Skyline was out matched at home, 42-21, by Saline’s impressive running game. Senior running back Justin Barnes put up 226 yards on 34 carries for 6 touchdowns. Barnes’s numbers would make for an awesome fantasy performance, if fantasy football existed for high school. Junior Brandon Gordon also contributed key runs as a change up to Justin Barnes’s physical running style.
Early on, it would have been easy to say that Saline would struggle with the Eagle’s receivers all night. Skyline scored first with an 85-yard pass to Jordan Woods that was countered with a Justin Barnes 3 yard running touchdown.
Saline would then take control defensively, jamming Skyline’s receivers and containing their running game. The efforts of the Hornet defense lead to two more Barnes touchdowns with 1:31 and 0:00 left to play in the first quarter.
The second quarter began with more good defensive play from both teams, until there was a break in Saline’s secondary, allowing Skyline to throw up a 67-yard touchdown pass to make the score 21-14.
Barnes was the last to score in the half with his fourth touchdown with 4:39 left to play from the 1-yard line.
More physical running and more deep passing plays filled the second half, only Skyline scored in the third quarter; an 8-yard pass at 5:23, the score was 28-21. The Hornets scored twice more in the game; both were Justin Barnes running touchdowns. One was a 3-yard run with 9:25 left to play, and a 15-yard run with 2:30 left to play. The final score was 42-21.
Saline’s running game exhausted Skyline’s defense, which had to deal with 45+ running plays that night.
The Hornets handled Skyline’s SEC leading passing attack well, forcing 3 interceptions, and holding Skyline quarterback Nelson Hansen to a 45.9% completion rate.
The Saline Hornets (4-4) are one win away from being thrown into the playoff mix. A win at Novi this Friday, along with their strength in schedule, could propel them into the state tournament.
Saline’s student section also represented their school well last Friday. They proved to all doubters of Saline’s class with positive cheers, good energy, and their usual rowdy behavior.