Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
MERLIN — Tristan Burke has become the consummate playmaker for the North Valley football team.
The senior quarterback ran for one touchdown and passed for two more as North Valley clinched at least a share of the Skyline Conference championship with a 29-13 victory over Phoenix at the Knights Coliseum Friday.
It's North Valley's first conference crown since 2008 and the Knights (7-1, 4-0 Sky) can claim the title outright with a win over rival Hidden Valley next Friday.
The Knights took the opening kickoff and drove 65 yards in eight plays, capped by Burke's 25-yard touchdown pass to Jesse Guthrie.
Burke finished another 65-yard drive in the second quarter with a 20-yard TD run that sent the Knights into halftime with a 15-0 lead.
Phoenix answered in the third quarter on junior quarterback Andrew Reynoso's 30-yard scoring run. But the Knights answered back when Burke found Kyle Rose behind the Pirates' secondary for a 72-yard touchdown.
"We ask a lot of (Burke)," said North Valley coach Todd Willaman. "He threw the ball well when he needed to. We have a lot of playmakers and he has some good options to go to."
Burke ran nine times for 65 yards and was 10-of-15 passing for 154 yards and no interceptions.
Austin Neil was the Knights' leading rusher with 71 yards on 14 carries.
Reynoso accounted for 101 of 173 rushing yards for Phoenix.
"(Reynoso) is a tough runner," said Willaman. "They ran the veer well. I was worried coming into the game because they're so young and they get better every week."
Phoenix 0 0 7 6 — 13
North Valley 8 7 7 7 — 29
NV — Guthrie 25 pass from Burke (Burke run)
NV — Burke 20 run (Chirnside kick)
P — Reynoso 30 run (Deras kick)
NV — Rose 72 pass from Burke (Chirnside kick)
P — Morris 6 run (run failed)
NV — Neil 1 run (Chirnside kick)
KLAMATH UNION 42, HIDDEN VALLEY 12 — At Klamath Falls, Klamath Union built a 35-0 lead before Hidden Valley got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter of the Skyline game.
Jonathan Munoz ran for 153 yards on 15 carries and scored on runs of 16 and 9 yards for the Pelicans (6-2, 3-1 Sky).
Ben Mitchell completed 6 of 10 passes for 158 yards and TDs of 60 yards to Mitch Mirande and 45 yards to Jack Bell.
For Hidden Valley (5-3, 2-2), Johnny Gerson gained 78 yards on 16 carries and scored both Mustang touchdowns on runs of 3 and 5 yards.
Hidden Valley 0 0 0 12 — 12
Klamath Union 20 9 6 7 — 42
KU — Mirande 60 pass from Mitchell (Hernandez kick)
KU — Montgomery 44 interception return (Hernandez kick)
KU — Munoz 16 run (kick failed)
KU — Safety
KU — Bell 45 pass from Mitchell (Hernandez kick)
KU — Munoz 9 run (kick failed)
HV — Gerson 3 run (kick failed)
KU — Daibes 17 run (Hernandez kick)
HV — Gerson 5 run (kick failed)