PARKER – A little wind never bothered Chase Silva.
So when the sophomore went to work on the first drive of Saturday’s Class 4A football semifinal game on a blustery afternoon at EchoPark Stadium, it was simply business as usual. His pinpoint, 33-yard touchdown pass to Jack Wathen through a fierce crosswind set the tempo for Skyline, which added a dominating effort on defense in a 32-0 rout of Ponderosa.
Silva added a 2-yard touchdown toss and a 9-yard scoring scramble for the Falcons (10-3), which will meet Loveland (13-0) in the 4A state championship game – their first since 1999 – at 11 a.m. Dec. 1 at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. And he got plenty of support from running back Jeremy Hollingsworth, who had 212 yards and two touchdowns, and a defense that allowed only five first downs and 68 total yards.
“I knew it was going to be windy, but you just have to play through it,” Silva said. “I knew we had to come out and score on our first drive. I saw a 1-on-1 with the safety on the left side, and I took it and trusted my guy, and he made a play.”
The Falcons scored on their ensuing possession after the defense registered a three-and-out, increasing the lead to 13-0 after Silva’s 2-yard touchdown pass to Kyle West.
“When we scored on the second drive, I just knew we were driving from that point on,” Silva said. “We knew after coming off a big win (21-20 over Pine Creek the week before) that we couldn’t let that be the high point of our season. Each week, we’re still finding ways to get better.”
Ponderosa (10-3), which hadn’t lost since August, took advantage of a defensive stand combined with a wind-aided, 12-yard punt to start a drive on the Skyview 40 with 1:23 left in the first half. The Mustangs advanced the ball to the 8-yard-line, but Will Drewes intercepted a Dylan Hollowell pass at the goal line with 11.3 seconds left to thwart the drive.
“I just dropped back and made sure no one was getting through,” Drewes said. “He threw it right to me. That was great going into halftime, but we had to shut them down again on our first defensive series of the second half. We just came out physical and shut them down.”
Hollingsworth’s 1-yard run ended a five-play, 38-yard drive on the Falcons’ first drive of the second half as snow began to accompany the stiff wind, and Silva made it 25-0 after his 9-yard scramble with 2:27 left in the third quarter.
Hollingsworth ended the scoring on a 31-yard burst over the left side with 5:19 left in the game.
Ponderosa, which had averaged nearly 35 points per game during its 10-game winning streak, couldn’t stay on the field against Skyline. The Mustangs’ longest drive was just seven plays.
“They’re playing confident ball and playing fast and physical defense, and we couldn’t get rolling today,” Mustangs coach Jaron Cohen said. “I felt like there were a few key plays that they converted and we didn’t in the first half, and they won the one-on-one battles with our guys. But give credit to Skyline. They did a good job.”