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Bothell builds big lead, then has to hold on to beat Skyline 34-30

By David Krueger - Special to The Seattle Times, 09/28/18, 11:30AM PDT


Skyline scored 24 unanswered points and got to within one score before the Bothell defense ended a furious comeback by the Spartans in a 34-30 win Thursday night.

BOTHELL — It looked like the fourth quarter was going to be a breeze for a Bothell football team that boasted a 34-6 lead over Skyline.

But the Spartans had different plans.

Skyline scored 24 unanswered points and got to within one score before the Bothell defense ended a furious comeback by the Spartans in a 34-30 win Thursday night at Pop Keeney Stadium that was recorded and televised locally by ROOT Sports.

“It’s why you play sports, right? It’s these nail-biters,” Bothell coach Tom Bainter said. “They build character. It’s, how do you find a way to dig a little deeper within? We made some plays at the end and it was enough to win.”

Running back Christian Galvan scored his third touchdown of the game with about four minutes remaining in the third quarter to give Bothell (4-1) what seemed like a comfortable 28-point lead.

Then Skyline’s offense got to work. The Spartans quickly scored on a 65-yard touchdown pass from Joe Green to Christopher Johnson and then blocked a Bothell punt deep in Cougars’ territory before a 10-yard touchdown reception by Donovan Bahall made it 34-20 by the end of the third quarter.

Skyline (3-2) picked up right where it left off in the fourth quarter with another touchdown pass to Johnson that made it a one-possession game.

A 31-yard field goal by Carter Shane, his third of the game, cut the deficit to four.

“I was very proud. I thought we were going to get them there at the end,” said Skyline coach Mat Taylor. “… I don’t like saying, ‘moral victories,’ but I’m very proud.”

Skyline got the ball back with 1:42 to go on its own 17-yard line but an incomplete pass on fourth-and-10 ignited a celebration on the Bothell sideline. The Cougars rejoiced after what quickly turned out to be a surprisingly close final quarter.

Bothell took the game’s first lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Galvan to highlight a drive that was kept alive by a 22-yard scramble by quarterback Erik Bainter on fourth-and-18. The Cougars added another score on a 1-yard dive by fullback Colin Fisherkeller.

Bainter finished 11 of 21 for 183 yards. Galvan added 107 yards on 21 carries for the Cougars.

“We’ve got to find a way to build on little mistakes,” Tom Bainter said. “But this will be a huge confidence builder for us. We played a great team, a perennial state power, and we held on at the end.”

Green finished 22 of 34 for 283 yards and three touchdowns for Skyline. Two of those touchdowns went to Johnson, who finished with five receptions for 150 yards.

The longtime KingCo 4A rivals now find themselves in different divisions with Bothell in the Crown division and Skyline in the Crest. As a result, the game didn’t count in the league standings, but the two teams could meet again when the divisions square off in crossover playoff games later in the season.

Last year, the two teams split the season series. The Spartans topped Bothell 31-28 in the playoffs, ending the Cougars’ season in the first round of the 4A state tournament after Bothell beat Skyline 34-27 in the regular-season matchup.