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Thunderbirds hang on in high octane rumble for the 48-44 win over South Barber

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Skyline High School ball carrier Jesus Carasas sprints for the goal-line on one of several scoring plays he made for the Skyline Thunderbirds on Friday in their first football game of the season. The T-birds downed South Barber 48-44 in an explosive contest.

Heart of the Plains potential title contenders got down to business at Skyline High School in Pratt last Friday, when the Thunderbirds hosted the South Barber Chieftans in what turned out to be a high octane 48-44 rumble.

“Our team attendance has made it possible for us to have some very meaningful practices, so even though it was early in the season, we came ready to play,” said Skyline Head Football Coach Andrew Nation.

In the #3 win over #4, Skyline took control early with repeated stops on defense and blasting offensive plays that took the Thunderbirds repeatedly to the end-zone.

Skyline’s #14 Jesus Casas accounte for 4 total TD's and over 300 total yards (107 rushing, 133 receiving, 70 KO ret), and got an INT in the last minute that sealed the game for us,” said Nation.

Skyline freshman Brayden Berens passed for 3 TDs and 154 yards, and added a rushing TD in his first high school game.

“It really was a team effort,” Nation said. “Our seniors and juniors were battling cramps and injuries the entire second half and we used more of our roster than we thought we would. We are very proud of our kids finding a way to hold on and get the win.”

Scoring by quarters went  8-6 Skyline up in Q1, 34-20 Skyline high in Q2, 6-12 in Barber County’s favor in Q3, and 0-6 Barber County in Q4.

“All of our seniors are going to stand out in their respective positions with their play and leadership,” Nation said. “Hunter Berens held his own very well against a 2019 all league defensive lineman. Josiah Giles led our team with 5 pancake blocks on the night and a TFL.  Ethan Haskett led our team in tackles. Aden Temanson had some some challenging coverage assignments on defense and got two pass break ups and third on team with nine tackles on the night. Tyler Wray playing his first ever football game was second leading tackler, a TFL, and a fumble recovery.  Braden Tyler started our scoring with a 50 yd TD run and then finished our scoring with a very difficult 24 yd TDc atch, was tied for second in tackles, a TFL and QB pressure.  Jesus Casas, a junior, maximized his opportunities to carry the ball with over 300 total yards, 4 total TD's, and made a game sealing INT friday night. We are also excited about the number of underclassmen that are helping the team have success on both sides of the ball. 

Skyline travels to Medicine Lodge this Friday for a 7 p.m. kick off.