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Tom Wyrwich covers High School Sports for The Seattle Times.

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September 15, 2007 11:51 AM

A 3A debate: Skyline vs. Lakes

Posted by Tom Wyrwich

It's a debate that might not be settled until the state tournament, but it's a fun one anyway, so let's have it today. After Friday night, inquiring minds want to know: if Skyline played Lakes, who would win?

No two area teams, in Class 3A or otherwise, have played better through tougher schedules than these two. And I haven't seen two teams, class 3A or otherwise, look better than these two.

Skyline beat Newport 31-7 on Friday with one of the best defensive halves I've ever seen in a high-school football game. This Newport offense wasn't a group of pushovers; the Knights averaged 268 rushing yards in their first two games. But here are their stats from the first half:

Rushing: 10 carries, 0 yards.

Passing: 2 attempts, 0 completions, 0 yards, 1 interception.

Add on that Skyline's offense, aside from an abundance of holding penalties, looked much better than it did in the Spartans' opening 6-0 win against Bellevue, and you've got a team that looks ready to make a run.

But when and if that run collides with Lakes, that's going to be a tough game for any team, even the Spartans.

On Friday, top-ranked Lakes beat Shelton 41-21 behind 409 yards of total offense from quarterback Calvin Schmidtke. They have the state's most-recruited senior in Kavario Middleton. What's amazed most people I've talked to is the rhythm the Lancers are in so early in the season. They were that way even in week 1 against Gig Harbor, and have kept it up. "It's like they're already playing in the state tournament," another scribe told me.

Put simply, I don't think there's another team out there in Class 3A that can match up with Lakes' athletes. Could Skyline win? Absolutely, especially if coach Steve Gervais, one of the area's most accomplished coaches, came up with the perfect gameplan.

Both teams are very good. But in my opinion, Lakes is just that good right now.

We could inject O'Dea, and possibly even Franklin Pierce, into this debate, but quite honestly, I'm not ready for that. With O'Dea, I think we'll know a lot more three weeks from now, when the Irish have gone through Bainbridge and Eastside Catholic.

You, of course, can debate all you want below. Who do you think's at the top of Class 3A after three weeks?

Last year 0-9, this season 3-0. Emerald Ridge deserves a mention here for a 20-19 win against Rogers of Puyallup that kept the Jaguars undefeated.

No practice, no problem. Peter Nguyen had only one day of practice at fullback to place two injured backs at Bellevue. Didn't matter. He took his first carry for an 80-yard touchdown and finished with 315 yards of total offense in a big 34-13 win for eighth-ranked Bellevue. I'm beginning to think one coach might have had it right after Bellevue's opening loss to Skyline: "Maybe," he said, "Skyline is just that good." Either way, the Wolverines are back, with two persuasive wins. This is a team that could be very interesting come playoff time.

Finally, I'll leave you with this quote from Archbishop Murphy senior Henry Woods, whose team won Friday just two days after its coach, Terry Ennis, died from prostate cancer:

"It meant a lot for us as a team to be able to come together and play this game. I know coach Ennis would be proud of us. We could have played better, but we got the win for coach Ennis."

Morning stars

1. Robin Nguyen, Sultan, football. Caught eight passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns in big win against King's.

2. Peter Nguyen, Bellevue, football. Big day for Nguyens, I guess. This one made his first start at fullback a big one, rushing 21 times for 276 yards and four touchdowns in 34-13 win against Issaquah.

3. Antoine Wafer, Edmonds-Woodway, football. Why kick to this guy? He takes make kickoffs of 92 and 88 yards for scores, and adds a 51-yard TD for good measure.

4. Luther Leonard, Evergreen, football. Passes for 335 yards and five touchdowns, all in the first half, in win against Highline.

5. Skyline defense, football. After shutting out Bellevue and then holding a good Newport offense to zero total yards in the first half, Spartans deserve a spot here.

Tonight's top games

1. Skyline at Issaquah, girls soccer, 7:30 p.m. You won't find too many better matches this season than this one, with maybe the state's top two midfielders in Kate Deines and McKenzie Barney.

2. Lincoln vs. Kennedy, football, 7 p.m. at Renton Stadium. Kennedy, looking for first win, plays its first in-state team.

3. Shorewood vs. Kamiak, girls soccer, 7 p.m. at Shoreline Stadium. Two undefeated teams in WesCo play try to stay that way.

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