This Saturday marks the seventh time in the last eight seasons the Skyline football team has reached a state championship game in the Tacoma Dome.
But earning a fifth state title in that span will be no easy task.
The Spartans (10-3) face Skyview of Vancouver (11-2) at 7:30 p.m. for the class 4A championship.
Since losing their first two games — one to Oregon 5A championship contender, Sherwood, and another to Idaho state champion, Coeur d’Alene — the Storm have rattled off 11 straight wins. They’ve outscored opponents 526-143, or an average score of 48-13, in that span.
“They’re a very high tempo team,” Skyline head coach Mat Taylor said.
Skyview, which runs a no-huddle spread offense with several variations, is led by standout running back, Parker Henry. The 6-foot, 205-pound senior brings speed and size to the backfield. He has 2,165 rushing yards and 31 TDs.
“He’s a stud, he’s just a workhorse,” Taylor said. “He’s not easy to bring down.”
Quarterback Kieran McDonagh is also a load at 6-foot-2, 235 pounds. The senior has completed 68 percent of his passes for 2,637 yards, 24 TDs and just four interceptions.
“He does a great a job, he does what they ask of them,” Taylor said.
The reason for all the offensive success has largely to do with the offensive line, which Taylor said is far and away the biggest his team has faced this season.
“I think we figured out they are almost 280 pounds across the line,” he said.
Of course the Spartans have plenty of weapons of their own, led by junior quarterback Max Browne. The 6-foot-5 Division I recruit has completed 70 percent of his passes for 3,813 yards, 43 TDs and just five INTs.
Six different receivers have 300 or more yards, led by Taggart Krueger’s 911 yards and nine TDs.
Senior running back Damien Greene has also come on. He has a combined 1,236 rushing and receiving yards with 14 TDs. He has 406 combined yards and six TDs in the last two games.
In order to have success, Taylor knows the Spartans will have do what they’ve done in all their victories this season — avoid turnovers. Skyview capitalized on two early Lake Stevens’ fumbles in the semifinals, converting the mistakes a 14-0 lead on their way to a 38-14 win.
“I think the biggest thing we’ve done in all of our 10 wins this season is not turn the ball over,” Taylor said. “When we get opportunities we’ve got to take advantage.”
Skyline is targeting the program’s sixth state championship. They won titles in 2000, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Skyview is competing for its first ever championship.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on Root Sports, Comcast channel 30, or High Definition channel 627. You can also follow @issy_sam_sports on Twitter for updates.