Skyline shuts down rival Issaquah

Skyline knew it would have to limit mistakes when it faced fellow undefeated foe and natural rival Issaquah on Friday night. So in response, the Spartans put together a flawless performance.

Gino Simone from Skyline turns a short pass from Jake Heaps into a big gain against Issaquah.

Gino Simone from Skyline turns a short pass from Jake Heaps into a big gain against Issaquah.

Skyline knew it would have to limit mistakes when it faced fellow undefeated foe and natural rival Issaquah on Friday night. So in response, the Spartans put together a flawless performance.

“When you come out and you want to beat a very good team like Issaquah, you have to play a perfect game,” junior quarterback Jake Heaps said. “Our team just did a very good job of coming out and being fired up and ready to play.”

Skyline clicked in every facet of the game, dominating Issaquah 38-0 in front of an estimated 4,000-plus fans at Eagle Stadium.

“Offense, defense, special teams … we didn’t have that many penalties, we didn’t turn the ball over. I mean it was a complete game,” said Skyline head coach Mat Taylor.

The Spartans generated 496 yards of total offense, while holding the Eagles to just 48.

Skyline’s defense set the tone from the beginning, forcing Issaquah to punt on its opening drive — the first of eight punts.

The Spartan offensive machine, led by Heaps, took over from there.

Heaps capped off a five-play, 45-yard drive with an 11-yard quarterback-keeper for a touchdown. The junior then started letting the ball fly, connecting on touchdown passes on two consecutive drives before the half. Heaps, who finished 20-for-26 passing for 308 yards and four TDs, hit a wide open Jake Knecht in the right front corner of the end zone for a 34-yard strike. He followed that up with an 87-yard bomb down the left sideline to Will Chandler. Heaps side-stepped a defender within his own 5-yard line and launched the ball to Chandler.

“I ran a wheel (route) and I saw the safety playing deep over the top and Jake threw it perfectly right over his head,” Chandler said. “I was able to catch it and run it in, and it was incredible.”

Kicker Brian Schwartz added a 21-yard field goal in the final minute of the second quarter, providing Skyline a 24-0 lead headed into the locker room.

Skyline tacked on to its lead in the second half, via two more touchdown passes from Heaps. He connected with sophomore Kasen Williams on a 24-yard TD and a 2-yard strike to Gino Simone.

All four of Skyline’s starting receivers scored, led by Chandler’s six catches for 150 yards.

“It’s great, all of us celebrating together,” Chandler said. “When other people do well … we love to share the love, it’s a good feeling.”

Issaquah was unable to find a groove against the Skyline defense, which now has five shutouts and has outscored opponents 296-8.

“This is a good old fashioned butt-kicking, there’s no doubt about that,” Eagle head coach Chris Bennett said. “I can’t tell you how good Skyline is because we played so poorly, it’s hard to say.”

The Spartans were in the face of Issaquah senior quarterback Joey Bradley all night, forcing hurried throw after hurried throw. Bradley, who was without two starting receivers, was 2-for-10 for 14 yards for the game. Those two completions came on the first drive. Issaquah junior running back Grant Gellatly, who was averaging more than 150 yards a game, was held to 36 yards on 10 carries.

Skyline improved to 4-0 in the KingCo Crest and 7-0 overall. The Spartans close out the regular-season schedule Friday at home against Redmond.

“We just got to keep staying hungry and being humble and just be focused on the task at hand against Redmond next week,” Taylor said.

Issaquah fell to 3-1 in the Crest and 6-1 overall. The Eagles travel to Newport Friday for their final regular season game.

“I think Skyline kind of did their thing and took it to us and we’ll find out what kind of character we have on our team,” Bennett said. “Knowing these kids we’ll bounce back and I expect us to have a good week of practice and get ready to go.”

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