Skyline improved to 4-0 on the season with a 28-7 win over Gilbert on Friday at Gilbert. The Coyotes have not had a winning season since 2008 but that streak of losing seasons appears on its way to an end as Skyline has shown balance on both sides of the ball.
The Coyotes (4-0) held Gilbert to just one score and exploded for 21 unanswered second half points to grab the road victory. While Skyline has not played the toughest of competition in its first four games, (its four opponents have a combined record of 2-13) coach Angelo Pauffumi knows his team can only play the teams in of them and he recognizes his team will have its chance to prove itself as its schedule gets tougher.
“We’ve got Mountain View, Desert Ridge, Desert Mountain, Red Mountain ahead of us. Say what you want about our early schedule. It’s our schedule, but each week we have gotten better," Pauffumi said.
The star of the game on offense for Skyline was Francisco Avitia. Avitia missed the first three games of the season for the Coyotes but he made his debut a memorable one. Avitia rushed the ball 22 times for 120 yards with two touchdowns. Avitia rushed for touchdowns of one and six yards, both in the second half.
The game started well for Skyline but its opening drive of the game stalled at the Gilbert 10-yard line as it chose to go for the first down on 4th-and-6 instead of kicking the field goal. In the second quarter Gilbert took their only lead of the game on a 1-yard touchdown pass by Tyler Stevenson to Hunter Lane. The touchdown was set up by a 40-yard run by Dylon Gillette earlier in the drive. Skyline wasted no time tying the game as just two plays later Michael Amado hit a wide open Cory Anderson streaking down the sideline for a 54-yard touchdown. After the extra point we were all tied at 7-7. It would remain that way into halftime and the early part of the third quarter. In the third Avitia scored his first touchdown of the game on his one yard run. From there it was all Skyline. With about three minutes left in the game Logan Ruppert caught a 51 yard touchdown pass from Amado for the final margin of victory.
Gilbert was absolutely riddled with penalties which hurt their offensive flow. The Tigers amassed 136 yards in the game in penalties.
“We just have to get better. They kept throwing penalties on us. I think we had 33 penalties tonight. Yeah we made mistakes, we dropped balls. It’s just extremely frustrating. All we can do with our kids is keep them upbeat and keep them positive.” Gilbert coach Tim Rutt said.
The one bright spot of this game for the Tigers (0-4) was the play of Gillette. Gillette rushed the ball 23 times for 150 yards.
Skyline 28, Gilbert 7
Skyline 0 7 8 13 – 28
Gilbert 0 7 0 0 – 7
Gilbert: Lane 1 pass from Stevenson (kick good)
Skyline: Anderson 54 pass from Amado (kick good)
Skyline: Avitia 1 run (Ruppert pass from Amado)
Skyline: Avitia 6 run (run failed)
Skyline: Ruppert 51 pass from Amado (kick good)