Skyline, Issaquah football teams size up next opponents

November 1, 2011

By Bob Taylor

The Skyline and Issaquah high school football teams, both hoping to reach the Dec. 3 state title game in the Tacoma Dome, take the first step Nov. 4 when they enter the preliminary round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

Skyline, 6-3, will host Monroe at 7 p.m. while Issaquah, 7-2, travels to southwest Washington and meets Skyview in Vancouver’s Kiggins Bowl.

Both Skyline and Issaquah won their crossover games last week.

Skyline rolled by Roosevelt, 45-14, Oct. 29 in Seattle’s Memorial Stadium. The Spartans shot to a 13-0 lead in the second quarter. Sean McDonald booted two field goals and quarterback Max Browne connected with Andrew Giese on a 42-yard touchdown pass.

After Roosevelt pulled to within six points, Skyline ran off 25 straight points to win the game in a breeze.

Browne, who hit 17 of 24 passes for 290 yards in the game, connected with Nic Sblendorio and Trevor Barney on touchdown passes.

Backup quarterback Nate Gibson also connected on five of six passes for 109 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown pass to Chase Premone.

Damien Greene was Skyline’s leading rusher with 89 yards on 10 carries. He scored a touchdown on a 4-yard run.

Skyline ended up as the KingCo 4A No. 3 seed. Monroe, 6-3, qualified for the preliminary round when the Bearcats downed Mariner, 37-22, Oct. 29 in a Western Conference contest. Quarterback Hunter Bingham threw three touchdown passes for Monroe. The Bearcats have one of Wesco’s top running backs in Jordan Moore, who has 1,158 yards this season and eight touchdowns. Austin Mulholland is Monroe’s top receiver, hauling in five touchdown passes this season.

The winner of the game will become the third seed out of District 2 and will travel east to play the top entry from District 5/6/8 in the first round of the Class 4A tournament.

Issaquah, for the second straight week, finds itself going up against an opponent with plenty of size. However, size was not an issue when the Eagles defeated Inglemoor, 40-24, Oct. 28. Issaquah held a big advantage in quickness against Inglemoor and that could be a factor against Skyview.

Skyview, riding a seven-game winning streak, averages over 250 pounds per player on the offensive and defensive lines. The Storm’s top linemen are William Lopez, 6-foot-5, 250 pounds; Dylan Bratlie, 6-5, 285; Matt Cruz, 6-2, 280; and Jonah Koreski, 6-1, 280.

“They look big on film,” Issaquah coach Chris Bennett said.

Of a bigger concern for Bennett is Skyview running back Parker Henry, who leads the Greater St. Helens League in rushing. In Skyview’s 44-27 victory against Union Oct. 28, Henry rushed for 180 yards on 23 carries. Three times he has rushed for more than 200 yards in a game. When the Storm defeated Columbia River earlier this season, Henry had 272 yards and scored four touchdowns.

“He is very, very good. We have to be great tacklers with him,” Bennett said.

Skyview also throws the ball. Quarterback Kieran McDonagh has thrown for almost 1,400 yards this season. His favorite receiver is Reiley Henderson.

“Henderson is the best receiver we’ve seen since Kasen,” Bennett said, referring to Skyline graduate Kasen Williams, Parade Magazine’s Player of the Year who now plays for the University of Washington.

“Skyview is a very talented team,” Bennett said.

After losing its first two games of the season to out-of-state opponents, Skyview has been on a roll. The Storm had a stretch of games where it outscored Lincoln, Ore., 61-6, Battle Ground, 76-0, and Evergreen of Vancouver, 61-9.

The winner of the Issaquah-Skyview game enters the Class 4A state tournament as the District 4 No. 1 team and hosts a first-round game.

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