Skyhawks dominates Shadow Ridge for a second time

Silverado’s varsity football team closes out an undefeated season with a blowout to win the 4A state championship title


Kristyann Esteron

At Allegiant Stadium, Silverado’s offense try to the move the ball forward on 3rd down.

Kristyann Esteron, Editor in Chief

On Nov. 18, the Silverado Varsity football team stood against the Shadow Ridge Mustangs at Allegiant Stadium. This was the first time our football program has ever made it to a state championship in the 28 years that the school has been running.

Skyhawks blew out the Mustangs with an astonishing 61-27 victory to secure the Class 4A state championship. Finishing with an undefeated 12-0 season, the average Skyhawk game was 52-11, outscoring opponents by a longshot. 

Junior quarterback Brandon Tunnell passed for 325 yards, accumulating five touchdowns and a 13/18 pass completion. On the other hand, twin brother Bryson Tunnell racked 55 yards with four passes and two touchdowns. To make good use of a left-handed quarterback, coaches originally wanted Bryson to be a quarterback, but he declined. In return, Brandon accepted the challenge, and it’s been that way ever since.

“We got the twin telepathy, so I guess it kind of works out sometimes,” Brandon said in a televised interview.

Brandon also passed to junior Donavyn Pellow who caught a total of six passes gaining 143 yards and one TD. Senior Jaden Thrower with two touchdowns with the catches for 127 yards.

With multiple stops to the Mustang defense, lineman Derrick Lyons,12 was absolutely excited to be playing a state championship game at Allegiant stadium. 

“It felt surreal playing in a state championship game,” Lyons said. “Ever since freshman year, we’ve been talking about going to state, but now actually being able to be here, it feels almost not real.”

The varsity team played excellent at the championship state game as they had all season. Lyons mentioned that as far as preparations went before the game, they didn’t change much. The Skyhawks stuck to their same game plan but were aware of the game’s importance.

“What made the difference was our skill guys,” Coach Andy Ostolaza said in an article published in the Las Vegas Review Journal. “They performed at such a high level, starting with the quarterback. I told you guys at the beginning of the year, he’s the best quarterback in Silverado history. I thought he was the best quarterback in our entire league, and I think he proved it tonight.”

Previously being a running team, the Silverado Skyhawks switched up the ball game when Brandon stepped into his quarterback position his freshman year. The team utilized scrimmage events during the off-season, letting the skills positions work on strategies such as play-calling. On top of that, the team had previously been playing football together since youth league, so their bond strengthened the relationship of the team overall. 

“We just trust each other,” Lyons said. “We don’t do more than our assignment. When someone makes a mistake, we all know to make it up the next play, so that’s why we’ve been able to get back into the game after 1 or 2 bad offensive possessions.”

Earlier in the season, the Skyhawks had played against the Mustangs for our first home game dominating them 50-29. Early predictions of this anticipated game favored the Mustangs winning by seven, only for the Skyhawks to completely truck that forecast down. As always seeming like the underdogs, our boys have worked hard to show people what they are capable of.