Graham-Kapowsin 17, Skyline 14
Noah Harden’s field goal with 8-plus minutes gives Graham-Kapowsin upset victory over Skyline, ranked No. 5 in Class 4A.
Special to the Seattle Times
ISSAQUAH — Graham-Kapowsin took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 63 yards, getting kicker Noah Harden in position for a 34-yard field goal with 8 minutes, 27 seconds left in the third quarter. Harden’s solid strike sailed down the middle to break a 14-14 halftime deadlock, and Graham Kapowsin made it stand up, upsetting Skyline, ranked No. 5 in Class 4A.
“We had some chances that we maybe could have put it away earlier,” Graham-Kapowsin coach Eric Kurle said. “The kids worked really hard this week to understand what they (the Spartans) were trying to do. And then we tackled well.”
Skyline took the game’s opening kickoff down the field to grab a 7-0 lead with 6:27 left in the first quarter, igniting a see-saw first half. The Eagles tied it at 7-7, the Spartans went back up 14-7 and Graham-Kapowsin got it tied at the half on Shannon Edwards’ 1-yard plunge with 1:34 to go in the second quarter.
Then the Eagles drove down for the game-winning field goal early in the third.
Pass, no run, no pass
Skyline and Graham-Kapowsin took different routes in moving the offense. While the Spartans gained yards through the air, the Eagles did damage on the ground.
Skyline quarterback Blake Gregory was 20 for 38 for 268 yards and a touchdown.
Of those 20 completions, nine went to Derek Loville for 157 yards. Loville was on the receiving end of Gregory’s first five completions during a game-opening scoring drive on which the junior QB completed six of eight attempts overall.
Meanwhile, Edwards was chewing up chunks of yards on the ground for Graham-Kapowsin. His 21 carries for 116 yards and a TD included two runs of 33 yards, and one for 14 yards inside five minutes as the Eagles controlled the clock.
“Shannon ran hard tonight,” Kurle said.
Skyline’s Chandler Wong looked as if he’d made the play that might prove a back-breaker for Graham-Kapowsin, even if it did happen just a minute into the second quarter.
The Eagles drove 58 yards on their second possession, and had a fourth-and-goal at the Skyline 2. Graham-Kapowsin originally lined up for a field goal on fourth-and-goal at the 5, but an offsides penalty on Skyline, one of 12 flags accepted for 111 yards on the Spartans, gave the Eagles an additional down. So they tried to make another play in an attempt to tie the score.
Wong intercepted quarterback Trevor Asbjornson’s pass, and sprinted about 31 yards before another penalty was called on Skyline.
“He’s 20 yards ahead of everyone and we get a block in the back,” Skyline coach Mat Taylor said. “Things are going to change.”
Taylor: “I think we had 14 penalties before they had their first. In both of our losses this year, we just kept shooting ourselves in the foot. It’s hard to win football games when you have 17 or 18 penalties.”
Edwards: “I just came out here and did what I had to do. I trust my team and I trust my line. This is not about me. So long as we get the ‘W,’ that’s all that matters.”
Kurle: “We had to get out here and show we could play with a good team. Last year, we got smacked around by Bothell (in the playoffs). We had to show we could play with the Kingco teams. But you know what, they’re (Skyline) special.”