Friday Night Lights - Skyline vs. O'Dea

Rarely do "big" football match-ups, on any level, live up to their potential, but on Friday night, at the Tacoma Dome, the Skyline Spartans and the O'Dea Irish played a game for the ages with Skyline winning a thriller 42-35 for the Washington 3A State Championship. A lot of football talent was on display as well and Dawgman.com takes a look at some of the top college prospects and how they did...

Skyline QB Jake Heaps (2010) - If you've been on our website for the past four years, you've known about Heaps. The kid is amazingly calm and cool for a sophomore. He has a good frame (6-2, 185) with room to grow and add muscle to go along with excellent mechanics. He's also got a great arm that will only get better as he continues to work out and add strength. He read O'Dea's zone defense perfectly most of the night, although early on it appeared he was pressing just a bit -- he threw an ill-advised pass down the seam that was picked off and returned 30 yards to set up O'Dea's second score -- but he rebounded to complete 19 of 30 passes for 287 yards, two touchdowns and the one interception while completing crucial passes on the way to the go-ahead score with only 90 seconds left on the clock. He's already got verbal offers (prospects can't receive written offers until the start of their junior seasons) from Washington and BYU and it's a good bet that, before he leaves Skyline, he will be one of the most sought-after quarterbacks to ever come out of the state of Washington.

WR Gino Simone (2009) - One of Heaps' best friends and a very talented football player, Simone was one of the best players on the field on Friday. He had nine receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns, the second one a catch and run that saw him weave his way through the athletic O'Dea secondary. Simone goes about 5-11, 175, but he plays bigger than that and he has excellent quickness. I've compared him several times to a bigger version of Cody Bruns. Before he leave Skyline next year, Simone will be one of the top receivers in the state of Washington and he'll get a lot of D-1 looks in the coming months. He has sticky hands, the ability to elevate for passes (34-inch vertical) as well as the ability to run precise routes and read defenses. Get used to hearing about the "Heaps to Simone" combo over the next 12 months.

WR Kasen Williams (2011) - When I told several of my friends about Williams after Skyline's first game against Bellevue this season. They didn't believe me when I told them that a freshman -- a 14-year-old -- already had a college-ready body, but I got several phone calls last night saying "man, you weren't kidding". Williams is already an amazing athlete and he showed his worth several times late in the game against O'Dea when he adjusted to a Heaps pass 40-yards down the field for a big completion as the Spartans were trying to come back from a 28-7 deficit. He also made a huge reception on Skyline's late drive to put them in the lead when, on first down, he caught a deep-in route and was belted by O'Dea S Johri Fogerson. He hung on to the ball, but had to come out of the game. Williams is a solid 6-3, 200 and he's got incredible football instincts. His father is former Husky Aaron Williams and his mother was a sprinter at Washington so, there is a strong tie to Washington already in the Williams family. He reminds me a lot of a young Reggie Williams, but I'm not ready to say he will be that good...yet.

Skyline OT Tom Swanson (2008) - I like Swanson's potential and, in any other year, he'd already have been offered by the Huskies. However, the state is loaded with lineman this year and he seems to have fallen into a plan-B mode for the Dawgs. He isn't a plan-B for Washington State though as then-Cougar head coach Bill Doba offered Swanson back in October. Swanson plans to visit Washington sometime in January and he could find himself getting an offer while on campus, depending on how things pan out with some other more notable lineman from California. Swanson is a workhorse. He's an underrated athlete who showed quick feet and decent strength getting a push against the huge O'Dea defensive line. Swanson needs to get a little stronger, but there's no doubt he would be a solid line prospect for whoever decides to offer him a scholarship.

Other Skyline notables: LB/RB Eric Biege (2008); WR/CB Cameron Lusuegro (2008); S Robbie Chavez (2008); RB Tyler Washburn (2008).




O'Dea S/RB Johri Fogerson (2008) - As good as Heaps and Simone were last night, Fogerson stole the show with his 297 yards on 30 carries including four touchdowns. It was a record-setting night for Fogerson and he also played safety on defense making (unofficially) seven tackles including the huge hit (one of the hardest high school hits I've ever seen) on Williams. He didn't seem to be playing at 100-percent toward the end of the game though. It's hard to tell if he was actually injured or was just exhausted, but on a long run late in the fourth quarter, Fogerson was caught on a good angle by the Skyline safety and, instead of scoring it resulted in muffed field goal attempt that resulted in Biege scoring on a 74-yard fumble return. Fogerson showed excellent patience and vision and rarely was he brought down with the first hit. He had an incredible game and if O'Dea had won, we'd be talking about his legendary night for years. As it is, he ended up giving a "blood and guts" effort in a losing cause. Nothing to be ashamed of, but Fogerson told the Seattle Times, ""I felt I let them down. I told them I'd put them on the back and we fell short, so I feel it was my fault." It's too bad, because nothing could be further from the truth. Fogerson met with Washington's staff last week and plans to talk with the coaches again this week about where he stands with them as a recruit.

O'Dea QB Donny Lisowski (2008) - If Lisowski had been able to play at 100-percent, O'Dea might have been able to win the game, but he wasn't and it was pretty obvious. He was still a dynamic playmaker for the Irish, but he lacked the explosiveness that many have come to expect from the 5-11, 180-pounder. He still managed to make plays when the Irish needed him to, completing six of eight passes for 70 yards while adding 33 yards on 11 carries including a six-yard score to put O'Dea up 35-21. Lisowski isn't going to play QB at the next level so he's likely headed to the defensive side of the ball where he was a standout DB for the Irish. I expect him to get looks from school like Eastern Washington, Montana, Montana State, Central Washington and Western Washington where he could end up having a very good college career.

O'Dea LB Allen Mooney (2009) - The first time I saw Mooney was in 2006 when the Irish took on Rainier Beach and he impressed me then as a sophomore and he looked even better this year for the Irish. He's a bit on the short side (5-11), but he's got a great frame (225 pounds) and excellent instincts and quickness. He only played about half of the defensive snaps for O'Dea because Skyline runs so much spread, but when he was in he made plays posting (unofficially) five tackles while generally shadowing both Washburn and Biege on passing routes. Mooney will be a player to watch in 2008 as he enters his senior year. With good offseason workouts and performances as team camps he should have several offers to his name before he needs to make a decision on where he wants to go to school. Washington will likely be right in the mix.

O'Dea OL Danny Kistler (2009) - O'Dea is going to have another strong squad in 2008 and Kistler will lead the way up front for the Irish. He's got excellent size and even though he's 6-5, 300, I didn't see a lot of baby-fat on him. He's a mauler and a blue-collar, lunch-pail guy who just out-works guys. Fetters and I spoke about him after O'Dea's win last week against Bellevue and Scout's Northwest Regional Analyst told me he came away very impressed with him. He's probably going to end up being one of the top prospects in the state next year. Keep an eye on Kistler in 2008.

Other O'Dea notables: FB/LB Zach Fogerson (2010); OL/DT Dan Kancugowski (2008); S James Palmer (2008); OL/DL Clarence Baber (2008)


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