Oaks Christian holds off Skyline, 28-25
An interception on Jake Heaps' final pass stopped Skyline's final drive and allowed Oaks Christian to escape with a 28-25 victory.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Scores & stats
SAMMAMISH — At halftime, after an uneven start and with Skyline trailing by four points, Kasen Williams gathered his teammates and said, "I'm not going to quit."
The Spartans took on a nationally ranked team on national television Friday night. They battled nerves, the flu and turnovers, but kept things interesting until the final minutes.
They didn't quit, but they couldn't pull off the upset either, as Oaks Christian of Westlake Village, Calif., lived up to its billing and claimed a 28-25 victory at Skyline.
"We don't ever want to feel this anger ever again," said Williams, who caught six passes for 163 yards and a touchdown.
After the Lions' famous fathers — Wayne Gretzky, Joe Montana and actor Will Smith — arrived fashionably late in the stands, the Lions (3-0) put the Spartans on their heels early. Nick Montana of Oaks Christian completed his first four passes for 40 yards and two touchdowns.
"We started out in groove," said Montana, who completed 21 of 34 for 261 yards with three touchdowns with two interceptions. "Obviously, they're a great team and they gave us a run for our money."
The University of Washington's quarterback-of-the-future played well early, while Heaps, whose 30-game winning streak was snapped, battled the flu and the moment.
The BYU-bound Heaps completed a pass to Connor Brandt late in the first quarter that seemed to settle him down. Then he looked to Williams, who scored touchdowns on back-to-back plays. On the first, he fumbled at the 20-yard line after receiving a pass, but recovered in the end zone.
Skyline (2-1) took a lead in the second quarter on a 30-yard field goal by Sean Penberthy, but Montana responded with his third touchdown pass.
"It just showed the resilience of our team," said Heaps, who completed 13 of 31 for 256 yards and a touchdown, but threw three picks and fumbled twice. "We're not a team that's going to give up. We're not a team that's going to back down. We're going to claw and fight all the way through."
In the second half, Skyline's defense stepped up as the Lions, ranked No. 6 in the nation by ESPN RISE, began to tire.
But it seemed each time the Spartans' defense made a play, the offense gave it back.
"I think we kind of let this one slip a little bit," Skyline coach Mat Taylor said.
Despite everything Skyline dealt with, the Spartans had one final chance to orchestrate a game-winning drive. Trailing by a field goal, Skyline got the ball back with 1:56 left and started driving.
However, on second down with the clock running, Heaps was hit as he tried to throw the ball out of bounds, and the errant pass sailed into the arms of Max Napolitano for a game-ending interception.
"This should be motivation," Spartans linebacker Anthony DeMatteo said. "They ruined our perfect season. We've got to show we want it more."
Mason Kelley: 206-464-8277 or email@example.com
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