Athlete of the Week: Skyline’s Scott had career night against Broadway

Ryan Scott Rich Cooley//Daily

FRONT ROYAL – Ryan Scott knew he needed to add another element to his game if he hoped to be the starting quarterback for Skyline High School’s football team this fall.

Scott, a self-proclaimed pocket passer as he worked his way through the Hawks’ program, needed to evolve into more of a dual threat quarterback, a trait head coach Heath Gilbert said is an integral part to a Skyline offensive scheme that relies heavily on its quarterback’s ability to execute the read-option.

“Once our quarterback starts pulling and running on top of everything else that’s going on then that’s really – that’s why we run the read-option,” Gilbert said after practice Tuesday evening. “If we’re not getting that piece it makes it difficult.”

Quite aware of this, Scott became a mainstay at Skyline’s quarterback-specific workouts over the summer, where Gilbert said the junior quarterback focused on “teaching his eyes” to make the proper reads during the mesh point on option handoffs.

Scott flashed his newfound running ability in the season opener against Central on Aug. 26, when he rushed for 145 yards in the loss. But it was his arm that powered a career performance for Scott in Skyline’s 45-21 rout of Broadway last Friday night.

Scott, The Northern Virginia Daily’s Athlete of the Week for Aug. 28-Sept. 4, completed 11 of 15 passes for 265 yards to go along with four total touchdowns, just one of a handful of electric performances that led to Skyline’s offense racking up 587 yards of total offense.

“He did a great job throwing the football,” Gilbert said. “It’s crazy, sometimes in practice it wasn’t necessarily his best week throwing but he cares about what he’s doing. He worked extra. He and (receiver) Luis (Garcia) stayed extra, and Trenton King, two days after practice to get their timing right on their routes. … A little extra work paid off for them.”

Scott, who averaged 24.1 yards per completion, had four passes go for 40-plus yards, including touchdown strikes of 40 and 65 to Garcia and King, but the junior credited his success to that of another Hawk enjoying a career night. Tucker Fortney, making his first career start in place of injured running back Quentin Diggs, had 220 yards rushing in the win, success that consistently drew Broadway’s defense closer to the line of scrimmage.

“They were getting sucked in with the run because we just kept running it,” Scott said. “But my receivers just knew what they were doing. They would juke and then fake them out, and then they would be wide open for the deep pass. It was working.”

With the Hawks holding a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, Scott hooked up with Garcia on a quick slant to the left hash that went for a 40-yard touchdown strike. Scott, by design, called Garcia’s route at the line of scrimmage after reading the position of a Broadway linebacker.

“He made the perfect read, called the slant and he threw a great ball,” Gilbert said. “(Garcia) turned it up the hash like he’s supposed to, you don’t give the safety a chance to get you and you split the two (defensive backs) and score.”

Skyline’s ability to move the ball at will against the Gobblers didn’t require much running on Scott’s part – he carried just five times for 18 yards – but the junior did show off his ability to effectively execute the read-option for the Hawks’ fourth touchdown in the second quarter, when he kept the football and scampered untouched through a huge hole on the right side for the 9-yard score.

Late in the half, after Broadway scored to cut Skyline’s lead to 26-7, Scott’s threat to run led to another big play for the Hawks. On the first play following the Gobblers’ touchdown, Scott faked a handoff in the backfield, rolled to his right and looked as though he was going to take off up field. Instead, the defense bit and King slipped behind the secondary down the sideline, and Scott found him for a 65-yard touchdown pass.

“Trenton, he just took off so I just lobbed it over the defense. It just worked out. It was not designed though,” said Scott, who found King again for a 6-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

“It was chemistry. I knew what he was doing.”

Scott, who said he and his teammates received a jolt in confidence following the win, will look to keep that momentum rolling this weekend when the Hawks host Brentsville at 7 p.m. Friday.

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com