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Originally published October 15, 2010 at 8:46 PM | Page modified October 16, 2010 at 6:22 PM

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Top-ranked Skyline routs Jackson, 56-3

Michael Ford had interception returns of 51 and 98 yards for touchdowns in the first half, helping the Spartans to a big early lead in a nonleague win.

Special to The Seattle Times

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EVERETT — There was no late-season, out-of-league-game letdown.

No Skyline Spartans were looking ahead to next week's KingCo 4A finale against Eastlake, or a potential crossover matchup with Crown Division leader Bothell for the league title in two weeks.

The Spartans looked every bit like the state's No. 1 team — despite three first-half turnovers — in demolishing Jackson 56-3 in a nonleague game at Everett Memorial Stadium on Friday.

"This is a hard one," Jackson coach Joel Vincent said. "It's been a long time for us in this program to be on the end of a score like this. Skyline is worthy of its ranking, that's for sure."

The game had already been decided long before Skyline's Michael Ford ended the first half with a 98-yard interception return, his second interception return for a score of the half.

Anthony Flatt of Jackson (3-4) had intercepted Skyline quarterback Max Browne with just over a minute to play before the break. But Timberwolves QB Sam Brown's pass under pressure, on fourth-and-13 at the Skyline 16, fluttered in the air. Ford grabbed it at the 2 and, with a cadre of blockers in front, raced to the opposite end zone.

"To get returns like that, you've gotta have teammates willing to block for you after the pick," said the senior defensive back. "That's the kind of guys we have at Skyline."

Ford's 51-yard interception return earlier in the second quarter had put Skyline up 28-3.

Browne completed 10 of 15 passes for 247 yards and four touchdowns before halftime, and Kai Jandoc had 97 yards on 12 first-half carries for Skyline (6-1).

The Spartans amassed 350 yards in the first half. The running-clock mercy rule went into effect at 4:23 of the third quarter.

"We know we're coming down the stretch," Ford said. "All teams want to be playing their best football and get momentum going into the playoffs."

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