Through the chill of the misty October rain, fans and families stood spellbound as the Skyline Spartans defended their homecoming hopes against the Issaquah Eagles for a 17-0 victory in their last home game of the regular season.
Starting from their 27-yard line, the Spartans managed to advance 19 yards, but incomplete passes to running back TJ Crandall and wide receiver JT Weir forced Skyline to punt for the Eagles’ first possession.
The Eagles received the ball at the 5-yard line. Despite a successful reception by wide receiver Spencer Blumenthal at the 10-yard line, he was quickly tackled by Weir. With little to no gain on four downs, the Eagles were forced to punt to the Spartans as the stalemate continued.
Forty yards downfield, Nahmier Robinson returned the punt, weaving through the Eagles’ defensive line to score on a spectacular run that he believed was the first touchdown of the night. Unfortunately, the celebration was short-lived due to a penalty on the play, and the Spartans were forced to start from Issaquah’s 22-yard line. The Spartans managed a series of slow, rushing advances to the 5-yard line, only to meet with Eagles defensive end Prathyush Manda as he managed to drag the advance back to the 14-yard line and then the 19-yard line in consecutive downs. While the Spartans had hoped for a touchdown, they were forced to settle for a field goal, finally getting on the board and out of the first quarter with a 3-0 lead.
The second quarter opened with the Eagles starting from their own 22-yard line. Their mountain of a running back, Amauri Mountain, made quick progress, powering through to the Spartan 39-yard line, where he was finally taken down by Robinson. The Eagles switched to passing instead of rushing plays, but were unable to make any further progress due to superb defenses from Robinson and free safety Mike Roni. The ball was turned over to the Spartans on their 38-yard line.
Wasting no time, running back Josh Menold singlehandedly took the counteroffensive to the 50-yard line in a series of rushing downs. Wide receiver Marcus Angiuli out-maneuvered the Eagles defense to make a spectacular reception at the 25-yard line. Robinson advanced to the 3-yard line, setting up Menold for a Spartan touchdown and a 10-0 Skyline lead.
On their next possession, a frustrating series of short downs forced the Eagles to give up the ball with nothing to show for their efforts. The Spartans, however, did not waste their opportunity. With short passes to wide receivers Cam Weir and Nate Fischer, Skyline began their advance downfield. Menold completed several rushing yards, keeping the Spartans on the march. A swift 40-yard run from Crandall put Skyline in striking range. With one second left in the half and one yard left to run, Menold carried the ball into the end zone for a 17-0 Skyline lead.
The second half was littered with penalties that slowed the game to a crawl. Despite a few impressive plays on both teams, neither side was able to break through the gridlock. While the Eagles managed to advance to the Spartan 10-yard line in the fourth quarter, the match stayed mostly midfield and the Spartans held the Eagles for a 17-0 victory.
Skyline, now the highest ranked KingCo 4A team, will conclude the regular season against Woodinville on Oct. 28 at 7:00 p.m.