SAMMAMISH, Wash. – Sometimes it’s the little things a defense does and the little things an offense executes that spell the difference in a football game.
Central Valley coach Rick Giampietri emphasized his team can defend the screen pass. It just didn’t look like it Saturday afternoon when Central Valley bumbled around on defense and didn’t have much consistency on offense as the Skyline Spartans stung the Bears 52-17 in a State 4A quarterfinal game.
The good things that CV (9-3) had done the past three weeks weren’t evident against Skyline, a perennial power. The Spartans (9-3), attests their coach, Mat Taylor, probably played their best game of the year.
“You’d think we’ve never defensed the screen,” Giampietri said after the Bears allowed three long touchdowns via the play. “We had people assigned to it. They just got to us or blocked us or we had a mental lapse or something. We have screen coverage we really do.”
Skyline moves on to the semifinals and will face Woodinville (12-0).
“Last week was our best defensive game,” Taylor said of his team’s 27-17 win over Mead. “To put it together (with the offense) was awesome.”
Despite giving up four touchdowns in the first half, the Bears still had hope – especially considering they would receive the opening kickoff of the second half.
But the Bears’ hopes quickly faded when Skyline scored on its first two plays of the third quarter to extend its lead to 42-10.
“We couldn’t get anything going to keep them off the field a little bit,” Giampietri said.
CV hoped to establish the run early so it could use ball control to keep the Spartans’ offense – led by talented 6-foot-5 junior quarterback Max Browne – off the field. But the Spartans didn’t cooperate.
“We didn’t have a chance to keep the ball away from them,” Giampietri said. “That’s what we had to do. And they scored on us quick. We’d drive down and score in 4 minutes and they’d drive and score in 15 seconds.”
Perhaps a harbinger of the Bears’ troubles came on their first possession when they drove to Skyline’s 2-yard line. The Bears took three cracks at it but couldn’t get into the end zone and had to settle for a field goal.
“We should have scored a touchdown there,” Giampietri said.
CV quarterback Gaven Deyarmin, who had done a lot of damage out of bootlegs, sweeps and draws the last three weeks, couldn’t get untracked.
“It’s disappointing, because we know we didn’t play our best game,” Deyarmin said. “That’s probably the hardest part. Coming out and losing to a team that’s better than you and you play your best game is a lot different. That’s a great team and that’s not the way we wanted to finish.”
Giampietri knows a season-ending loss in the playoffs isn’t the full barometer of a team’s success.
“I’m proud of these kids,” he said. “We had three great (weeks) and played really well.”
“It was a great season,” Deyarmin said. “I wouldn’t have wanted to be with anyone else. This team is the best experience of my life. It had its ups and downs, but in the end it’s a great season.”