Skyline runs over rival Issaquah, tallies 308 yards on the ground

As the monsoon-like rain pounded the Plateau before Friday night's Skyline-Issauqah battle for first in the KingCo Crest, weather forecasters called for no relief.

Weather forecasters called for no relief as a monsoon-like rain pounded the Plateau before Friday night’s Skyline-Issauqah battle for first in the KingCo Crest.

In the meantime, Skyline senior running back Nick Washburn made a prediction of his own.

“Everyone’s looking at me before the game with the rain coming down and were just saying ‘It’s all about the run,'” he said. “I was positive in my mind, and it really turned out well for us.”

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Washburn pound didn’t score any touchdowns for the Spartans, but he carried the ball 18 times for a career-best 178 yards as Skyline ran over rival Issaquah, 42-0.

“The line just blew it up,” Washburn said. “Every play worked every single time, no matter what we ran. They just blew up the holes. I could just walk through them really.”

As a team, the pass-first Spartans carried the ball an unprecedented 39 times for 308 yards and four touchdowns.

Skyline head coach Mat Taylor said despite the heavy rain, his intent was for the Spartans to stick to their usual offensive scheme — one that relies heavily on the right arm of BYU-bound quarterback Jake Heaps.

“Really our idea was to just do what we do,” he said. “But after that first drive, our offense line was blocking so well. We just felt we needed to stick with (the run).”

Ironically, it was Heaps who got the Spartans their first rushing touchdown. The senior quarterback capped off an 11-play drive, breaking free for a 10-yard TD at the 6:56 mark of the first quarter. Running back Nick Beauchamp, who had seven carries for 77 yards, answered on the next drive, scoring his first of two touchdowns. The speedy senior broke free on a 28-yard counter right, pushing the score to 14-0 with 3:45 left in the first quarter.

“We controlled (the line) pretty much,” senior lineman Jase Butorac said. “Our game plan was to come out fired up hard, and be dominating, and I think we achieved that goal.”

Heaps, who completed 12 of 23 passes for 113 yards, showed off his arm before the half, connecting with receivers for two TDs. He found senior Connor Brandt on a 6-yard score to start the second quarter, then hit Kasen Williams on an 8-yard slant with 2:15 left in the second quarter, providing a 28-0 halftime lead.

Heaps capped off Skyline’s first drive of the second half with another rushing TD, scoring from 2 yards out. The run completed a 10-play, 5-minute drive. Beauchamp busted into the end zone in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter for a 4-yard TD, rounding out the scoring for the Spartans.

While the offense was dominating, Skyline’s defense also rose to the occasion. The Spartans starting defense held Issaquah’s first-team offense to 97 yards through the first three quarters. Skyline sacked Issaquah starting quarterback Ryan Bergman (9-for-18, 64 yards) five times. Defensive end Cooper Pelleur had two sacks, and Butorac had back-to-back sacks to halt an Issaquah scoring threat late in the first half.

“We were challenged by our defensive coordinator this week to find out the identity of our team,” Butorac said. “I really got jacked up for that when he said that, and I think the rest of the defense did too.”

For Issaquah head coach Chris Bennett, there weren’t many answers Friday night.

“You’re not going to win a lot of games when you can’t get them off the field, and you’re not going to win a lot of games when you can’t sustain drives,” he said.

He noted early missed opportunities, including a slight overthrow from Bergman on what would have likely resulted in an 83-yard TD to Evan Peterson, were costly.

“You get one chance to make those kind of plays and we didn’t make them, and it just kind of went downhill from there,” Bennett said.

Issaquah fell to 3-1 in league and 4-3 overall with the loss. The Eagles host Newport at Mount Si High School next Friday. A win there will lock up second place in the Crest, and a game against the Crown third-place team, Woodinville.

“We’ve kind of been here before. It was almost the same story as last year … we just need to regroup,” Bennett said.

Issaquah lost 38-0 to Skyline in the regular season last year, before battling back to face the Spartans in the state title game, losing a close 20-15 contest.

Friday’s victory locked up the KingCo Crest title for Skyline, which improved to 4-0 in league and 6-1 overall. The Spartans have Redmond (2-2, 2-5) on the road next week. Bothell locked up the KingCo Crown title Friday with a win over Inglemoor, setting up a rematch of last year’s KingCo title game.

“Now everybody can officially talk about Bothell-Skyline I guess,” Taylor said.

That game will take place at Bothell’s Pop Keeney Field, with a date and time to be determined.