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Skyline cruises to victory against Newport on the gridiron

By Shaun Scott - Issaquah-Sammamish Reporter, 09/24/18, 8:45AM PDT

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Spartans offense gets on track against the Knights.

Skyline Spartans junior receiver Luke Rohleder (pictured) had two receiving touchdowns against the Newport Knights on Sept. 21 at Newport High School in Factoria. Skyline defeated Newport 50-21. Photo courtesy of Jim Nicholson

Skyline Spartans junior receiver Luke Rohleder (pictured) had two receiving touchdowns against the Newport Knights on Sept. 21 at Newport High School in Factoria. Skyline defeated Newport 50-21. Photo courtesy of Jim Nicholson

The first three weeks of the 2018 football season didn’t go according to plan for the Skyline Spartans football team.

The Spartans scored a total of 57 points in three non-league games (two victories) and were determined to right the ship going into 4A KingCo play. Skyline rose to the occasion against the Newport Knights with a spectacular performance on offense. The Spartans cruised to a 50-21 win against the Newport on Sept. 21 in Factoria. Skyline, who improved their overall record to 3-1 courtesy of the triumph, had a 36-0 lead at halftime.

“The challenge was the last three weeks we just hadn’t really been ourselves on offense. We had a heart to heart (team meeting). We closed the doors and let everyone share their ideas. The bottom line is if the kids aren’t getting it or mistakes are being made it is on the coaches, not on the kids,” Skyline head football coach Mat Taylor said. “We needed to figure that out. We’re really excited with how the kids responded.”

Skyline senior quarterback Joe Green accounted for five Skyline touchdowns (three passing touchdowns and two rushing scores) in the victory. Green connected with Spartans receiver Luke Rohleder on a 6-yard touchdown strike in the first quarter and on a picture perfect 24-yard touchdown pass over the middle of the field with 5:33 left in the first half, extending Skyline’s lead to 29-0 at that juncture of the game. Green scored on a 17-yard touchdown run, making multiple Newport defenders miss in the process, with 1:19 left in the first half lengthening the lead to 36-0.

“Joe is a great quarterback. He found everyone who was getting open,” Rohleder said following the game.

Skyline running backs Beau Switzer and Cole Good scored a rushing touchdown apiece as well against Newport. Skyline senior Lucas Lanier scored on a 12-yard touchdown reception with 6:57 left in the third quarter. Skyline senior wide receiver Chris Johnson, who kept multiple Skyline drives alive in the first half with clutch catches, was glad to see the offense click on all cylinders.

“We definitely took the last week of practice to tune up on stuff and focus on the little things. It showed on the field tonight,” Johnson said.

Skyline will face the Bothell Cougars at 7 p.m. on Sept. 27 at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell.

“We just have to continue to build that confidence. More importantly we talked about having conviction in what we do. The guys on this team look into the eyes of their teammates and have each others back,” Taylor said of his close-knit squad.