FNL: Federal Way at Skyline

The state playoffs are in full swing and during this last weekend, the field was narrowed down to the final eight. The Federal Way Eagles (8-2) met the Skyline Spartans (10-0) for a tough game filled with D-1 prospects. Although Skyline ended up running away with it 49-6, Federal Way fought hard the whole game and showed a lot of heart.

Skyline moves on to play Auburn this Saturday for a chance to become one of four teams remaining in the hunt for the 4A title.

7:00 pm
Skyline High School
Sammamish, WA

Here are the players that really stood out for both sides during this state playoff game…

Skyline WR Kasen Williams (2011) – Although he is only a sophomore, Williams is beginning to assert himself as a team leader towards the end of the season. He recently helped his team get past a tough Bothell team with some late game heroics and he continued his ascendancy on this night. He had four receiving touchdowns during the game and could not be covered by anyone on the Federal Way squad. Williams displayed his exceptional run-after-catch ability with his first touchdown, getting a short pass and weaving 29-yards for the score. His height was a factor on his second touchdown as he fully extended in the back of the end zone for a 10-yard score. The two touchdowns he had in the second half showed why his size is such an advantage. At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds he ran short slants into the end zone and used his body to shield his defender, making it easy to haul in tosses from Jake Heaps. Kasen is already a great player and he will be a highly regarded recruit when it comes time for him to make his decision.

Skyline QB Jake Heaps (2010) – Heaps has received a lot of praise over the course of the year, and in my opinion, all of it is deserved. This was a big game against a tough opponent with some really good players, but Heaps always rises to the occasion. He threw five touchdowns and managed the game so well that he did not have to play the fourth quarter. On his second touchdown to Williams, Heaps avoided the rush and made a great throw off of his back foot to where only his receiver could get it. It was a great example of his improvisational skills. The most impressive part about him is his poise and ability to make plays. He never looks nervous or unsure and makes smart decisions under pressure. He makes his team believe that they are going to win and that he is going to come through every time. He has the physical skills to go along with the intangibles, and that makes for a great quarterback.

Skyline WR Gino Simone (2009) – The newly appointed highest rated player in the state, Simone had a great game as well. He delivered the dagger to Federal Way on the first play of the second half, taking the kickoff 94-yards for a touchdown and it pretty much sealed the game. Federal Way was competitive in the first half, trailing 21-6, but after Simone's return they did not score again. It was an impressive return, adding to an already excellent resume of returning kicks. He also scored the first touchdown of the game on a 14-yard catch and run to set the tone. Simone is deserving of the top billing that he has achieved, and he is a big part of this Skyline team. Simone was also facing off against fellow Washington State commit Andre Barrington, meeting him a few times via tackle. Despite being a smaller player, Simone showed toughness in bringing down the big and physical Barrington.

Skyline LB Anthony DeMatteo (2010) – This player has not gotten much attention but he was a huge factor for a Skyline defense that held Barrington to minimal success. DeMatteo was playing with a large cast on his right hand but it didn't seem to hurt his effectiveness. He was consistently creating pressure in the backfield and making physical tackles. He almost had a pick for himself, but also made a hit on the Eagle quarterback to create one for a teammate. Listed at 6-foot and 190 pounds, DeMatteo does not have a lot of size but he makes up for it with intensity. He has another year to mature, and I would not be surprised to see him improve. I am not quite sure what his college future may look like but he had a great game for his team during a tough playoff match up.

Other Skyline players to watch: OL/DL Jase Butorac (2010); TE/LB Cooper Pelluer (2010); WR/DB Jake Knecht (2009); WR/DB William Chandler (2009).
Federal Way RB/LB Andre Barrington (2009) – This guy is one of the most versatile players in the state. He is a tough running back, a great outside linebacker, and even a decent quarterback and wide receiver. He got about 90 percent of the touches for Federal Way on offense and was in on what seemed like the majority of the tackles on defense. Barrington did not get into the end zone against the Spartans, but any positive plays generated by the Eagles usually had something to do with him. He is a big and physical prospect, listed at 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds, but I am sure that he is heavier than that. He is a smooth player and it is easy to see why Washington State wants him at outside linebacker. He was the main weapon for Federal Way all night long and he fought hard against a really good Skyline defense. Barrington has the size and skill to excel at the next level and I would not be surprised to see him make an impact in college sooner rather than later.

Federal Way DE/LB Andru Pulu (2009) – Pulu recently injured his right knee and he looked to be bothered by it the whole game. The Washington commit is a big guy and is physically stronger than most of the competition he faces. He is listed at 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds and can play either linebacker or defensive end. For the majority of the game he played with his hand down, lining up against Skyline's best lineman in Jase Butorac. He did not register a sack and was caught over-pursuing more than he should have. He did not appear to have the explosiveness that he is known to have and was not a big factor in the game. Pulu came in and made some aggressive blocks as an offensive lineman for the Eagles, but was only on the field for a handful of plays. His athletic ability is apparent and he has the attitude to be a good player, but I think he was hampered by injury. I see him primarily as a defensive end in college but if he slimmed down a little he could be a beast as a run-stopping linebacker.

Other Federal Way players to watch: RB/LB George Williams (2010); OL/DL James Seumaala (2010); TE/LB Jordan Pulu (2012).

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