Despite the celebratory and festive atmosphere of Skyline’s homecoming game against the North Creek Jaguars, the Spartans fell short in a 38-21 loss.
The first half was tight with several lead changes. Skyline was off to a promising start when the game opened with a swift interception by Skyline wide receiver TJ Crandall and a dash to the North Creek 40-yard line. A pass to fellow Spartan wide receiver Aidyn Clark pushed the ball to the opposing side’s 15-yard line before he got tackled by North Creek tight end Stephen Woodward. Against clever defensive plays from the Jaguars, Crandall scored the first touchdown of the game. The extra point from kicker Spencer King gave the Spartans the early 7-point lead.
North Creek answered immediately with a rush to the end zone from their 20-yard line. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, a flag on the play spoiled their rapid response, abruptly erasing the gain. However, the Jaguars would not be discouraged and pushed Skyline back to their 19-yard line even in the face of a strong defense from Clark and defensive guard Tyler Steinbach. But the quarter buzzed to an end before North Creek could reap the benefits.
The second quarter started with a North Creek rush to Skyline’s 6-yard line. A strong defense from free safety Mike Roni managed to prevent the Jaguars from gaining any ground. A holding penalty by North Creek set them back several yards. Not to be stymied, they soon regained their position. After a series of short gains on downs, North Creek’s Seungyong Lee scored the team’s first touchdown with 9:14 left in the quarter. A critical block by Skyline tight end Hunter Neil prevented the extra point, allowing the Spartans to maintain their small advantage.
Yet that advantage was short-lived when Jaguar defensive back Kennedy McGill intercepted a pass from Skyline and ran from midfield to the end zone to score North Creek’s second touchdown. In hopes of making up for the earlier missed extra point, North Creek attempted a two-point conversion but was unsuccessful, settling for a 12-7 lead.
Not to be outdone, Skyline responded in their next possession with a kickoff return touchdown by running back TJ Crandall from Skyline’s 10-yard line. Another extra point from kicker Spencer King put the score at a respectable 14-12, reversing the game lead back to the Spartans.
Attempting to hold onto the lead, the remainder of the quarter was dominated by a powerful Skyline defense, especially from corner back Ben Bordeaux and Jani Weir. As North Creek inched closer to the end zone, both teams called timeouts to discuss strategies. After a critically-timed tackle by Crandall and strong safety Carter King, the teams found themselves at the Skyline 8-yard line within seconds of the quarter ending. With exactly one second left on the clock and tension building, North Creek barreled through the Spartan defensive line for one more touchdown. A third failed extra point attempt meant the score stayed 18-14, North Creek, to close the first half.
The third quarter began with another explosive kickoff return touchdown by Skyline’s Crandall within 20 seconds of the second half opening. A successful extra point put Skyline back in the lead — a lead solely from extra points as both teams had scored the same number of touchdowns.
However, North Creek did not take it lying down. The Jaguars answered with an 80-yard rushing touchdown from McGill up the center. With the successful extra point for a 25-21 score, the lead changed back to a North Creek advantage.
From there, North Creek dominated the rest of the quarter. After a stall in midfield, North Creek pushed to the Skyline 19-yard line where Lee added another touchdown to pad the Jaguar lead, 32-21, with 5:43 remaining.
Despite a vigorous defense from Skyline defensive guard Trevor Steinbach, North Creek soon reached Skyline’s 35-yard line. Wide receiver Jamal Omar put the final nail in the Spartan coffin when he reached the end zone for the third consecutive North Creek touchdown, bringing the score to 38-21.
The final quarter was dominated by a back-and-forth power struggle as Skyline attempted to turn the game around. Unfortunately, the Spartans were unable to gain any ground as the clock ran out.
Skyline (3-5) will host Inglemoor (2-6) on Friday, October 29 for a home conference game.