Athlete of the Week: Scott powers Hawks’ efficient offensive showing against Broadway

Ryan Scott Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – Skyline High School’s football team operates at peak performance on offense when the quarterback is as much a threat in the running game as he is spreading the football around through the air.

Ryan Scott has worked on improving as a dual threat over the last two years, and his teammates recognize the value such a dynamic presence at the quarterback position can bring to the Hawks.

“Once he gets going it’s hard to stop our offense,” senior receiver Trenton King said of Scott following practice on Tuesday.

Indeed, Broadway had a tough time containing Skyline in the Hawks’ 32-22 win last Friday night. Skyline amassed 378 yards of offense, of which Scott accounted for 288 and four touchdowns.

The senior quarterback completed 7 of 15 passes for 157 yards, three touchdowns and an interception and, perhaps most important to the dynamic of Skyline’s offense, rushed seven times for 131 yards and a score.

“The defensive end crashed a lot, so that was our game plan, was to read him and pull it. That’s what our coaches expected me to do, so that’s what I did,” said Scott, who has led the Hawks in rushing in each of their first two games.

“I think me being able to roll out, scramble, pull it, read it, our offense is more versatile. We just have more options.”

The product of Scott’s performance against the Gobblers was an efficient offensive performance that saw the Hawks hit on plenty of plays for big yardage. Broadway ran twice as many plays (79 to 37) as Skyline and held possession of the ball for nearly 35 minutes, but the Hawks averaged just over 10 yards per play and scored all five of their touchdowns on plays of 10 yards or more.

“We made big plays,” Hawks head coach Heath Gilbert said. “And we left points out there with our own mistakes. … I think we had four possessions in the first half and scored three touchdowns, so we were moving the ball like you want. The second half we kind of shot ourselves in the foot a couple times so it could’ve been an even higher output. But the kids the hung with it and really our defense had two key fourth-quarter stops in a row that enabled us to win that football game.”

Scott ultimately sealed the victory with a long touchdown run in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter, but his two touchdown passes to King late in the first half gave Skyline the lead, and momentum, heading into halftime.

With Skyline trailing 7-6, Scott first hit King for a 10-yard scoring pass with 1:58 left in the second quarter. Ninety seconds later the duo hooked up again, this time on a 19-yard touchdown strike that sent Skyline into halftime with a 19-7 lead.

“Their defense covered the pass well so I had to scramble out, so I had to get it to him in the end zone when I was scrambling,” said Scott, who also threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Bailey Smeltzer for the game’s first score in the opening quarter. “The play, it wasn’t designed to do that but I found him in the end zone and it worked out.”

“I remember it was supposed to be a crossing route and I just look back and see him coming around, and with his athletic ability – he’s very athletic, strong arm,” said King, who had four receptions for 72 yards and two touchdowns and added a 13-yard TD run in the third quarter. “I have a lot of confidence in him getting me the ball from wherever on the field.”

Scott put an exclamation point on Skyline’s first win of the season when he raced 71 yards to the end zone to put the Hawks up 32-22 with 1:28 to play. Scott said Skyline ran the exact same read-option play on the snap before, during which he handed the ball off for short yardage as Broadway’s defensive end stayed home to defend Scott. The Hawks knew the defensive end would crash on the inside run the second time, Scott said.

“Our offense can be dynamic when he is allowed to make plays like that, and all that comes from establishing inside run,” Gilbert said. “If we can do that everything branches off of that and that’s what he played out. it was just a great performance by your senior quarterback and he did a wonderful job.”