Cottonwood Heights • The quarterback duel wasn’t much of a contest.
Neither was the game.
The Cottonwood football team took a nationally televised beating Friday night on its home field, unable to stop the fearsome Skyline offense from Sammawish, Wash., or its 6-foot-5 senior quarterback, Max Browne. The Spartans had their way with the Colts, rolling to a 57-25 victory.
Cottonwood was exposed early, unable to recover from a pair of turnovers in a lukewarm first half by its own star quarterback, Cooper Bateman. And following the game, the Colts looked as if they had been punched in the gut.
“Never are you ever expecting a loss like this going into a game,” Bateman said. “We knew we had to put points on the board, we had to keep Max off the field as much as possible, and we didn’t do that.”
Going into the match, hype surrounded the Browne-Bateman matchup, with Browne committed to USC and Bateman headed to Alabama in the fall. But Browne, though he was sacked four times early on, showed his aerial superiority, shredding the Colts’ secondary for 387 yards and three touchdowns on an 18-for-29 night. By the second half, Skyline had figured out Cottonwood’s man defense pretty handily.
By the time the Spartans were up 31 points in the fourth quarter, the starters were sitting on the sideline.
“If I could figure out how to stop that, I would be a Division I coach somewhere,” Cottonwood coach Greg Croshaw said. “I thought we tried our best, but sometimes he was just throwing against air.”
Bateman finished 15-for-25 with one passing touchdown and two rushing scores. His frequent target was Inoke Lotulelei, who finished with 200 yards on nine catches with a score.
Skyline built its lead quickly in the first quarter, scoring 22 unanswered points in less than three minutes of game time.
After Skyline scored on its second drive with a 4-yard touchdown screen, Bateman threw a pick to Cedric Cooper that was returned 30 yards to the end zone. A two-point conversion gave the Spartans a 15-0 lead, which only continued to grow as Nate Gibson threw a 60-yard pass on a trick play for another touchdown.
Bateman was picked again in the first half, but managed to finish out a 60-yard drive with a short touchdown run to cut the lead to 22-7.
But Browne led a grinding, 10-play, 92-yard drive that he concluded himself with a 4-yard touchdown run to push it back up before the half.
The Colts’ pressure was effective at times, as they sacked Browne in the backfield four times in the first half alone.
R Skyline (Wash.) pounds Cottonwood 57-25, gaining 543 yards of offense.
• Skyline QB Max Browne finishes 18-for-29 for 387 yards and four total TDs.