Skyline stops Bothell for KingCo 4A title, 31-21
Kasen Williams caught three touchdown passes from Max Browne as Skyline, the state's top-ranked Class 4A team, beat Bothell for the KingCo 4A crown.
Seattle Times staff reporter
SAMMAMISH — After jumping over a defender to catch his third touchdown pass of the night, Kasen Williams ran toward his quarterback and shouted, "I got you, Max."
With the KingCo 4A football championship on the line, it was Williams, the University of Washington-bound senior, who picked up sophomore quarterback Max Browne in Skyline's 31-21 victory over Bothell Friday night.
"At the beginning of the game, he wasn't making the reads that he usually does," Williams said of Browne. "I felt like he was a little bit nervous coming into this game, and that was something I haven't seen from Max this year. Catching all these balls from him makes him really feel comfortable as a quarterback."
Williams caught seven passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns and also forced a fumble late in the game that helped the top-ranked Spartans avenge last year's loss to the Cougars in the KingCo final at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell.
"I felt like, for this team to succeed, everyone's going to have to make big plays," Williams said. "I know a lot of the guys were looking up to me to be one of those guys to make big plays."
Browne, who threw incomplete on his first two passes, settled down to finish 21 of 33 for 358 yards and four touchdowns.
All season, the Spartans (8-1) have been susceptible to the run, but in the first half Skyline held the third-ranked Cougars (7-2) to just 18 rushing yards.
"People have been able to run on us," Skyline coach Mat Taylor said. "But they really showed that through hard work and through practice they're getting better and better."
In the second half, led by senior running back Luke Proulx, Bothell got things going on the ground and kept the score close.
"Against this team, you almost have to play perfect, almost," Bothell coach Tom Bainter said.
Proulx, who finished with 127 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries, scored with 8.4 seconds left in the third quarter to trim Skyline's lead to just three points.
But Williams caught a 26-yard touchdown pass and later stripped a Cougars receiver to give the ball back to his offense.
"(It's) a disappointing loss," Proulx said. "I wish we could have come out a little stronger earlier. It's a hard team to keep off the board. We did all right. I think we're progressing as a team and, hopefully, this continues through the playoffs."
On a night when the Spartans honored their seniors, Williams set the tone for his teammates.
"It was Senior Night and I know that we live another day and we get to play at Skyline again, but it's unbelievable that this is his fourth year," Taylor said. "It's just unbelievable to be able to coach him and see him make plays."
Mason Kelley: 206-464-8277 or email@example.com