Football: Skyline squanders several early chances in home opener as Eagles fall

By Matthew Bartow / WLAA

Skyline, looking for its first win of the season after playing its first two games on the road, was hoping a little home magic would do the trick. But the Eagles wasted several quality scoring chances in the first half and it ended up costing them any shot at landing one in the win column.

Skyline fell 42-7 to Pinckney in an SEC crossover game Friday night as the Eagles dropped to 0-3 (0-0 SEC Red) on the season. Pinckney improves to 2-1 with the win.

The Eagles didn’t score more points but they did score first. On just the second play from scrimmage, Jordan Wilson took the handoff and found a hole around the left end, and ran untouched for a 63-yard touchdown. Andrew Lafferty’s extra point was good, and the Eagles led 7-0.

But that turned out to be the only points the Eagles would score despite several chances. Skyline head coach Andrew Sorgatz said that the Eagles failing to increase its lead after a Pinckney fumble was costly.

“It was a huge momentum shift; a 14-point swing,” Sorgatz said. “You only get so many chances in football.”

And there were other chances as well for the Eagles.

“We had the ball inside the 5 (yard line) three times, and twice we didn’t score,” Sorgatz said. “To throw an interception on first down from the 5-yard line was completely unacceptable.”

Skyline was primed to increase its early 7-0 lead after recovering a fumble on Pinckney’s 45-yard line. A 36-yard pass play from quarterback Addison Taylor-Colquillard to receiver Jonas Morton set it up first and goal. But the Eagles could not punch the ball in the end zone, as Taylor-Colquillard was stopped on a run on third down, and then Skyline’s field-goal attempt missed.

Pinckney marched right down the field, needing only three plays to cover 80 yards. After a short run on the first play, Pinckney quarterback Joe Bona connected with receiver Cameron Gaden for a 31-yard gain into Eagles’ territory. On the next play, Bona found Gaden wide open over the middle for a 44-yard touchdown. Max Gonos’ extra point was good, knotting the game at 7-7.

Skyline’s next drive looked promising, as Taylor-Colquillard and receiver Anthony Henry connected twice for 48 yards, one on third down, to move the ball deep into Pinckney territory. The drive stalled, however, after a potential touchdown pass was broken up in the end zone and then two negative plays forced Skyline to punt.

It was another opportunity the Eagles couldn’t turn into points.

Pinckney then put together a six-play, 80-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 7-yard touchdown run by Sal Patierno, to take its first lead of the game early in the second quarter. The extra point was good, and the Pirates led 14-7.

Skyline appeared destined to score before halftime after the Eagles threw their way down the field, including a sliding catch by Henry to convert a third down and set them up first and goal inside the 5-yard line.

But on the next play, Taylor-Colquillard was flushed out of the pocket, and threw a pass into tight coverage in the end zone that was intercepted by Pinckney.

The Pirates capitalized on Skyline’s mistake. On the very next play, Bona threw a deep ball for receiver Caleb Wardlow, who adjusted to catch the ball, made a Skyline defender whiff, and ran the ball into the end zone for an 80-yard touchdown.

Pinckney led 21-7 at halftime.

Pinckney broke the game open in the third quarter. The Pirates scored on their first drive of the quarter as Patierno capped off a four-play, 72-yard drive with a 41-yard touchdown run up the right side to give Pinckney a 28-7 lead.

After three straight incompletions forced Skyline to punt, Pinckney scored again on a five-play, 70 yard drive. Four running plays set Pinckney up in Eagles’ territory, and the Pirates scored as Bona connected with receiver Hunter Hendricks in the back of the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown. Gonos’ extra point increased Pinckney’s lead to 35-7.

After another interception, the Pirates took over at Skyline’s 32-yard line. Five plays later, Patierno scored his third rushing touchdown of the game to give Pinckney a 42-7 lead in the final minutes of the third quarter.

Pinckney’s 35-point lead forced a running clock.

Skyline will travel to Temperance to take on Temperance Bedford (2-1, 0-0 SEC Red) in next week’s SEC Red Division opener. The game will be played on Friday, Sept. 20 at Grogan’s Towne Field.

Sorgatz said the team needs to play a better game next week if it hopes to take down Bedford.

 “The offensive line and wide-outs played well tonight, but we need complete games from every position group moving forward,” Sorgatz said.  

Box Score

1st Quarter

Skyline – Jordan Wilson 63 yard TD run (Andrew Lafferty kick) – Skyline 7, Pinckney 0

Pinckney – Cameron Gaden 44 yard TD pass from Joe Bona (Max Gonos kick) – Pinckney 7, Skyline 7

2nd Quarter

Pinckney – Sal Patierno 7 yard TD run (Gonos kick) – Pinckney 14, Skyline 7

Pinckney – Caleb Wardlow 80 yard TD pass from Bona (Gonos kick) – Pinckney 21, Skyline 7

3rd Quarter

Pinckney – Patierno 41 yard TD run (Gonos kick) – Pinckney 28, Skyline 7

Pinckney – Hunter Hendricks 35 yard TD pass from Bona (Gonos kick) – Pinckney 35, Skyline 7

Pinckney – Patierno 6 yard TD run (Gonos kick) – Pinckney 42, Skyline 7

4th Quarter

No Scoring

*Times are not included in the box score because the scoreboard did not have power as a result of severe weather earlier Friday.*

Other SEC Red Division Scores

Chelsea 21, Ann Arbor Pioneer 17

Jackson 51, Ann Arbor Huron 17

Saline 57, Adrian 8

Monroe 47, Tecumseh 13

Temperance Bedford 55, Ypsilanti 25

SEC Red Division Standings

Saline (2-1, 0-0 SEC Red)

Temperance Bedford (2-1, 0-0 SEC Red)

Monroe (1-2, 0-0 SEC Red)

Huron (1-2, 0-0 SEC Red)

Pioneer (1-2, 0-0 SEC Red)

Skyline (0-3, 0-0 SEC Red)