Bothell takes down Skyline for KingCo title, 25-20
Luke Proulx scored with 1:04 remaining to put the second-ranked Cougars on top for good as they knocked off the No. 1 Spartans.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seattle Times People's Choice Game of the Week
Scores & stats
BOTHELL — When Luke Proulx found the end zone with 1:04 left in the fourth quarter, he wasn't thinking about celebrating a KingCo 4A championship.
His first thought was, "Oh boy, this is Skyline, they have a minute on the clock, we better get a stop."
As Bothell's junior running back watched from the sideline, his defense provided the stop he was looking for, helping the Cougars avenge last season's title-game loss with a 25-20 victory Thursday night at Pop Keeney Stadium.
"It's great," said Proulx, who rushed with 49 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries and also caught a 70-yard touchdown pass. "It hasn't really hit me yet. This is an amazing feeling. It's all I've ever dreamed of this year."
In a game with eight turnovers — four by each team — the second-ranked Cougars found a way to hold off Skyline's potent offense and create cracks in the Spartans' staunch defense.
"It speaks volumes," said Bothell coach Tom Bainter of his team's resilience after a pair of red-zone turnovers in the first half. "This is what this team has done since the spring. They just get better every day."
Bothell (9-0) set the tone early, scoring a pair of first-quarter touchdowns. Mitchell Muller found Proulx on a short screen that went for a 70-yard touchdown, and later hit Michael Hartvigson with a 16-yard scoring strike. That put the Cougars up 13-0 before the Spartans could get their second first down.
But, Skyline didn't come into the game as the state's top-ranked team and defending 4A champion for no reason. The Spartans (7-2) battled back. Jake Heaps led a 15-play, 96-yard drive that ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kasen Williams.
"We had that game, we had that moment," said Heaps, who completed 19 of 35 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns.
Just like last year, the game went down to the wire.
Heaps threw a pair of second-half touchdown passes (22 and 11 yards) to Cooper Pelluer and gave the Spartans the lead twice. But the Cougars found an answer each time. Muller threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to John Sullivan and Proulx added the go-ahead score on a 5-yard run.
When Skyline got the ball back with a minute to play, everyone, including Proulx, wondered if Heaps and the Spartans were capable of one final drive, but the Cougars' defense didn't let that happen, batting down a pass on fourth-and-29.
After the trophy was passed around and photos taken, Bainter was asked if he expects to see Skyline again in the playoffs.
"We absolutely, probably will," he said with a laugh.
It was a game they enjoyed so much, why not play it one more time?
Mason Kelley: 206-464-8277 or email@example.com