Curtis should be Skyline’s toughest test

November 26, 2010

By Bob Taylor

NEW — 10:45 a.m. Nov. 26, 2010

The toughest test of the season for the Skyline High School football team could come Saturday in the Class 4A state semifinals. The Spartans, hoping for a three-peat, meet the Curtis Vikings at 7:30 p.m. in the Tacoma Dome.

Skyline enters the game with a 11-1 mark while Curtis is 12-0. The Tacoma Dome is a favorite venue for both teams. The Spartans certainly have fond memories of playing in the T-Dome. Skyline has won two straight 4A state championships in the Tacoma Dome, as well as capturing the 4A title in 2005, and 3A crowns in 2000 and 2007.

Curtis, meanwhile, is 5-0 all-time in the Tacoma Dome. In fact, counting two games in the old Kingdome, the Vikings are 7-0 when playing indoors.

The winner of the semifinal game meets Ferris or Bellarmine Prep for the state title at 4 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Tacoma Dome. Ferris (12-0) and Bellarmine Prep (11-1) meet at 4 p.m. Saturday in Spokane. Skyline defeated Ferris 45-21 in last year’s championship game.

This the first time Curtis has been in the semifinals in 14 years. The last time was in 1996 and the Vikings went on to win the state title.

Skyline enters the contest coming off a 42-21 victory against rival Issaquah on Nov. 21 in the quarterfinals. Curtis whipped Auburn 31-0 in the quarterfinals.

After the Vikings’ victory against Auburn, a reporter asked Curtis coach Clay Angle what he knew about Skyline. Angle quipped, “We were on the field with them last year. For awhile.”

Skyline clobbered Curtis 49-14 last year in the quarterfinals. The Vikings self-destructed in the first quarter, turning over the ball three times. Skyline capitalized on the miscues to lead 35-0 first-quarter lead.

Curtis players are determined not to repeat last year’s disaster.

The Vikings could field the toughest offense Skyline’s defense has faced this year. Curtis tied a South Puget Sound League record for points in a seasons this fall with 416. In the final regular season game, Curtis rolled past Beamer 70-24.

Curtis features one of the state’s top all-around athletes in Rahmel Dockery. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound senior was the South Puget Sound League South Division co-offensive player of the year. He is a dangerous runner, receiver and kick returner. Dockery also starts at defensive back. He led the SPSL in all-purpose yards with 2,414 and scored 19 touchdowns.

Dockery, an all-league receiver, caught 65 passes for 1,303 yards. He also rushed for 682 yards on 45 carries. Dockery has taken official recruiting visits to Hawaii and Oregon State. Washington, Oregon, Texas Christian, Washington State and Idaho have also shown interest in him.

He excels in track and field, too. Last spring at the 4A state meet, Dockery won the long jump by going 24-1 1/4. He has also gone 7-feet in the high jump.

In addition to Dockery, the Vikings have other weapons receiver C.J. Langlow, quarterback Tyler Jamison and running back Tyler Montague. Jamison completed 7 of 10 passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns against Auburn. Montague rushed for 106 yards on 22 carries and scored two touchdowns against Auburn.

Up front, the Vikings have outstanding linemen in Cornelius Edison and Max Hersey, who start on offense and defense. Edison (6-4, 280), who plays center on the offensive line, was the SPSL South Division’s offensive and defensive lineman of the year. Hersey (6-3, 225) has a verbal commitment to Washington State.

Linebacker Jason Walker and defensive back Jordon Copeland are among the standouts on the Curtis defense. The Vikings held Auburn to three total offensive yards last week.

Curtis’ biggest challenge will be trying to stop Skyline’s explosive passing attack. Skyline sophomore quarterback Max Browne has passed for 3,489 yards and 44 touchdowns this season. Kasen Williams is the featured receiver with 74 catches for 1,390 yards and 20 touchdowns. Against Issaquah Williams caught 10 passes for a season-high 241 yards and scored three touchdowns.

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