The Search For a Perfect Ending

For the first time in three years the Southridge Skyhawks have the opportunity to secure a home playoff game. However, to get it the Hawks will have to be perfect in their final two games

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The Search For a Perfect Ending

Kyle Pinnell

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The Southridge Skyhawks haven’t had a winning season in over four years. They haven’t hosted a home playoff game since 2015. In the next two weeks, they have the chance to reverse all of that as they look to pick up steam heading into the postseason

For the Skyhawks, the privilege of getting to host a first-round home playoff game is certainly attainable. They control their own destiny because regardless of how any other team does, winning the remaining two games on their schedule guarantees them the home playoff game.

However, winning out will not be an easy task. Next week the Hawks travel to Beaverton High School where they will have to defeat their longest cross-town rival in what is sure to be an exciting and loud atmosphere. A season ago the game came down to the wire with the Hawks squeezing a 36-33 win out on their last possession. The Beavers surely want revenge, and what sweeter way than to wretch a rare home playoff game out of their rival’s hands.

If the Skyhawks can make it out of Beaverton High School with the victory, then all they have left to do is defeat the Aloha Warriors at home on senior night. While Aloha might not be as tough of a team as Jesuit or even Mountain View on paper, they were able to come away with a win at Southridge a year ago.

“These next two opponents are not as tough as Jesuit to be honest, and I feel like if we come out 100% focused, know what we’re doing, and execute, we will have a really good chance at winning these next two games,” running back EJ Santos said.

Heading into next week, the Beavers are 4-3 (2-1 in Metro League play) but are coming off of a 21-54 home defeat at the hands of the red-hot Sunset Apollos. The Aloha Warriors are 3-4 (1-3 in Metro League play) and are also coming off a tough defeat: a 13-17 loss at home to the Mountainside Mavericks.

“Well, we beat Beaverton last year, and the plan is no different,” lineman Zach Slail said. “Aloha should be a little interesting, but I’m very confident that we will have our home playoff game.”

How confident is Slail exactly?

“I am like 90% or above confident that we will get this home playoff game,” he said.

The Hawks wouldn’t have even had a shot at hosting a playoff game had it not been for some impressive results early in the year. The Hawks wins at Lincoln High School and at home against Mountainside were big, but no result may have been more important than their 55-48 victory over the Mountain View Cougars who were ranked seventh in the state going into the game.

In order to make sure that a majority of the team was healthy for the stretch run, head coach Kevin Bickler put starting running back, Blake Sims, on a snap count last Friday night at Jesuit as he recovers from a pulled hamstring. After the game, Bickler said that he is 100% confident that Blake will be ready to go next Friday at Beaverton.

The Skyhawks are in control of their own destiny now. In a game of inches where the margin of error is so little, the Hawks can not afford to overlook their two remaining opponents. It won’t be easy, but the Hawks have all they could ask for: a chance. Is there anything better in sports than that?

“I think our kids should be the favorites and that’s the type of mentality that we have to have going in,” Bickler said. “We’re the ones that should win this game. We’re going to go in confident. We’re going to go in and work hard, and we got a lot of things to work for, and we could end the season off on a really good, positive note.”