Skyline finishes undefeated

October 28, 2008

By Christopher Huber

The outcome of the final game on Skyline High School’s regular season schedule was like most this season: The Spartans’ impenetrable defense rendered its opponent’s offense mostly ineffective.

The Jake Heaps-lead offense did its thing — Heaps bombing a pass down the field to one of four choice receivers at least once for a touchdown. And Skyline picked away at the opposing defense with its running game. 

And, again, head coach Mat Taylor sent in the second string to start the second half.

Even though it was homecoming, the Spartans football team has attracted larger crowds — last week at Issaquah.

Skyline beat the visiting Redmond Mustangs 41-6, allowing its first touchdown since Sept. 12 against Ballard. 

The difference was the presence of Notre Dame head football coach Charlie Weis, who was there to watch Heaps perform. 

Heaps, a junior, is one of the most sought-after high school quarterbacks in the nation, with scholarship offers from many of the best college programs in the country.

“It was a great honor and I really enjoyed it,” Heaps said after the game. “Hopefully, I put on a good enough show for him.”

It was a good night to throw for 271 yards and four touchdowns. He completed 10 of 16 pass attempts, including an 84-yard touchdown play to Washington State-bound Gino Simone in the first quarter. Heaps also connected with sophomore receiver Kasen Williams for a 38-yard touchdown pass near the end of the first. 

“We just came out and we just played like we always play,” Heaps said. “We do a good job of coming out each week and taking each opponent seriously.” 

Redmond (1-4 league, 1-7 overall) started on the wrong foot when it fumbled the ball on the first play of the game. However, its defense showed it could stand up to the undefeated Skyline offense when it forced the Spartans to kick a field goal after starting the drive on the Redmond 18. 

Brian Schwartz put the Spartans up 3-0 two minutes in.

Skyline capitalized on good field position on its next possession, when Heaps fired the ball 36 yards on second-and-long to receiver Jake Knecht. The touchdown put Skyline up 10-0 only five minutes into the game. 

The dominant defense held Redmond to another short drive. It didn’t matter that Skyline took over deep in its own territory. On first-and-10 from the 16, Heaps lobbed a short pass to Simone, who had just one man to beat before streaking 84 yards to the end zone. 

“We came out and we got the job done. We got another win,” Simone said. “That’s what it’s about, week in, week out.” 

In the first, Skyline recorded its first of four sacks of Redmond quarterback David Gilbertson. Down 24-0, the Mustangs drove into the second quarter, but the Spartans’ Jack Carlson chased Gilbertson down in the backfield for another sack, stifling any progress.  

Redmond didn’t give up, though. Although Skyline pushed hard from its own 45 — it converted fourth down and running back Joey Evans broke through for 18 yards — Redmond held the line on defense. Skyline settled for another short field goal from Schwartz. The Redmond defense proceeded to sack Heaps twice in three plays on the next Skyline drive. 

Skyline led 34-0 at the half. 

With Heaps and his crew taking a breather, the second team offense took over in the third quarter. The Spartans scored their final touchdown of the game on a 32-yard run by Nick Washburn. 

The Mustangs threatened a couple of times in the second half, but found success only once, on a Gilbertson QB keeper from 2 yards out. Redmond failed the 2-point conversion attempt, but the touchdown was only the second allowed by the Skyline defense all year. The first-team defense has yet to allow a touchdown.

“I’m not real psyched that they scored at the end there, but it is what it is and we’re going to come out ready for Bothell,” Simone said.

When it was all said and done, Skyline produced 401 yards total offense to Redmond’s 153 yards. Simone caught two passes for 94 yards, and Williams hauled in four for 123 yards. 

Skyline, now 5-0 conference and 8-0 overall, seems to be at its best. Coming off a 38-0 win over Issaquah Oct. 17, the Spartans face the Crown Division champion Bothell Cougars at 5 p.m. Oct. 30 at Skyline Stadium. The winner will be the KingCo 4A champ.

“We’re going to game-plan for them and we’re going to come ready,” Simone said. “We’re going to bring a lot of fun, a lot of excitement. There’s not much more you could ask for.”

Reach Reporter Christopher Huber at 392-6434, ext. 242, or chuber@isspress.com.

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