Skyline demolishes Ballard

September 19, 2008

By Christopher Huber

Spartans use a strong offensive attack to win 56-6


It was over from the beginning.

Coming off a shutout win against Oregon’s top 6A team Sept. 6, which coaches attributed to defensive superiority, the Skyline High School Spartans regained their composure on offense and delivered multiple quick strikes to the now 0-2 Ballard Beavers. All the game’s scoring happened in the first half.

The Skyline football team demonstrated its offensive resilience and overall defensive strength in a 56-6 romp over Ballard Sept. 12 at home in Sammamish. 

“We got a lot of breaks,” Skyline head coach Mat Taylor said. “We were fortunate to score two defensive touchdowns in the first half. The defense played great again.”

Spartan junior quarterback Jake Heaps and senior wide receiver Gino Simone showed the crowd why they’re one of the best passing pairs in the state when, on Skyline’s first play of the game, the two connected for a 49-yard touchdown. 

Down 7-0 right away, Ballard struggled to drive in the first quarter. Skyline’s defense stifled any progress and gave its offense ample opportunity to do what it does best: score. 

Senior running back Joey Evans put Skyline up 14-0 on its second possession of the game with a 10-yard run. 

Less than 10 seconds later, senior Ryan Somers scooped up a fumble and returned it for a 17-yard touchdown. The Spartans led 21-0 halfway through the first and the standing-room-only student section spent most of the quarter celebrating big plays and quick touchdowns.

With Skyline’s defense doing its job well, Heaps kept feeding the ball to Evans, Simone, Kasen Williams and William Chandler. They drove to inside the Ballard 1-yard line and eventually scored on a quarterback sneak.

The long first quarter finally came to a close with yet another touchdown, this time on a 7-yard Heaps-to-Chandler pass in the end zone. Simone set up the score when he recovered another Ballard fumble on the 7-yard line. 

With the game already won, Skyline didn’t let up in the second quarter. The defense played as well as it needed to, but got a little sloppy after gaining the big lead, Taylor said.

Skyline junior defensive back Peter Kim stoked the fire with an interception two minutes into the second quarter, which then gave Heaps an opportunity to loft a pass to Williams. He hauled in the leaping grab at the 5 and set Heaps up for an easy touchdown run to make it 42-0 Spartans. 

Adding to Ballard’s adversity, senior Jake Knecht blocked a punt attempt on fourth-and-2. A couple of penalties held Skyline out of the end zone for a few plays, but eventually Heaps threaded one to Simone at the far left side of the end zone to go up 49-0. 

The teams traded penalties for a bit, and then Skyline’s Kim capped off the Spartans’ scoring by recovering the ball in the end zone on a third-and-7 Ballard fumble. 

Ballard provided a bit of excitement for its fans on a Julian Montante 38-yard catch for a touchdown with one minute left in the second quarter.

The score remained 56-6 through the duration of the second half. 

Taylor brought in the second string team from then on to get some game experience.

Skyline finished with 348 total yards on offense, balancing its passing (167) and rushing (181) games. Williams caught four passes for 64 yards and a touchdown; Simone caught two for 59 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Nick Washburn also had an interception for the Spartans and Heaps went 8 for 10 with 144 yards passing and three touchdown tosses.

Ballard finished with 141 yards rushing and 72 yards passing.  

Taylor said even though the Beavers were an easy win for Skyline, the coaching staff still expects the players to work hard on both sides of the ball.

“Our goal is, each week, take each game one at a time,” he said, “and that’s how we treat it.”

The other goal is to be the most disciplined team in the state, he said. 

“We were a little more sloppy this game than we were against Sheldon. We made a few more mistakes than we did last week,” Taylor said. “Offensively, we were better.”

Reach Reporter Christopher Huber at 392-6434, ext. 242, or at

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