Skyline flies past Skyview for title, 38-7 | 4A Football
The unranked Spartans, despite three regular-season losses, routed the Storm for their fourth state championship in five years.
Seattle Times staff reporter
TACOMA — Max Browne let his finger linger.
Skyline's junior quarterback ran toward the end zone with his index finger pointed toward the Tacoma Dome's wooden rafters. He was following his childhood friend, Trevor Barney, who had just caught a 33-yard touchdown pass.
As Browne sprinted toward the sideline, he turned that finger toward his teammates. Then the crowd. At that moment, he knew he was a champion.
"We got it done," Browne said. "It's everything I've dreamed of ever since I watched my brother (Mitch) win a state title."
In his second Class 4A state title game as the Spartans' starter, Browne delivered. He completed 15 of 22 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions in Skyline's 38-7 victory over ninth-ranked Skyview Saturday night.
"This is the best it's ever been," Skyline coach Mat Taylor said. "These kids never doubted anything."
The unranked Spartans (11-3), who added the school's sixth football title, claimed a championship for the fourth time in five years. It was the first trip to the title game for the Storm (11-3) from Vancouver.
"They're a great team and we didn't play our best," Skyview coach Steve Kizer said.
Before the game, Browne walked into the same locker room Skyline was in before losing to Ferris of Spokane in the 2010 title game. He sat in the same seat. He remembered what happened — a 24-16 loss.
Peyton Pelluer remembered watching Ferris players celebrate on the field that has become almost a second home to Skyline's football team.
The juniors remembered what it was like to return to the Plateau without a state championship. They channeled their emotion into big-time performances.
"Redemption," Pelluer said. "We redeemed ourselves tonight. We had a chip on our shoulders and we played with it tonight."
Sean McDonald ended the opening drive with a 24-yard field goal for Skyline, which scored on its first three possessions. Damian Greene ripped off a 25-yard touchdown run on the Spartans' second drive. On the third, Browne bought time, rolled out and floated a perfect pass over two defenders and into the arms of Mason Gregory from 35 yards out.
While Browne moved Skyline's offense, Pelluer powered the defense. After bringing down Skyview standout Parker Henry in the second quarter, the linebacker lost his helmet, jumped up and shouted.
He was all over the field.
"I was looking around, yelling at the crowd — just pure fun," Pelluer said.
Pelluer helped hold the Storm to 97 total yards in the first two quarters and Skyline led 17-0 at halftime.
Skyview didn't go quietly, though.
The Storm got a 32-yard touchdown pass from Kieran McDonagh to Reiley Henderson, and momentum continued to shift its way when Mo Morrison picked off a Browne pass.
With Skyview driving, the Spartans needed a play. They got two. Austin Owen, a senior lineman, sacked McDonagh on the last play of the third quarter and Greene picked off a fourth-down pass.
The Spartans turned the turnover into a touchdown, the first of three in the fourth quarter.
"It's my first one (title)," said Jack Valencia, who had two of the final three touchdowns — an 11-yard run and a 74-yard interception return. "Last year was a disappointment, but this year we pulled through. We knew we were going to be back and we were going to redeem our last team, for the seniors, for the teams that didn't win state, that came so close but didn't prevail."
Skyline — Damian Greene 25 run (Sean McDonald kick)
Skyline — Mason Gregory 35 pass from Max Browne (Sean McDonald kick)
Skyview — Reiley Henderson 32 pass from Kieran McDonagh (Hayden Shuh kick)
Skyline — Jack Valencia 11 run (Sean McDonald kick)
Skyline — Trevor Barney 33 pass from Max Browne (Sean McDonald kick)
Skyline — Jack Valencia 74 interception return (Sean McDonald kick)
|Time of Possession||25:19||22:41|
Rushing — Skyline, Damien Greene 16-67, Max Browne 9-12, Jack Valencia 7-43, Trevor Barney 1-(-1). Skyview, Parker Henry 15-34, Kieran McDonagh 12-36, Riley Henderson 1-(-2).
Passing — Skyline, Browne, 15-22-2 222. Skyview, McDonagh 19-31-3 162.
Receiving — Skyline, Nic Sblendorio 2-32, Taggart Kreuger 3-33, Trevor Barney 5-83, Andrew Giese 1-5, Greene 2-48. Skyview, Reiley Henderson 8-73, Forrest Russell 1-8, Mo Morrison 3-28, Spencer Miles 2-18, Henry 2-14, Jacob Dennis 1-2, Hayden Shuh 1-15, Kyle Ponciano 1-4.