Skyline wins 33-21. More to come.
– Nic Sblendorio scores on a five-yard reverse, capping a seven-minute scoring drive. Skyline now leads 31-21 with 2:16 left. Looks like this one is over.
– Skyline’s current drive has lasted seven minutes. The Spartans are at the Bothell five with 2:24 left.
– Facing a big fourth-and-1 from the Bothell 34 with 5:48 left in the game, Jack Valencia picked up two yards up the middle to give Skyline’s drive alive. Skyline 25-21.
Skyline’s Sean McDonald makes 35-yard field with 11:49 left in the game. Skyline 25, Bothell 21. Darrin Laufasa with a big sack for Bothell that forced Skyline to settle for a field goal instead of a touchdown. Momentum appears to be with Skyline right now.
– End third quarter: Skyline 22, Bothell 21. Skyline driving deep in Bothell territory right now.
– Skyline 22, Bothell 21. Max Browne scored on a 4-yard quarterback keeper out of shotgun. It capped a lengthy drive, which Browne mostly directed through the air. He completed five passes on the drive. Skyline now leads 22-21 with 6:39 left in the third quarter.
Bothell 21, Skyline 15.
Bothell heads into halftime leading thanks in large part to the play of sophomore quarterback Ross Bowers. Making his first career start, Bowers is 11 for 21 at halftime for 203 yards and three touchdowns. He has looked poised and cool and calm while dueling Skyline quarterback and USC commit Max Browne. Browne is 12 for 18 for 164 yards and a touchdown. But he also tossed an interception late in the second half that came deep in Bothell territory.
Bothell jumped out to an early lead with a 9-play, 80-yard drive that Bowers capped with a 10-yard pass to Derek Pedersen.
Bothell tacked on another touchdown when Bowers hit Jared Berry for an 85-yard pass. Berry broke free in the Skyline secondary and found himself all alone. Bowers hit him right in stride.
But Skyline, as Skyline is apt to do, quickly stormed back. The Spartans got on the board in the first quarter with Browne’s 32-yard touchdown to Peter Stromgren. They then converted the two-point conversion, making it 14-8. Then, on the first play of the second quarter, dangerous return man Nic Sblendorio returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown, giving Skyline a 15-14 lead.
Bothell managed another answer, albeit a bit of a fortunate one. Bowers fired a pass from the Skyline 11 that hit off two players before finding the hands of Jed Aboulhosn for an 11-yard touchdown. That put Bothell up 21-15, which is where we stand at halftime.
The Cougars, though, also suffered a big blow: running back Danny Wilson went into the locker room on crutches after injuring himself going for an interception late in the first half. It looks doubtful that he’ll play again this game.
– Max Browne picked off by Jeremy Ruef deep in Bothell territory. 2:30 left in the half. Bothell 21-15.
– A funky touchdown for Bothell. Ross Bowers threw a pass across the middle that bounced off two guys and lands in the hands of Jed Aboulhosn for an 11-yard touchdown. A little bit of fortune for Bothell. Bothell tried to go for two, Bowers took a shot going into the end zone and favored his shoulder going off the field. Play was called back because of a penalty and Bothell kicked an extra point. The drive ate up nearly five minutes. Bothell 21-15 with 7:15 left.
– Nic Sblendorio returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. Skyline now leads Bothell 15-14 with 11:44 left in the second.
End first quarter: Bothell leads Skyline 14-8. A great quarterback duel on our hands here.
– Skyline QB Max Browne hit Peter Stromgren for 32-yard touchdown pass off of play action. Skyline then went for two, which the Spartans converted when Nate Gibson ran it in. Skyline with a huge answer, especially because the Spartans faced 1st-and-30 at one point during the drive. Browne is 6-for-10 passing right now. Bothell 14-8 with 1:12 left.
– Bowers rolled right and hit receiver Jared Berry for an 85-yard touchdown with 4:45 left. Berry was wide open in the Skyline secondary, and Bowers put it right on the money. Bothell started the drive on its own 3-yard line and needed only four plays to tack on another touchdown. Bowers is 5-for-6 passing right now. Bothell 14-0.
– Bothell marched right down the field against Skyline’s defense, mixing the run with the pass. Bothell stretched the legs of Ross Bowers, the Cougars’ sophomore making his first career start. Bowers went four for five on his opening drive for 43 yards. Bothell scored on a 10-yard pass from Bowers to Derek Pedersen with 8:03 left. Bothell 7-0. Drive took nine plays, went 80 yards and lasted about four minutes.
We’re underway from Skyline High. Skyline missing up to seven players due to injuries or suspensions. Could play a big role in this one.
We’re about 20 minutes from kickoff at Skyline High, where Bothell will take on the defending 4A state champion Spartans.
The key to this game, at least in my opinion, comes down to this: Can Bothell’s ground game keep the ball out of the hands of Skyline QB Max Browne? Browne is so dangerous that the best way – and maybe only real way – to stop him is to simply not give him the ball. On the other hand, Skyline must deal with Bothell’s power running game, which features a pair of really talented backs.
Another perfect night for football. A packed house filling up Skyline’s stadium as I speak.
Prediction time: Bothell by a touchdown.
Also, I should point out here that Skyline’s setup isn’t the most conducive to live blogging or tweeting, so hang with me as I try my best to keep providing updates.