Skyline Spartans cap off perfect season as state champs

December 4, 2012

By Lillian O'Rorke

Mat Taylor (right), Skyline High School football coach, delivers the state 4A football championship trophy to his team gathered on the Tacoma Dome football field Dec. 1 after a 49-24 victory over Bellarmine Prep capped a 14-0 season. By Greg Farrar

Jubilant only begins to describe Skyline High School and its fans Dec. 1 at the Tacoma Dome, where the Spartans grabbed their fifth state title in eight years. Skyline beat Bellarmine Prep, 49-24, to win the 4A football state championship.

“This is the most special … I’ve grown up with all these guys,” said Max Browne, who completed 21 of 28 passing attempts for 384 yards and four touchdowns. “Nic Sblendorio has been my best friend, Andrew Giese, Matt Sinatro, Peyton Pelluer — all those guys. This is what we dreamed of when we were 5 years old. We worked. We worked hard and it’s awesome to sit here and know that we got the state title our senior year and are going out the right way.”

Within Skyline’s first drive of the night, Browne became the state record holder in career passing. By the time Browne had thrown his last pass as a high school quarterback, he had broken Brian Lindgren’s (DeSales) 14-year-old record of 12,575 passing yards. Browne now holds the record at 12,951.

“That is the type of record you can’t win unless you play a lot of games and you can’t play a lot of games unless you’ve got a great team. I’ve got to credit my line and my receivers for getting that record. That’s a huge accomplishment for them,” Browne said. “My four years here at Skyline has been more than I ever expected, to suit up for 56 games at Skyline, 14 all four years.”

Skyline High School state football championships

2012 (4A)

  • Skyline 49
  • Bellarmine Prep 24

2011 (4A)

  • Skyline 38
  • Skyview 7

2009 (4A)

  • Skyline 45
  • Ferris 21

2008 (4A)

  • Skyline 20
  • Issaquah 15

2007 (3A)

  • Skyline 42
  • O’Dea 35

2005 (4A)

  • Skyline 35
  • Woodinville 21

2000 (3A)

  • Skyline 42
  • Lakes 30

The Spartan defense also shined in the championship game, consistently shutting down the Bellarmine Prep Lions’ drives and forcing punts. While the Lions had possession of the ball for more than two-thirds of the first quarter, Skyline had possession of the scoreboard, leading 14-3.

“We knew they were going to try to establish a line of scrimmage and our kids really owned the line of scrimmage. That was one of our strengths and we really shut them down that way,” Skyline Coach Mat Taylor said. “I feel awesome. This is the very best. It continues to get better every year.”

Sinatro scored the first touchdown of the night on a 23-yard pass from Browne. The senior scored again late in the third quarter after Browne shook off a defender to fire the ball at Sinatro for a 55-yard touchdown. Earlier in the third, Sinatro intercepted Bellarmine Prep’s ball for a 48-yard return.

“They prepare us week in and week out for games like this,” Sinatro said. “He (the Lions’ quarterback) threw that a little low, and then Jack Valencia made a great hit on the receiver he was targeting and luckily I came up with the interception.”

Trevor Barney racked up two touchdowns as well, including one where he slipped undetected between two of his teammates to make a 34-yard touchdown. Barney led the team in receiving with 182 yards. He also notched eight tackles.

“I’m dead tired. I gave it my all out there, but I couldn’t be happier than I am right now,” he said. “It’s also 95 percent of the team’s last game. So it’s the last game, and we won it, and we killed them.”

Cedric Cooper rushed for 60 yards and scored two touchdowns. Senior kicker Sean McDonald also shined, making two field goals at 49 and 35 yards each.

As the Spartans left the field that night, a sea of Skyline fans dressed in white convulsed behind the sideline gates, waiting to congratulate the team on its perfect season of 14-0.

“It’s a great atmosphere. It’s a packed house. Everyone is screaming and hollering for you. You just have to do your part for your team and help them out. And at the end of the day, it’s just a lot of fun,” Sblendorio said. “We deserve to celebrate after a great season. We are going to have a very fun time tonight, so it should be exciting.”

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