Friday Night Lights: Skyline at Bothell

In the past few weeks I've seen some great games, but for sheer drama and emotion, the Skyline/Bothell game held Thursday night at Pop Keeney Stadium was about as good as it gets. The teams went back and forth throughout the night, but in the end the Cougars came away with the thrilling 25-20 win and the Kingco 4A title.

Even though there were eight turnovers – four by each team – in the game, it really wasn't that sloppily played. Both teams made big plays and after Bothell scored with a little over a minute left on the clock, Skyline had a chance to drive down and get a winning touchdown, but they were unable to move the ball and Bothell came away with a heart-stopping win in front of roughly 6,500 in the stands.

Here's a look at the top players on both squads as well as some analysis by former Husky quarterback Hugh Millen who called the game for KJR 950 AM.

Bothell OL Colin Porter (2010) – The talented senior is already committed to Washington and you could definitely see why schools from all over the Pac 10 were eyeing him. On Bothell's first touchdown, a 70-yard screen pass to standout RB Luke Proulx, Porter got out in space to lead the way and was unable to find anyone to block as Proulx went in untouched. While he didn't block anyone, Porter showed great feet and speed to get out in front of the play. Consistently throughout the night, Porter caved in his side of the line driving his man off the ball several yards. He also showed good feet in his pass-sets, getting into them quickly and not allowing a sack. UW got a good one in Porter who projects inside, but looks like he might be able to fit outside if the need arises.

Millen's take – "I'm not an expert on what great linemen look like when they are in high school, but just from looking at him, I've got to believe he's it. When you eyeball a guy, when you're around the NFL like I've been, the great players have a look about them and with Porter he's just a solid kid. He just looks like he's really going to put on weight well. You look at how the weight is distributed on him, he's not a dough boy, you can see where that weight and strength is going to be. He's already a strong dude. He's really a road-grader out there. He's just got that body style, like Benji (Olson), and with Porter he's got the right look. I wasn't focusing enough on his feet in pass-blocking to really assess him in that aspect, but I saw him mowing his side on the line."

Bothell TE Michael Hartvigson (2010) – There hasn't been much in the way of talk about Hartvigson this season, mainly because he plays in a run-oriented offense that asks him to block much more than they ask him to be a receiver. That being said, Bothell split Hartvigson out wide several times and three the ball his way six times. He was able to haul in four for 39 yards including a 16-yard touchdown. Hartvigson might be 225 pounds, but he looks like a very big wide receiver so he has plenty of room to grow. Hartvigson also rotated in at defensive end most of the night, but it appeared they wanted to save him for offense. He looked great on his touchdown pass, a seam route where he outran the safety to the endzone, but it was the touchdown catch he didn't make that demonstrated his athleticism. For a young man that is a legitimate 6-feet-5, Hartvigson showed outstanding athleticism reach down low on an underthrown pass and hauling it in at the three yard line. Bothell fumbled the ball two snaps later, but Hartvigson showed why both Washington State and Washington wanted him so badly in their recruiting class.

Millen's take – "He's a big target, an athletic guy with good hands. They split him out as a wide receiver when they need to make a play. I think he'll be a good blocking tight end for sure. I like his hands, I like his blocking. I like his strength and his size. He's obviously a great athlete. I think guys when they grow into their bodies, they get quicker and I think he'll have even better feet than he has now once he gets used to his size."

Bothell TE/H-Back Evan Hudson (2010) – This guy is an absolute beast. The moment Hudson walks on the field you say to yourself "who the heck is that guy?". He's so impressive physically you can't help but notice him. He's all of 6-5, 245 pounds and could easily play defensive end or tight end at the Pac 10 level. Bothell head coach Tom Bainter used him primarily as an H-Back and tight end, but Hartvigson appeared to be the better receiver of the two. He's all set to play baseball at Washington State next year, but if that doesn't work out, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see him playing football with the Cougars down the road.

Other Bothell players to keep an eye on: QB Braden Foley (2011); RB Luke Proulx (2011).

Skyline QB Jake Heaps (2010) – What more is there to say after what has already been written. Jake is by far the best high school QB I've seen outside of Matt Barkley and that's only because Barkley is more impressive physically. Jake threw a pass last night on time with his receiver that just looked ridiculous. He threw a deep out from the opposite hash-mark and, while it wasn't on a line, it was certainly a throw that would be completed at the next level. Jake also showed heart bringing his team back from a 14-point deficit to actually take the lead twice before the Cougars' late score. Heaps can make all the throws and he's a good leader. BYU got a good one when he committed to them.

Skyline WR Kasen Williams (2011) – The superlatives just can't describe what Kasen is able to do on the football field. He's so strong and smooth, it's hard to tell if he's actually working that hard. On 3rd-and-25, Heaps dropped back and threw the ball up the sideline to Williams who was double-covered and the talented junior came down with the ball extending a drive that started deep in Spartan territory. His ball skills are amazing and he just always seems to get behind the defense when asked to do so. He's also a good blocker down the field and a decent safety prospect, but as a receiver I can't think of anyone better in the country at this point. George Farmer of Serra down in Gardena, California might get the edge because of his speed, but Williams is much more of a physical presence and that's why he's already got double-digit offers on the table with more coming in every day.

Millen's take – "When watching NFL receivers, talented guys, you say ‘ok what did that guy look like in high school?' and to me that's Kasen in my mind. He just has NFL stamped all over his body. I've watched him in practice and in several games, he's very fluid, he's got great ball skills, he can come down with the ball in traffic, he's a spectacular talent. If there was one thing I'd like to see a little more from him, and this could be just because he's so smooth, but I'd like to see him become just a little more intense. When he wants to be great, he's great. Things come very easy for him, so I think as the level of competition steps up, he'll up his level as well. He's got size, run-after-the-catch, he's got everything you look for in a receiver."

Skyline S Evan Zeger (2011) – Zeger already has a Pac 10 body and he's tough-as-nails. He's always around the ball on defense and wraps up well when he meets the ball-carrier in the open field. He isn't speedy, but he's got enough quicks to match up with most receivers and seems to track the ball well in the air so he can make plays on it. You don't start as a freshman at Bishop Gorman in Nevada if you aren't talented so Zeger has the chops, he just needs to keep showing well the rest of this season and he should get some offers as time goes along.

Other Skyline players to watch: OL Jase Butorac (2010); TE Connor Cree (2011); WR Jordan Simone (2011); LB Anthony DeMatteo (2010); DE/TE Cooper Pelluer (2010); OL Evan Day (2010).

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