Skyline football team pulls away from Jackson, 49-24

October 18, 2011

By Ron Newberry

Just when it looked like the momentum was turning, Skyline High School quarterback Max Browne wasn’t feeling it.

Jackson’s Trevor Hodge had just hit a 41-yard field goal in a string of 10 points for the Timberwolves, leaving host Skyline behind, 24-21. Browne wasn’t fazed.

“Scared? No way,” Browne said. “Every drive we got stopped, we were stopping ourselves. I knew Jackson would have to outscore us to beat us. I knew they would have a tough time doing that.”

Browne’s gut feeling was dead on. Skyline ran off 28 unanswered points in the second half to coast to a 49-24 nonleague victory Oct. 14 before a happy homecoming crowd at Skyline.

Browne, the state’s top junior quarterback prospect, put together a dazzling performance, completing 19 of 25 passes for 347 yards and six touchdowns.

Fourth-ranked Skyline (5-2) now readies itself for a KingCo Conference 4A Crest Division showdown with unbeaten, second-ranked Eastlake Oct. 21 at Eastlake.

“We tried to take this as the start of the playoffs,” Skyline senior lineman Ben Vavra said. “From here on out, it’s playoff football. That’s how we tried to think of this game.”

Jackson (4-3) viewed it as an opportunity to make a statement, and for more than a half, the Timberwolves made one.

Senior quarterback Sam Brown put together some staggering numbers himself, completing 34 of 52 passes for 480 yards and a touchdown.

His favorite target was Andrew Dodd, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound senior who hauled in 12 catches for 263 yards.

“I was really happy with how our kids played,” Jackson coach Joel Vincent said. “We knew coming out here this is a tough place. It’s not called Sparta for no reason.

“I just threw a challenge out to the kids. I said, ‘Hey, let’s go down and see if you can match them hit for hit and catch for catch and we’ll see what happens,’” he said. “Our kids battled … We physically got wore down. We play a lot more guys two ways than they do and we had some key injuries that just killed us down the stretch.”

In the second quarter, Jackson lineman Christian Enriquiez went down with what Vincent called a likely season-ending leg injury.

Jackson trailed 14-7 at the time, before tying the score on Trai Patrick’s 24-yard run on fourth down. Skyline answered but Jackson was able to tie the score at 21 when Patrick scored again from 2 yards with less than a second remaining in the first half.

But after the field goal, Skyline seized the momentum and never let it go. Skyline finished with 532 total yards; Jackson had 502.

Spartans wide receiver Taggart Krueger had five catches for 176 yards and two touchdowns.

Damian Greene led Skyline with 139 yards on 13 carries.

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