Skyline defeats Bellevue in battle of powerhouses
Every time Max Browne steps on the field, he takes a step forward. There is something for Skyline's quarterback to learn, both when he succeeds...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Every time Max Browne steps on the field, he takes a step forward.
There is something for Skyline's quarterback to learn, both when he succeeds and when he falls short.
Early in Saturday's matchup with Bellevue at Memorial Stadium, Browne faced plenty of adversity. His team trailed by two touchdowns and his offense struggled to move the ball.
But the sophomore stayed steady, rallying the Spartans, ranked No. 2 in Class 4A, past the Wolverines, 28-21.
"He grew because he just kept fighting," said senior teammate Kasen Williams, who caught eight passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. "Every single time something bad happened, he kept fighting."
Early on, it was vintage Bellevue football. The Wolverines, ranked No. 1 in 3A, marched right down the field on their first drive.
They showed a spread offense on their first play of the game and picked up 17 yards on a screen pass. For the most part, though, it was straight ahead Wing-T running, and it worked early.
Bellevue (1-1) jumped to a 14-0 lead after a 7-yard, first-quarter run from quarterback Kendrick Van Ackeren and a 34-yard run from sophomore Ari Morales.
"They're (Bellevue) so well coached and they run that offense so well and I know they're going to get better and better each week," Skyline coach Mat Taylor said. "That's a fantastic team. It was two great teams of this decade. It was unbelievable."
Skyline's offense sputtered in the first quarter, but picked up midway through the second as Browne led a pair of scoring drives.
He continued to show impressive poise for a sophomore, finding Michael Ford on a 6-yard touchdown pass with 3:21 to play in the second quarter and Williams, the Washington recruit, on a 25-yard scoring strike with just 12 seconds left.
Browne was 5 of 6 for 79 yards on the Spartans' final drive of the first half and finished 24 of 42 for 241 yards and three touchdown passes.
Skyline (1-1) scored on its first two possessions of the second half, capping a string of 28 straight points.
"They came out with all their weapons, but we executed very well and it's a big win for us," Browne said.
Heading into the second half, Taylor told his defensive players to keep reminding each other to stay disciplined against Bellevue's offense. Van Ackeren ripped off a 40-yard touchdown run to cut Skyline's lead to a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but the Spartans hung on.
There were plenty of positives for the Wolverines, especially early, but learning from late mistakes is the key moving forward.
"Give credit to Skyline, they got it done," Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff said. "If we learn and move on, we'll be OK."