King’s two touchdowns propel Hawks past Dragons

Skyline's Quentin Diggs runs past William Monroe's secondary defenders during second quarter action Friday night in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL — Skyline senior wide receiver Trenton King wasn’t sure if he’d be able to play again this season. On Friday night, he not only played, he made two of the biggest plays of the game.

King caught two key touchdown passes in the second half to help the Hawks top William Monroe 41-25 in Northwestern District football action.

“It feels great,” King said. “Just knowing (Skyline quarterback) Ryan (Scott) still has a lot of faith in me. Throwing me the ball first game back.”

King missed several games due to a leg injury. He was scheduled to return last week, but broke his hand during a defensive drill in practice last week.

He had to miss last week’s game with Manassas Park. However, King was able to get a cast put on this week that allowed him to be able to move his fingers and catch passes.

Skyline's Luis Garcia runs off the field after scoring the Hawks' second touchdown during the first quarter. Rich Cooley/Daily

Skyline coach Heath Gilbert said they weren’t sure if King would be able to play until watching him practice during the week.

“He’s a competitor. He’s a senior,” Gilbert said. “All week we told him, we was like, Bub, we love him, we want you to go out there. But you can’t be a liability. And he showed us in practice that he could catch the ball. Game was on the line, he catches the ball. The kid can play. He has mobility with his fingers. The biggest thing is being able to keep that thumb still for him. He was able to do that.”

The Hawks (4-4) saw a 21-point lead evaporate to just three during the fourth quarter. Leading 28-25, Skyline responded with an 11-play 73-yard drive.

They used six straight running plays to move the ball to the William Monroe 15-yard line. Scott was sacked for an 11-yard loss on first down. The Hawks were able to gain back some of the yardage on the next two plays and then back-to-back penalties on William Monroe gave Skyline a first-and-goal at the 4.

On the next play Scott threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to King for a 34-25 edge with 6:55 left.

Skyline's Bailey Smeltzer leaps into the air after Trenton King walks into the end zone for a score following first quarter action. Smeltzer ran down William Monroe's punter Josue Bonilla after a bad snap and tackled him, resulting in a fumble. King recovered the ball and walked into the end zone. Rich Cooley/Daily

“They changed the momentum. They put up a good fight,” Scott said. “We had to just come out and score. We had to change the momentum. We had to have it on our side. That drive was very important to the game.”

It was King’s second touchdown of the game. His first touchdown reception capped off a seven-play, 64-yard drive.

On fourth-and-5 from the William Monroe 25-yard line, Scott connected with King for a 25-yard score with 4:55 left in the third quarter.

“I just got a great inside move on the kid and looked back and Ryan already threw the ball,” King said. “I just saw it coming, and I was trying to get in position. I was a little scared. I was scared I wasn’t going to be able to get in position for it. But I was able to haul it in.”

The Hawks started the game off strong. Skyline needed only three plays to take the lead. Scott connected with Luis Garcia for a 59-yard touchdown pass less than two minutes into the game.

Skyline's Matthew Rutherford trips up William Monroe's Jaekwon Wayne in the first quarter. Rich Cooley/Daily

After forcing a William Monroe punt, Scott again connected with Garcia for a 23-yard touchdown pass with 7:02 left in the opening quarter.

Garcia said the win and the touchdowns felt even better since it was Skyline’s homecoming game.

“I came into the game I was like this is my homecoming game right here. This is my last one,” Garcia said. “Those two touchdowns they felt great. I was happy. …It was very important. It gave us a hot start.”

The Dragons (2-6) were forced to punt again, but the ball sailed over William Monroe punter Josue Rivas-Bonilla’s head. Skyline’s Parker Holmes picked up the ball at the William Monroe 2-yard line and ran in for the score for a 21-0 lead with 4:36 left in the opening quarter.

The Dragons cut the lead to 21-7 in the second quarter.

Skyline's Laterrian Barber looks for running room during the third quarter in a game last season. The Hawks have a young and inexperienced team this season. Rich Cooley/Daily file

William Monroe put together a 14-play, 66-yard drive. William Monroe quarterback Alex Kinsey threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to James Collins with 9:47 left in the opening half.

The Hawks seemed in control of the game with a 28-10 lead, but the Dragons came right back. They needed only three plays to cut the lead to 28-18. Kinsey scored on a 39-yard touchdown run with 3:51 left in the third quarter.

William Monroe scored on the first play of the fourth quarter on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Kinsey to Jordan Gray to cut the lead to 28-25.

After King’s second touchdown reception, Skyline’s Spencer Scriva recovered a William Monroe fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Skyline’s Tucker Fortney scored on a 4-yard run with 5:27 left to seal the victory.

The Hawks ran for 110 yards in the fourth quarter. Skyline running back Quentin Diggs said he was confident the Hawks could wear down the Dragons’ defense.

Skyline's Quentin Diggs finds an opening for a large gain last week against William Monroe. The Hawks play at Brentsville tonight. Rich Cooley/Daily

“I was running good in the first half and I told them just keep putting it on ’em,” Diggs said. “They’re soon enough going to break. In the fourth quarter they did, luckily.”

Scott went 11-for-21 passing for 240 yards and four touchdowns. Garcia had three receptions for 94 yards and two touchdowns.

Diggs finished with 141 yards on 16 carries.

The win was big for the Hawks in a very competitive Class 3 district and region.

“We talked about it after the Culpeper loss (two weeks ago) and four-for-four is what we have to do,” Gilbert said. “We’ve been able to take two steps and we got a huge step next week against Brenstville. That’s going to be our focus, and they got a win against Culpeper. So we have to be ready to go.”