Note: Skyline finished with a 5-5 overall record in 2012 and was first in Region 7 with a 4-1 record. It lost to Bountiful 35-6 in the 4A first round.
SALT LAKE CITY — Skyline High has staked its claim to several decades of high school football in the state of Utah. In 13 years during the late 1960s and into the 1970s it captured six titles. Then from 1990-99 the Eagles monopolized the sport with seven championships.
The program hung its 14th banner in 2005 — the third-highest total in state history. Every title run shared the same commonality: the triple-option offense.
For the first time since Iguanodons roamed the state, that no longer is the case.
The Eagles are changing their offensive identity by implementing a modernized up-tempo spread scheme. Although the wishbone isn’t completely abandoned, the change is an attempt to improve on a mediocre 46-32 record since 2006.
“We’re evolving (the offense) a little more,” Skyline coach Steve Marlowe said. “We’re still going to run the spread-bone and the wishbone together, which is a little bit different. Then we’re going to go up-tempo and run some no-huddle. It’ll be an interesting concept because we’ll force our opponents to prepare for two offenses instead of just the one. We’ll see how it goes.”
The offense will adjust between the two sets depending on the defenses they face. The idea, in essence, is to control the flow of the game, Marlowe explained.
“The trend in football right now is for the offense to dictate the tempo of the game. If we give the defense a chance to huddle up (and) call their defense and get their subs in before each down, then it handicaps the offense,” he said. “This way the offense will dictate the pace of the game and we’ll try and take advantage of the defensive personnel.
"They’re not going to be able to slide in an extra defensive guy or bring in a short-yardage defense on us. If they do they’re really going to have to hustle. We want the defense scrambling around while we’re on the ball.”
In practice, Skyline’s objective was to get a snap off every 17 seconds.
“It’s pretty dynamic the way football has evolved over the past 15 years,” Marlowe said.
Marlowe believes with the contributions of an extremely strong junior class coupled with a solid corps of seniors will place Skyline on the precipice of returning to the program it once was despite a diminishing population.
“We’ve been to the quarterfinals several times since then and we just haven’t quite got over the hump,” Marlowe said. “Our enrollment has gone down from about 1,900 to about 1,450. So this is one of the years where it’s kind of rolled in and everything has come together. If we don’t get to the semifinals this year I’ll be really disappointed, and if we stay healthy we’ll get there.”
Skyline Eagles at a glance
Coach: Steve Marlowe finished with a 5-5 record after his first season as the head coach at Skyline High. He was previously an assistant in the program for 27 years. He is a graduate of Skyline and the University of Utah.
(2 returning starters; spread offense)
The program is scheduled to embark on a massive overhaul schematically behind the first starting junior quarterback since Brandon Doman in 1993.
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