Spartans conquer Vikings 35-34

November 30, 2010

By Christopher Huber

Skyline faces rematch for another state title

, With 25 yards to go, Kasen Williams still refuses to be stopped on his fourth-quarter, go-ahead 85-yard touchdown run by the combined effort of Jordan Copeland and Rahmel Dockery of Curtis. Skyline won the state 4A semifinal game Nov. 27 at the Tacoma Dome, 35-34.  By Greg Farrar

Rahmel Dockery and the Curtis Vikings had the Skyline High School football team’s number in the first half of their Class 4A state semifinal match-up at the Tacoma Dome on Nov. 27.

The undefeated Vikings, of University Place, were ready to depose the perennial champion in a rematch of the 2009 state quarterfinal. And by the way Dockery and his team performed, and with the mistakes Skyline made from the onset, it looked like Curtis would run away with a victory.

But as any team that leads the Spartans at halftime learns, Skyline isn’t the same team at the start of the third quarter.

“They only know one way and that’s to win football games,” Skyline coach Mat Taylor said.

Skyline (12-1) advanced to the Dec. 4 Class 4A state championship game after eking out a 35-34 win over previously unbeaten Curtis. The Spartans play Ferris, of Spokane, in the title game.

The Bellarmine Prep-Ferris semifinal was originally scheduled for Nov. 26 in Spokane but Joe Albi Stadium was unplayable because of ice and snow. The contest was moved to the Tacoma Dome and played Nov. 29.

Like usual, many impact players, like receivers Teran Togia and Jordan Simone, played much-needed supporting roles on offense, but the game ended up, literally, in the hands of University of Washington-bound receiver Kasen Williams.

With the game tied at 28 and just 4:23 remaining in the fourth quarter, Williams intercepted a Tyler Jamison pass in the end zone and returned it to the Skyline 15-yard line. On the next play, Browne fired a pass that Williams took 85 yards for a touchdown, breaking two seemingly sure tackles along the way.

“I knew I had an opportunity to make a big play,” Williams said after the game. “It felt good.”

Williams finished with nine catches for 147 yards. Browne tallied 405 yards passing, completing 27 of 42 attempts. He was 13 of 20 for 216 yards in the second half.

“He’s got great poise,” Taylor said.

After Skyline went up 35-28, the Vikings staged a comeback of their own, completing an 11-play, nearly four-minute touchdown drive. But Curtis decided to go for two with just 27 seconds left. An extra-point field goal would have tied it at 35 and likely sent the game into overtime, but the Vikings chanced it and went for the win. Taylor said he was a bit surprised about the decision, but he ultimately had to worry about controlling Curtis’ ensuing on-side kick.

“I was just thinking about what we were going to call (for the kick-off),” Taylor said. “They were doing good things.”

Dockery and Curtis quarterback Jamison led the attack in the first half and got the Vikings out to a 21-0 lead. In the first quarter, Jamison scored on a one-yard touchdown run nine minutes in. He hooked up with Dockery on an 11-yard touchdown pass and scored again on a 48-yard pass in the second quarter after capitalizing on Skyline turnovers.

The Spartans committed four turnovers in the first half alone, including two Browne interceptions and two lost fumbles.

“We kind of started off slow,” Browne said. “We were moving the ball, but turnovers killed us.”

Curtis led 28-7 at the halftime break after Browne tossed a six-yard touchdown pass to Togia.

Skyline came out refreshed. Its defense had a fire not seen in the first half and it held the Vikings to two yards on its first possession. The Spartan offense took just two plays to score on its first possession of the second half. Browne connected with Togia for the second of three touchdowns — a 22-yarder three minutes into the half. Togia caught another one for six yards with 5:51 left in the game.

“We just came together as a team,” said Simone, who made some big plays for Skyline, including catching a 46-yard bomb from Browne in the second quarter. “Curtis had some good players.”

Dockery finished with 140 yards on eight receptions. He also rushed for 31 yards and threw a 40-yard pass.

In the end, Curtis, which relied on numerous impact players who played both sides of the ball, showed more fatigue from the hard-fought match.

“We came out firing. We just got it done, I don’t know,” Browne said. “Our conditioning kept us going.”

Up next

  • 4 p.m., Dec. 4
  • Tacoma Dome
  • vs. Ferris

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

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One Response to “Spartans conquer Vikings 35-34”

  1. steve dockery on December 1st, 2010 12:55 am

    Hey, when you’re a writer you write the full story, unbias. You tell an awesome story about Skyline Spartans conquering Curtis, all the wonderful highlights and that (“They only know one way and that’s to win football games,” Skyline coach Mat Taylor said.) Don’t mention the help they got in the 4th quarter when the ref’s who turned a blind eye to Spartan db’s ( who couldn’t keep up with Rahmel) by pulling Rahmel down to the turf, not once, but twice in a 2 minute span as he cut across the 5 yard line, a step or two ahead of the defenders, so grabbing him was the only way to slow him down or to keep from getting burned. But the intimidated ref’s ‘dare not throw a flag against the ‘perennial champions’ nor make the right call on the fumble recovery, that really wasnt a fumble, take a look at the game reel. The ref’s just said “fumble Spartans ball”. Also the help from our kicking coach, who insisted all year to kick the ball half way down field, instead of kicking it into the endzone, giving the Spartans awesome field position after we were up by 21. Just outright dumb! And last but not forgotten, THE PLAY OF THE DAY ON KIRO NEWS LAST NIGH! The run where Rahmel Dockery caught a pass from Jamison, IN THE BACK FIELD RAN A FEW YARDS UP FIELD, AND WAS HIT AND GRABBED BY SEVERAL SKYLINE PLAYERS, INCLUDING KASEN WILLIAMS, when he broke loose and reversed back across the filed, to a wide open path to the endzone, just to be tackled by a very heavy, slow to get out of way, referee…. Which would have been Rahmel”s 4th touchdown. So admit this much Writer~ Curtis killed themselves, with silly penalties, botched plays, and had help from the look aways from those ref’s in the 4th quarter.

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