By Brennan Lafferty
Penalties and special team miscues spelled the end of the Skyline football season as the host Pinckney Pirates ran past the Eagles, 35-28, on Friday night.
The loss during the wet, cold evening robbed the Eagles of the chance to make the Michigan high school playoffs for the first time. However, Skyline did match the school record for victories in a season with four. The Eagles finished 4-5, 2-3 in the SEC Red division.
Head Coach Andrew Sorgatz’s Eagles looked in control against Pinckney, holding a 28-21 lead early in the fourth quarter and set up at the Pirates’ 13 yard line. However, Skyline senior quarterback Davion Pipkins was injured on a run and the drive stalled soon after with a fumble. After Skyline regained possession, the Pirates blocked an Eagles’ punt to set up a touchdown to tie the score at 28. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the Pirates blocked a second punt deep in Skyline territory. Pinckney scored one play later to take the lead, 35-28, with just more than a minute remaining.
Skyline was its own worst enemy at times, committing 9 penalties for 85 yards.
The loss obscured the best offensive output of the season for Skyline. The Eagles accumulated 465 total yards with Pipkins leading the way with 227 yards passing and 174 yards rushing. He accounted for 4 touchdowns (2 passing, 2 rushing).
Senior receiver Kenyatta Ewing ended his Skyline career with an impressive 177 yards through the air and two touchdowns. Senior Brian Scurlock had a strong game with 50 yards receiving and 50 rushing yards.
Junior safety Anthony Henry led the defense with 8.5 tackles. Senior linebacker Rollie Caswell (6 tackles, 1 sack), senior defensive lineman Aiden Tate (5.5 tackles) and Arik Rorie (5 tackles, 2 for loss) were active all night for the Eagles.
For the season, Pipkins led the offensive charge. The senior totaled 1,106 yards passing with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions. The quarterback led the Eagles in rushing with 894 yards and 9 scores. Henry added 261 yards rushing with two touchdowns with junior Servon Hinton (190 and 2 touchdowns) and senior Solomon Putten (150 yards and 2 scores) rounding out the top four rushers.
Ewing finished the year with 747 yards receiving, 29 catches and 8 touchdowns. Scurlock was second on the team with 129 receiving yards on 8 receptions. Senior tight end Dylan Hughes (72 yards on 7 receptions) and senior wideout Kobe Clemons (65 yards on 5 catches) were key targets as well.
Tate led the Eagles in tackles for the season with 48.5. Rorie (43.5), Henry (43.5), Caswell (39) and Scurlock (33) were the other top tacklers. Rorie led the team in tackles for a loss with 9. Caswell was the sack leader with 3.5. Wilson topped the defensive backs with 3 interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns.
Junior kicker Andrew Lafferty kicked four field goals during the season and was 29 of 33 on extra points.