Mission accomplished! Skyline completed their winning season Thursday night by getting past Kinsley 48-42 in a barnburner. In a game of shifting fortunes, it was the Thunderbirds upon whom the Fates were smiling when time ran out.
Skyline started out like a house afire. After stopping Kinsley on the game’s initial possession, Skyline converted a 4th and 2 with a 20-yd pass to Daniel Hacker. Two plays later, Dustin Weber found the endzone from 20 yards out.
Skyline recovered the onside kick, but then was stopped on downs. However, Kinsley fumbled the ball right back to the T-Birds. Taking advantage of the short field, Hacker went 17 yards for Skyline’s second score to make it 14-0.
Following a Kinsley punt, Skyline drove deep into Coyote territory. A 79-yd ‘pick-6’ gave the Kinsleys a huge boost, making the score 14-6 instead of what had been looking like 21-0.
On the ensuing SHS drive, which extended into the 2nd quarter, Weber finished it off with a 6 yd TD. 20-6 Skyline.
Kinsley answered back, sustaining a drive that was culminated by a 7-yd TD pass. 20-14 SHS.
The T-Birds employed the no-huddle offense to good effect on their next drive. Weber had a big 25 yd gain, then Hacker dragged Coyotes with him for a ways before shaking free of them and scoring from 20 yds out. 26-14 T-Birds.
Kinsley completed two long passes right before half to get the score back to 26-20 Thunderbirds at the intermission.
To start the second half, a T-Bird turnover gave the Coyotes the ball deep in Skyline territory. Kinsley could not convert the short field, however, as they coughed the ball up on the 1-yd line and Hacker recovered for SHS. It only took 3 Weber runs for Skyline to travel for 79 yds and another score against the stunned Coyotes. 32-20 Skyline.
The Kinsleys regrouped quickly, however, as they scored on a 43-yd run on the first play following a short Skyline kick-off. They then recovered the onside kick, and scored two plays later to take the lead. Now it was Skyline’s turn to be stunned as they had suddenly fallen behind for the first time, 34-32.
But Skyline did not fold. They again drove the ball, and a Cole Patterson to Chanler Simar 4 yd TD pass gave SHS the lead back, 40-34.
As the clock moved into the 4th quarter, the teams’ defenses stiffened. Each offense had two non-productive possessions. The Coyotes finally broke the offensive deadlock with a 41 yd TD run to put themselves back on top 42-40 with 4:11 left to play.
Skyline did not panic. They engineered a patient drive with 6 Weber runs and a Hacker run to get the ball into 1st and goal. Weber completed the drive from 4 yards out and added the 2-pt conversion to again put the T-Birds ahead 48-42.
Page 2 of 2 - There was still 1:02 on the clock and Kinsley pulled out all the stops to try to get the tying/winning score. Using a combination of runs, passes and trick plays, the Coyotes were moving. With 12 seconds left, Cole Patterson stepped in front of a Kinsley pass for the interception and Skyline was able to assume the victory formation to run out the clock.