The Issaquah Sophomore Gold Youth football team capped off a perfect 10-0 season with a 20-19 victory over Skyline in the sophomore Greater Eastside Junior Football championship game on Nov. 16.
Issaquah opened the scoring in the championship game on its first offensive play, a 50-yard touchdown run from River Shute for a 6-0 lead. Great blocking from Boyd Noble, Trevor Sharp, Henry Jones and Leo Petty opened up the hole for Shute.
After Skyline marched into the red zone, the Issaquah defense stopped its offense on fourth down. Solid defense from Jake Staples, Thijs Schnabel, Angelo Masciocchi and Chase Hanson helped keep Skyline off the scoreboard, giving the ball back to the Issaquah offense. Two plays later, Issaquah doubled its lead with an 80-yard touchdown run from Austin Schildt, thanks to a great block from Fitz Edwards, to make it a 12-0 game.
Skyline scored two touchdowns in the second quarter to make it a 12-12 game at halftime. Both defenses tightened up in the third quarter, keeping the game tied at 12, going into the fourth quarter.
After forcing an interception, Skyline scored a touchdown and successfully ran in the point-after attempt to take its first lead of the game, 19-12.
With only eight minutes left in the game, the Issaquah offense put together an 11-play scoring drive capped off with a 15-yard touchdown run from Shute to make it a 19-18 game before the point-after attempt. Shute ran the touchdown in with an injured arm. Issaquah elected to kick the point-after attempt, which was worth two points. Under pressure, Jones made the kick to put Issaquah up 20-19 with two minutes left.
The Skyline offense used its strong passing game to get the ball to the Issaquah 30-yard line with 50 seconds left. Issaquah defender Sharp tackled a Skyline wide receiver forcing a fumble, which was recovered by Schildt to seal the win.
“This championship game was in every definition a total team victory for the Issaquah Sophomore Gold team,” head coach Jeremy Noble said. “Every single player had to do their best and contributed to the win. It was a team goal all year to get back to the championship game and win it this year. This team never quit, no matter what. They were committed to doing their best every play, working hard, having fun and being a team.”