In a great review of these two top teams and two of the Top Quarterbacks in the Northwest we take you inside the 4A Championship game set for this Saturday!
Joel E. Ferris (10-3) vs. Skyline (11-2): Saturday December 5th at the Tacoma Dome
The Ferris Saxons, who hail from the Greater Spokane League, travel to Tacoma to take on the 2-time defending state champion Skyline Spartans. These two talented ball clubs have a little history. In last years state 4A semi-finals
in Spokane, Skyline won a hard fought battle in the frigid cold, 24-21.
Ferris, who had to win a 3-way tie breaker just to get the GSL's #3 seed into the playoffs, has found it's stride at
the right time of the year. They disposed of the Columbia Basin League's top three teams in Wenatchee, Kamiakin and Eisenhower in consecutive weeks, before winning a thrilling shootout over Skyview from Vancouver last week, 46-41.
The Skyview game featured over 900 yards of total offense and 13 total touchdowns.
The Saxons were led in the battle by their standout quarterback, Connor Halliday, a 6'-4" 195 pound Senior. Halliday
lit up the Skyview secondary by hitting on 23-32 passes for 295 yards and 4 touchdowns. Connor broke the Greater
Spokane League's all-time passing mark earlier in the campaign. The 29 year old mark was set by former Shadle Park,
WSU and NFL great, Mark Rypien. Halliday will attend WSU next fall on a full football scholarship.
The emergence of running back Gage Orosco, a 5'-11" 165 pound senior has given the Saxons excellent offensive diversity in the playoffs. Orosco ripped off 138 yards on 17 carries with 2 scores vs. Skyview. That followed a giant
166 yard performance in the quarterfinals vs. Eisenhower.
Wideout Jason Bates, a rangy 6'-4" senior, also had a huge game last week, catching 8 balls for 108 yards and 3 td's.
Bates has had one of the top receiving years in state history with 96 receptions and 20 touchdowns. Fellow receiver
Jordan Tonani, a slick 6'-0" 195 pounder, caught 8 tosses for 87 yards and a score last weekend. Slotback Beau Bozett,
a 6'-0" 155 pound junior, has had an excellent season as well with over 50 catches on the year.
The Saxon's defense is led by their brickhouse of a defensive lineman, Kjelby Oiland, a 6'-4" 255 pound senior. Safety
Riley Stockton, a 6'-4" junior who had a crucial interception last week, paces a solid secondary. The Ferris linebacking
crew is led by junior Garrett Livingston. Garrett, a 6'-2" 207 pounder, had a huge 47 yard interception return last Saturday
The Skyline Spartans lost a tough nationally televised game early in the season to California powerhouse, Oaks Christian.
Skyline then rolled through the regular season before losing again, this time in the Kingco championship game to the
talented Bothell Cougars, 25-20. The Spartans won the re-match with the Cougars last weekend in the state semi-finals.
It was another epic battle between the two programs, with Skyline pulling out a tough 31-26 win.
Skyline rolled it's first three playoff foes, pounding Kentridge, Central Kitsap and Curtis by the combined score of
154-28. Skyline's defense was the key in this contest vs. Bothell. Skyline defender Adam Albaum returned a fumbled punt
52 yards to the house, and they held the Kingco's top rusher, Luke Proulx in check all night. Proulx managed only 40 yards
on 18 carries for the night.
Skyline was paced by their superstar quarterback, Jake Heaps. The BYU recruit hit on 17 of 32 passes for 220 yards and
2 touchdowns vs. Bothell. Heaps, a strong armed 6'-2" 205 pound senior, was selected all-state following both his sophomore
and junior campaigns. Junior phenom Kasen Williams is Heaps' favorite target. Williams, a highly recruited wideout is also a standout basketball player and a state champion high jumper. Fellow receivers, Jordan Simone and Connor Brandt are also
excellent passing options for Heaps.
Running back Nick Washburn, a 5'-11' 190 pound senior, paces the Spartan ground attack. Washburn, a 1st team all-Kingco
crest selection, scored on a crucial 8 yard touchdown run in the Bothell win. Tight end/defensive end Cooper Pelluer, a 6'-4" 230
pound senior was a 1st team all-league selection on both sides of the ball for the Spartans. The Skyline line is anchored by
Jase Butorac, a 6'-4" 290 pound mammoth tackle. Center Matt Trueblood, at 6'-1" 250 pounds also helps pave the way for
Skyline's high octane offense.
The Skyline defense is lead by head hunting linebacker, Anthony DeMatteo, a 6'-1" 220 pound senior. DeMatteo was
the Kingco Crest defensive MVP. The Spartans also feature two other all-league backers, Peter Kim a cat quick 6'-0" 195
pound senior and Tommy Aarts, a 6'-0" 190 pound senior. The Skyline secondary is spearheaded by safety Evan Zeger a
big hitting 6'-2" 200 pound junior and cornerback Tait Stephens, a 6'-2" 194 pound senior.
Good Luck to both of these storied programs, as they battle for the golden ball on the big stage!!