high school football: Tyree Waller scores five touchdowns in Lincoln's 51-29 win over Skyline
Joseph Tobianski | AnnArbor.com
The football field at Skyline High School was Tyree Waller’s world on Friday night.
Everyone else was just living in it.
The Lincoln senior wide receiver caught seven passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns and also scored a pair of touchdowns on the ground while rushing for 81 yards in the Railsplitters’ 51-29 win over Skyline.
Waller provided big plays in the passing game early in what looked like it might turn into a shootout. And when coach Chris Westfall needed a horse to kill the clock -- and the will of the Skyline defense -- he put Waller in at tailback and ran him out of a two-fullback, full-house package.
It was the first time the Central Michigan commit had played running back in a game situation and he rushed for 81 yards on nine carries.
"Our offensive line was great they blocked well," Waller said. "This is the first time we ran (the full house) in a game, but it worked out well."
The night didn’t start well for Skyline (1-2, 0-1 SEC Red), with Lincoln defensive back Dalauren Roberson intercepting quarterback Askaree Crawford's his first pass attempt of the game, giving Lincoln a short field to work with. Javin Kilgo hit Waller for a 28-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-13 to give the Railsplitters an early 6-0 lead.
Kilgo would hook-up with Waller five more times in the half, once for a 17-yard score and another for 45 yards to set up a short touchdown run by Waller. Waller had 142 yards receiving and three touchdowns - two receiving one rushing - in the first half.
The Skyline offense went blow-for-blow with Lincoln in the first half, led by Crawford who showed off his running ability by turning many broken plays into long runs. Crawford rushed for 88 yards on eight carries in the half, including a 34-yard touchdown run with a minute to play in the half to bring Skyline within one touchdown of the lead.
Though the Eagles trailed 28-14 at the break after Lincoln (3-0, 1-0 SEC White) was able to score with just three-tenths of a second remaining in the second quarter, the Eagles started the third quarter by stopping Lincoln three-and-out and scored on the following to drive to make the score 28-21.
But Crawford was unable to be as explosive as he was in the first half after the break because of one huge factor: Lincoln senior linebacker Bryton Boyle.
Boyle, who was injured early in the first quarter and sat out the remainder of the half, returned in the third.
With Boyle back in the game, the holes that were opening for Crawford earlier were violently filled by Boyle. In the third quarter, Crawford pivoted in the backfield and looked to turn up field, but instead of open space it was Boyle waiting for him.
"I originally didn’t think I was going to play for the rest of the game because I was hurting pretty bad," Boyle said. "Once I got a decent hit in, I think it hyped up the team, hyped up the crowd and got our momentum back."
Crawford had just four rushes in the second half, all for losses, and Lincoln scored 23 straight points, including a safety, before Skyline got on the scoreboard again.
"I looked at J.T. Bolden, our other inside backer and I said to him 'you guys were like Starsky without Hutch there for a while. You lost your partner,'" Westfall joked. "(Boyle's) the leader and we really couldn’t bring inside pressure the way we like to do with out him."
"(Boyle's return) made a big difference I think the kid is a good linebacker and their D-line played pretty well. They just got a pretty good defense," said Skyline coach Lee Arthur.
Crawford finished with 71 rushing yards on 12 carries and completed 11-of-21 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
Kilgo finished 10-for-17 for 217 yards and three touchdowns.
Each team committed ten penalties, respectively, and had a combined 155 penalty yards.