Spartans prove to be unstoppable for Eagles

October 20, 2009

By Christopher Huber

Nick Washburn, Skyline senior running back, motors ahead in the rain for a first down, despite being wrapped by Issaquah defensive backs Mitchell Blair (left) and Nick Wright during the second quarter. By Greg Farrar

Nick Washburn, Skyline senior running back, motors ahead in the rain for a first down, despite being wrapped by Issaquah defensive backs Mitchell Blair (left) and Nick Wright during the second quarter. By Greg Farrar

As torrential rain fell and soaked players to the core before the game, Skyline High School 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 with extra slippery gloves and football for receivers Oct. 16, they were finally 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 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, 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 quarter 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.

“Fourteen-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 Oct. 16. 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. “They just blew up the holes. I could just walk through them, really.”

Having won its past four games leading up to the 2008 4A state title rematch, Issaquah’s 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 looked 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 they (Issaquah) are playing against 12 and 13 guys out there instead of 11,” Bennett said. “We just need to regroup. We still have a road in.”

Christopher Huber: 392-6434, ext. 242, or chuber@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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