Lake Stevens Vikings crumble under Skyline Spartan onslaught

November 13, 2012

By John Leggett

Matt Sinatro, Skyline High School senior wide receiver, pulls in a second-quarter bomb from quarterback Max Browne for an 80-yard touchdown against Lake Stevens. By Greg Farrar

To say that the Skyline High School football squad is above reproach isn’t quite accurate. Every team has its Achilles heel, but the Spartans are a perfect ten — 10-0 that is.

The relentless gridiron machine that is the Skyline football contingent, currently No. 1 in the state at the Class 4A level, kept its untarnished accounting intact when it hosted Lake Stevens on Nov. 9 at Spartan Stadium, annihilating its visitors from the north, 42-0.

The onslaught began innocently enough, as at the end of the first 12 minutes of action the scoreboard displayed a scoreless tie. But in the ensuing quarters, the steamrolling Spartans slowly wore their formidable Vikings foe down, just as they had their previous nine adversaries.

Skyline’s stop troopers on defense more often than not don’t relinquish much turf, usually one or two touchdowns per tilt if they are feeling generous and zeroes if they are feeling stingy.

On this rather chilly evening in front of a large partisan group of rabid followers, Skyline was its usual proficient self on offense, too, as senior Spartan signal caller Max Browne surgically shredded the Vikings’ secondary going 15-for-20 through the air for well over 300 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, Skyline was downright miserly, never allowing the guys in the purple-and-gold uniforms to encroach into their red zone.

Defense wins championships, but offense sells tickets, and Browne, who will be helping the University of Southern California win games in the Pac-12 next year, was fashionably late, deciding to get the party started in the second frame, as Skyline exploded for 22 points.

Browne blew things wide open to break the scoring ice when he connected on an 80-yard rainbow to Matt Sinatro. The point after touchdown kick was made by Sean McDonald, making the score 7-0.

Moments later, it was touchdown time again as fleet-footed senior wide out Trevor Barney took the ball on an end around and sprinted to pay dirt from 10 yards out for six more. This time around, the Spartans elected to go for a 2-point conversion to even things up at 15-0, when Nate Gibson found Peter Stromgren open in the back of the end zone for the deuce.

As usual, the second quarter was the most productive for Skyline, as the guys in green would tally one more time before intermission. Mercurial running back Cedric Cooper broke free to snag a 30-yard zinger from Browne, and after McDonald split the uprights with his initial point after touchdown kick of the lopsided affair, the score stood at 22-0 in favor of the Spartans at the break.

The Spartans smelled blood in the water in the third frame, keeping a stranglehold on the Vikings’ throats and showing off their offensive diversity, as McDonald initiated the second-half scoring with a 25-yard field goal.

Then, Skyline added to Lake Stevens’ misery as the speedy Cooper dashed for a 31-yard touchdown run on the ground, and Browne tossed his third TD strike of the evening as he and Andrew Giese hooked up on a successful 29-yard pass and catch. After McDonald legged through his third point after touchdown of the night, Skyline had taken a commanding 39-0 advantage at third quarter’s end.

McDonald would make one last cameo appearance in the fourth stanza to wrap up the night’s scoring, when he booted a 47-yard field goal that may have been good from 60 yards out.

Skyline now moves on to lock horns with a familiar foe in KingCo 4A upstart Roosevelt High School, when the two clubs tussle in Memorial Stadium Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. The Spartans will once again have to tighten their chin straps defensively as they face an extremely adept Roughrider backfield that features a tandem of adroit senior ball carriers, in Taku Shiozaki and Mitchell Bouldin, nicknamed thunder and lightning, for their ability to bang it inside or sprint off tackle.

The last time these two KingCo 4A Crown Division rivals tangled, in late September, the Spartans sleepwalked through a 57-14 triumph, but Bouldin scored the game’s only touchdowns for Roosevelt, when he galloped for a pair of long touchdown junkets.

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