Hawks will see familiar offense when they face Gobblers

Quentin Diggs

FRONT ROYAL — Skyline will see a familiar offense when it takes the field for tonight’s non-district football game against Broadway.

The Gobblers run the read-option offense just like the Hawks do.

Skyline coach Heath Gilbert said he hopes it will help his defense that they are used to seeing the same offense every day in practice.

“Our kids are kind of used to defending (Skyline quarterbacks) Ryan (Scott) and Chase (Tasker) in practice,” Gilbert said. “So that gives us some familiarity. It doesn’t mean that we’re always in the right spot. But you definitely have to be disciplined.”

Broadway’s quarterback is freshman Bryce Suters and Gilbert said he will present a real challenge for the Hawks to defend.

Ethan Nowell

“I think he’s their most dangerous athlete,” Gilbert said. “Last year, obviously he was on the (junior varsity) team and he did real well against our kids last year. He was one of the best players we saw on that level.”

Gilbert said the Gobblers have two different running backs they use and both are effective. He said the offensive line also has some size and experience back from last year’s squad.

He said his defensive line has been showing some progress. Gilbert said the Hawks are rotating eight different players into the game on the defensive line to keep everyone fresh.

“I think they kind of enjoy all those guys getting to play,” Gilbert said. “Because all those guys play on the offensive line too. So we’re not just dragging their butts into the dirt. So we’re giving them a chance to recover and get their breath on the sidelines. See it a little bit from a different perspective and get back out there and compete.”

The Gobblers are coming off a 41-12 loss to Western Albemarle, while the Hawks are coming off a 48-13 loss to Central.

Skyline hung tough with Central for three quarters, before the Falcons scored the final 34 points of the game.

Skyline junior offensive and defensive lineman Ethan Nowell, who was named the lineman of the week by the Skyline coaching staff, said that the Falcons’ size was tough to overcome.

“That was probably the best team we’re going to face,” Nowell said. “They’re a pretty good team. They got a lot of size. They just played better than us that game and they won.”

Skyline running back Quentin Diggs, who ran for 39 yards on nine carries, said there was a lot of good things the Hawks could take away from the loss to Central.

“Our offensive line has improved big time,” Diggs said. “Even though we got some negative plays, we also had a lot of positive plays too. The running backs got a lot of positive yards.”

Gilbert said he was pleased with the performance of Scott against Central.

The Hawks will face a stout 3-4 defense, which likes to bring pressure, Gilbert said.

“If we start to get sloppy with our eyes and we don’t pick guys up and see them the way we need to, we could have guys run through and hit us in the backfield and cause turnovers,” Gilbert said. “So that’s a big key for us. They do a few different coverage variations that we have to prepare for as well. So we’re working hard to get ready for that.”

Gilbert said he wants to see his players make improvements from the first game to the second game at every position.

Last year, the Hawks beat the Gobblers 45-21 and Skyline was without Diggs due to injury.

Diggs said he’s excited to see what Skyline can do, not only against Broadway, but the rest of the season.

“Everybody on offense is mostly seniors. So we all have been in this situation before,” Diggs said. “And we all know what happened last year. So we’re eager to do better this year and have a better record, a winning record and also get into the playoffs since we didn’t make it last year.”

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