Skyline blanks Issaquah in rivalry rematch
October 16, 2009
By Christopher Huber
Updated 12:33 p.m. Oct. 18
As the torrential rain fell and soaked the players to the core before the game, Skyline running back Nick Washburn’s teammates looked at him and said it was going to be all about the run against Issaquah.
The Skyline Spartans typically attack early and often through the air, but on Oct. 16 their receivers rain-slicked gloves and slippery football meant a passing attack would be dicey. They were going to give Washburn his chance to prove himself.
He did, and 18 carries and 181 rushing yards later, Skyline beat the Issaquah Eagles 42-0 in a rematch of last year’s state championship game at Spartan Stadium.
“I’ve really got something to prove with the running game,” Washburn said after the game. “So when we get these rainy days, I’m just glad we get to run the ball.”
The win clinched a first place finish in the KingCo Crest division standings for Skyline, as well as a spot in the playoffs with Bothell and the winner of the KingCo 4A crossover game in two weeks.
“We had chances. They were able to make those conversions and we weren’t able to make third-down pickups,” Issaquah head coach Chris Bennett said. “They’re pretty good across the board and they don’t have any soft spots anywhere.”
Skyline (4-0, KingCo, 6-1 overall) came out and scored two touchdowns in the first on a 10-yard Jake Heaps keeper and a 28-yard Nick Beauchamp run.
Issaquah got the ball down 14-0 and had a chance to bring it to 14-7, but quarterback Ryan Bergman overthrew a long pass to receiver Adam Dondoyano.
“14-7 we’re feeling a lot better than 14-0. We get one chance to make those plays and we didn’t make ‘em,” Bennett said. “You’re not going to win when you can’t get off the field and you’re not going to win when you can’t sustain drives.”
Bergman ended up completing 9 of 18 passes for 56 yards. The Eagles punted on five of its six first-half possessions. Issaquah finished the night with 135 yards of total offense, thanks to Skyline’s fired-up defense.
“We controlled them pretty much,” said Skyline defensive lineman Jase Butorac, who sacked Bergman on two consecutive plays in the second. “Our game plan was to come out, fire out hard, dominate and, I think, we achieved that goal.”
Skyline went into the half with a 28-0 lead after Heaps connected with receivers Connor Brandt and Kasen Williams for 6- and 8-yard touchdown passes, respectively, in the second quarter.
“We’d been preparing for it all week and we came out extra hard for them,” said Skyline defensive end Cooper Pelleur, who also had a sack. “We knew that they were going to come out hard, but we just did what we usually do and played our game and came out on top.”
In the second half, Heaps ran in a 1-yard keeper to score and Beauchamp ran the ball 4 yards for a touchdown to cap things off. Heaps completed 13 of 24 passes for 123 yards. Williams had 7 receptions for 77 yards and Beauchamp ran 7 times for 75 yards.
“(The offensive line) just blew it up,” Washburn said about his breakout game. “They just blew up the holes. I could just walk through them, really.”
Issaquah had won its past four games, and their momentum had made Skyline coach Mat Taylor nervous. Issaquah’s Bergman had passed for a school-record 494 yards the week before against Redmond and had hoped to continue the trend.
“They keep getting better. I was very nervous about this game,” Taylor said. “This was the first time we’ve beat them on this field.”
Skyline finished with 303 yards rushing and held Issaquah to just 59 yards on the ground.
“They’re as fast as I’ve seen a defense play. Sometimes I feel like (Issaquah was) playing against 12 and 13 guys out there instead of 11,” Bennett said.
Reporter Christopher Huber can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 242, or firstname.lastname@example.org.