Skyline scores early and often to beat Eastlake

October 13, 2009

By Christopher Huber

Skyline running back Nick Beauchamp tries to elude Eastlake defenders in the first quarter Oct. 9 at Eastlake Stadium. By Christopher Huber

Skyline running back Nick Beauchamp tries to elude Eastlake defenders in the first quarter Oct. 9 at Eastlake Stadium. By Christopher Huber

The goal coming into Skyline High School’s cross-town rivalry match against Eastlake was to take the wind out of the Wolves’ sail early by stifling the explosive offense and scoring early.

That’s exactly what the Spartans did in front of a riled up Eastlake crowd Oct. 9 at Eastlake Stadium.

Skyline scored a touchdown on each of its first five possessions, recovered two fumbles and held Eastlake to just 50 total yards of offense in the first half.

Despite a few respectable drives from the Wolves, Skyline coasted to a 43-7 victory.

“This was a big game,” Skyline quarterback Jake Heaps said. “These guys were fighting for their lives, their playoff lives, and they had a lot coming into this game and we had a lot to prove.”Skyline proved itself through the air, on the ground and on defense, showing it could finally settle into a grove in all facets of play.

“We really had more of a complete game,” Skyline head coach Mat Taylor said. “We didn’t have the mental mistakes that we’ve had in the past and that was huge.”

For its part, Eastlake seemed up to the challenge of battling Skyline all game, despite a looming deficit early on.

“Our game plan was bring some heat to ‘em, try to get some pressure, try to get some hits on ‘em, but they do a great job up front,” said Eastlake head coach Gene Dales. “They do a great job protecting their quarterback.”

Skyline took its first drive 81 yards for a score and left the Wolves with just more than five minutes to work within the first quarter. Heaps again proved why he likes throwing to junior wide receiver Kasen Williams when he tossed 20- and 28-yard touchdown passes consecutively in the first half.

“We wanted to take the wind out of them early and we wanted to get after it,” Heaps said. “And our guys did that. They really stepped up to the challenge.”

Eastlake struggled in the first half, but managed to capitalize on a Spartan fumble after a botched punt snap deep in Skyline territory. Wolves quarterback Kelby McCorkle connected with tight end Ethan Potter for an 8-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

Skyline led 33-7 at halftime.

McCorkle completed 13 of 19 pass attempts for 134 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The Skyline defense held the Wolves to just 162 total yards on offense. Eastlake’s Cam Hunt ran six times for 33 yards and caught four passes for 25 yards.

“There’s some drives we’d like back, but overall, defensively, we played a great game,” Heaps said of the airtight Spartan defense.

Williams uncharacteristically missed a couple of long balls from Heaps, but Heaps and Taylor said the receiving corps as a whole is hitting its stride.

“We’re finally clicking. We’re finally on the same page and we’re finally playing to the level that we should,” Heaps said. “Now, everybody’s comfortable and they know what they’re doing and it’s showing out here on the field.”

Heaps finished with 14 of 31 passing for 271 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Williams had six receptions for 137 yards; running back Nick Washburn had 10 carries for 44 yards. The Spartans finished with 339 total yards on offense, 279 of which came in the first half.

Eastlake showed promise in the second half with two strong drives, but each ended in Skyline interceptions. The second saw Skyline’s Miles Edwards return the pick 88 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Spartan kicker Sean Penberthy booted a 21-yard field goal in the third.

“They look like a state championship-caliber football team,” Dales said. “They don’t have a whole lot of weaknesses. And if they do, we didn’t find them tonight.”

Christopher Huber: 392-6434, ext. 242, or Comment at

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