An efficient ball-control offense combined with a stout defensive effort paid dividends for the Skyline Spartans in their Class 4A KingCo football matchup against the Newport Knights.
Skyline running back Isaiah Shim had three rushing touchdowns in Skyline’s 38-14 victory against Newport on Sept. 23 in Factoria. Skyline improved to 3-1 overall while Newport dropped to 0-4.
Even though the score was lopsided by the end of the night, the contest was close in the first half of play. Skyline took a 7-0 lead on a Shim 5-yard touchdown run with 3:40 left in the first quarter. With Skyline leading 7-0, Newport had the ball at their own 32-yard line with 8:24 left in the second quarter. Newport advanced the ball to Skyline’s two-yard line but weren’t able to record a touchdown to tie the game. The 13-play drive stalled when Knights’ quarterback Brandon Steinberg’s rushing attempt on fourth down was stopped short of the goal-line by Skyline’s defense at their own 2-yard line with 3:34 left in the first half. Skyline then marched 98 yards in 14 plays and quarterback Drew Kistner capped off the 98-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run on fourth down, giving Skyline a 14-0 lead with 12 seconds remaining in the first half. Shim was impressed with how the defense and offense closed out the second quarter.
“Our defense stepped up huge. That was a huge defensive stand at the goal-line,” Shim said. “The 90 plus yard drive we had (on offense) at the end of the second quarter was the best offensive drive of the year for us so far. We stayed disciplined, we read our keys and we executed it well.”
Skyline had four rushing touchdowns and scored on defense when Alex Diegel fell on a loose ball on a bad snap in the endzone in the third quarter. Skyline head coach Mat Taylor said he was extremely happy with how his team played following the game.
“I think the biggest thing is the last three weeks we decided we’ve got to control the line of scrimmage. We got a great line and we’ve been running the ball more. I know that isn’t a true Skyline way of the past but the bottom line is the thing about Skyline is we’re not going to put a square peg into a round hole. We are going to be progressive and try different things. We are excited about that,” Taylor said.
Taylor said Shim, who is the Spartans’ starting running back, is a true student of the game.
“As far as reading things, he may be as good as any kid I’ve coached. Especially with the inside zone (plays). He is really, really good at pressing the feet of the guards to set up double teams. He is a pretty special player right now,” he said.
Newport head coach Drew Oliver remained upbeat despite his team’s fourth loss in a row to open the 2016 season. Steinberg scored on a 15-yard touchdown run and Kenny Lafayette scored on a 4-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
“There is a lot to build on from this game. I’m proud of our guys and I’m proud of our effort. We just battled,” Oliver said.
The Knights will host the Issaquah Eagles at 7 p.m. on Sept. 30 at Newport High School in Factoria.