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Kavemen Beat Skyview in First Playoff Round

Kuna Melba News of Kuna, Idaho

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It was 48 degrees on the eve of All Hallow's Eve and the stands filled up with black and gold early in anticipation for Kuna's first playoff game of the year. The fans hoped it wouldn't be their last. The last time Kuna had won a playoff game was in 1998. Many of the senior that were going to play were just being born that year. Now, a generation later, they had the chance to win one.

Rain in the early morning still sat in puddles on the cold metal stands, forcing folks to use the blankets they brought to dry their seats instead of warm their legs. Regardless, coats, hats and mittens were broken out for the breezy fall evening.

Kuna, whether they win or lose the toss, prefers to kick off at the beginning of the game, and this was no different. Kuna's defense began the game on fire keeping Sky-view answering 21 straight points that the Kavemen offense put on the board. With the wind out of the south, the fireworks shot off for every touchdown were covering the field with wrappers, a confetti parade for every score.

On the first play of Skyview's second possession four Kuna linemen pushed through to sack the quarterback practically holding him up in the air as if they were going to take him for a ride around the field. Kuna managed two blocked punts and forced a couple of fumbles that Skyview managed to recover.

In the second quarter, however, it was if the steam was let out of Kuna and Skyview managed to score twice, once right before the half. On returning in the third quarter, usually Kuna's highest scoring part of the game, Skyview managed to put up another touchdown bringing the score to 21-19. Fans wondered if Kuna was going to choke and seemed a bit worried.

Tensions were high out on the field and multiple penalties were called for high intensity play. Multiple times offsetting penalties for personal fouls were called. Kuna ended up with 105 yards in penalties to Skyview's 36. This wasn't atypical of the officiating all year where Kuna seemed to be on the long-yard end of penalties, even when playing away from home. Perhaps the refs are not used to seeing hard-hitting kids with lots of passion.

It wasn't until late in the third quarter that Kuna seemed to get their act back together with a 44-yard touchdown run. They then kept Skyview to a three-and-out and just two plays later Duston Taylor repeated his run with a 36-yard touchdown giving Kuna a comfortable two score lead.

Skyview threatened only once more after an amazing one-handed catch mid-field giving them good field position.

Looking at the stats, it didn't seem like such a lopsided score. Skyview had 90 plays, passing on 56 of those for 282 yards. Total offense was 317 yards. Kuna managed only 58 plays but put up 337 yards offense with 239 of those coming from rushing. Kuna passed for only 19 plays with only 5 yards passing in the second half.

Next week the Kavemen leave on Thursday for the long journey north to play Sandpoint for the second round of playoffs. Sand-point has been consistently ranked 3rd or 4th in the statewide media polls and the poll during the second half of the season. Kuna has been in the top 10. However, on the power rankings, which takes in to consideration the difficulty of opponents, Kuna is currently sitting 5th while Sandpoint is 6th. Sandpoint has a 6-3 record while Kuna is 7-3 after last week's game. If Kuna beats Sandpoint, they'll bring another playoff game back to Kuna.

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Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015

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