his 50-yard catch-and-run called back on a holding penalty. But the Tigers overcame the penalty on a nifty catch-and-run by Enoch Fiso. Orem running back Trevor Rockey scored untouched from 3-yards out to make it 14-0 with 5:02 left in the half.

Meanwhile, the Bobcats had trouble sustaining long drives against the Orem defense. The only major drive for Sky View came late in the first half when Siddoway led his team 80 yards on 12 plays. Siddoway, under a heavy rush, tossed up a prayer in the end zone that Mason Falslev ripped down. It was technically a 10-yard TD pass, but Siddoway had scrambled back behind the 20-yard line before heaving the desperation pass with 1:21 to go in the half.

But Orem blocked the extra point and held onto a 14-6 lead at halftime.

Sky View had no luck offensively in the third quarter, and Orem got an important two-score lead when Nacua caught a 4-yard TD pass from Legas that made it 21-6.

Sky View pulled to within 21-12 early in the fourth quarter on a 6-yard run by Siddoway, but the Tigers blocked the extra point once again, leaving it as a nine-point lead at 21-12.

Orem put the game away on the next drive, with Legas scoring his second TD of the night on a 9-yard run.

Sky View drove inside the Orem 20-yard line with 3:20 left in the game. But Nacua made a diving pass deflection on fourth-and-goal from the 13 to knock it away from Falslev and seal the win. The Tigers were able to run the clock out from there.

Orem, 11-2, will battle Mountain Crest (12-1) for the first time in more than 20 years when the two teams square off for the 4A state title next Friday (11 a.m.). The Mustangs defeated Stansbury 17-7 Thursday night in the other semifinal.

Sky View finishes with just a single loss after winning Region 12 and beating Mountain View and Pine View in the first two rounds of the state tournament.

The 6A finalists were decided Friday as well, with East beating Lone Peak 28-13 and Bingham defeating Herriman 31-7. The Miners are two-time defending 5A champions.

Next Friday’s championship lineup has Orem-Mt. Crest at 11 a.m. in the 4A championship, Lehi vs. Skyridge at 2:30 p.m. in the 5A title game, and East vs. Bingham at 6 p.m in the 6A finale.

4A State Playoffs First Round Results
Upper Bracket
Mountain Crest 44, Salem Hills 31
Dixie 30, Park City 6
Stansbury 28, Cedar 20
Ridgeline 25, Spanish Fork 22
Lower Bracket
Pine View 63, Tooele 14
Sky View 50, Mountain View 14
Orem 36, Bear River 7
Desert Hills 45, Bonneville 13

4A State Playoffs quarterfinal results
Upper Bracket
Mountain Crest 18, Dixie 17
Stansbury 38, Ridgeline 7
Lower Bracket
Sky View 35, Pine View 21
Orem 37, Desert Hills 17

State 4A semifinals (Rice-Eccles Stadium)
Thursday
Mt. Crest 17, Stansbury 7
Friday
Orem 28, Sky View 12

4A championship game (Rice-Eccles Stadium)
Friday, Nov. 17
Orem (11-2) vs. Mt. Crest (12-1), 11 a.m.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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