DALLAS -- Glance at Dallas Skyline’s offense during its 54-7 rout of Dallas Jesuit on Friday, and it looks like this is the Raiders' year to do something special in the postseason.
However, Skyline's weapons on offense haven't changed much since last season, when the Raiders (6-0, 3-0 District 9-5A) were bounced just two rounds into the 5A state playoffs. And they have the same quarterback that failed to lead them to an offensive touchdown until the fourth game of the season in 2010.
What is different is something often overlooked, or typically taken as cliché: the play of the offensive line.
That unit, led by 6-foot-2, 300-pound Kevin Coleman, created holes three Skyline running backs could break through shoulder-to-shoulder against Jesuit’s defense. The Raiders' ground game accounted for 337 yards on 10.53 yards per carry with six touchdowns.
“Last year we got a lot of ridicule from a lot of people, and it was hard for us,” Coleman said. “So this year we had to come back and work hard in the summer. Nobody has worked harder than us this summer. Running and everything.”
Skyline's Devante Kincade looks like a completely different quarterback than the smaller, less experienced version that hit the field for the first time as a sophomore in 2010. He dissected a disciplined Jesuit defense through the air for 221 yards, including a 92-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass to RaShaad Samples in the second quarter.
A year of experience does wonders for a high school athlete thrown into the craziness known as the pocket, but this season, thanks to the offensive line, Kincade has a well-defined work area to create his magic.
“[Kincade is] able to keep his poise in the pocket and can run through the holes if he needs to,” Skyline running back/linebacker Peter Jinkens said.
A year of experience has also worked wonders for Skyline’s hogs, who are mostly juniors now, but a large piece of the credit goes to new co-offensive line coach Victor Castillo. His fresh ideas and schemes have become some of the most successful elements of the Skyline offense, Coleman said.
Four of the six first-half touchdowns Skyline scored while building a 40-0 halftime lead Friday were on runs of at least 17 yards.
Jesuit (4-2, 2-1) was finally able to find the end zone on a 1-yard run by Marty Murad early in the fourth quarter, but not before Skyline had pushed its lead to 54-0.
Barring any unforeseen upsets, the win over Jesuit all but assures Skyline, No. 3 in the ESPNDallas.com Class 5A rankings, another District 9-5A title.
Looking for a hole in Skyline’s armor? There really wasn’t one Friday, especially from the dominant offensive line.
“They were sophomores last year,” Skyline coach Reginald Samples said. “They came up from the freshman team, so they made a lot of mistakes. But they are growing and learning what to do and they are getting better.”