By Jim Laise - email@example.com
FRONT ROYAL -- Before the game, Skyline coach Heath Gilbert told senior running back Dayvon Haight he would have to be "the man" Friday night because fellow senior Aaron Jeremiah would miss the non-district showdown versus Washington (W. Va.).
Jeremiah, a quarterback, was suspended against the Patriots because of a flagrant foul last week at Millbrook.
Haight, a 6-foot, 175-pounder, responded.
He touched the ball six times in the first half for 254 yards and three touchdowns as the Hawks (6-1) pounded the visitors 63-21.
Haight dashed for a 70-yard touchdown on the first play of the game; an 11-yard carry; provided a 37-yard run for TD; a 7-yard blast; a 94-yard run and a 35-yard run--all in the first half before Gilbert replaced him.
Meanwhile, senior Kylmen Breeden added five runs for 73 yards and two scores as the vaunted Hawk running game had 370 yards on the ground.
"The coaches told me I would have to step up without Aaron in the game, and with the help of my line, we did just that," said Haight. "That first run was just an end run and the guard kicked out. All I had to do was run."
Haight's 254 total was a career high.
"I thought the offensive line executed well and Dayvon executed behind them. He is a fine young man on and off the field, so this was good for him tonight," said Gilbert.
The coach said Jeremiah would return to the lineup Friday against Handley at home.
"We have two district games and Warren County to finish the season. So we have our work cut out for us," said Gilbert.
Haight cut to the quick on the game's first play when he took a pitch and blasted 70 yards in 11 seconds on the game's first play. Evan Pavlicek made the first of nine extra points.
On the Hawks' second possession Haight dashed 37 yards on a third-and-two play for the touchdown for a 14-0 lead.
Brenden O'Conner kept the scoring going for the hosts even as Washington had the ball. He stepped in front of a Matt Harris pass, pulled it out of the air and ran 39 yards the other way for the score for a 21-0 lead with 7:12 remaining in the first quarter.
Washington's Colin Gustines flipped the table on Skyline with a 80-yard kickoff return for the touchdown. Bryan Bayliss' PAT made it 21-7 with 6:55 left in the first quarter.
But Washington's enthusiasm ended soon enough when Breeden took over for Haight. He sprinted 38 yards on the Hawks' third offensive possession for a touchdown with 5:16 remaining.
The Hawks also intercepted Patriot quarterbacks twice before the half. The thefts came at the hands of O'Conner and Zack Blair. Blair's 56-yard sprint for a second interception for score made it 35-7.
The other score in the half was a 37-yard run by Haight and a 38-yard dash by Breeden.
Washington's Dante Washington went over from the 1-yard line after a 15-yard pick up of his. Washington's throw for two-points to Garrett May made it 42-15.
In the third quarter, Skyline went to the air to maneuver its next score. Quarterback Jerrius Baltimore found Helmick for a 50-yard bomb to the Washington 18. After a penalty, the quarterback kept it to burst 13 yards for the score and a 49-15 lead at the 3:39 mark of the third quarter.
Even though Haight thought he would have had another score--this one from 81--the play was brought back by a penalty. It didn't matter. Two plays later, Baltimore handed to Breeden who streaked 22 yards for the score to make it 56-15 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth, Gustines found Mike Grant on a tipped-ball touchdown pass for the Washington score with seven minutes left in the game.