Puyallup’s reward for thumping Kent-Meridian?
A date with the six-time Class 4A state champion Skyline Spartans.
The Vikings beat the Royals, 45-13, in a 4A South Puget Sound League play-in game Tuesday in Auburn.
The Vikings (4-5 league, 4-6 overall) will have a much stiffer test when they face the top-ranked Spartans (9-0), who won state titles in 2000, 2005, 2007-09 and 2011.
“I’m looking for a well-coached, will powered, very talented team out of Skyline,” Puyallup coach Gary Jeffers said. “We’re just excited to take our kids up there and face an incredible challenge, see a great program, and we’re going to be as competitive as we can possibly be and just have a great trip.”
The Vikings’ defense, which picked off three passes, allowed 89 passing yards against the Royals (4-5, 4-6).
Puyallup will next take on senior quarterback Max Browne, a future USC Trojan. Browne, one of the top senior quarterbacks in the nation, has passed for 1,782 yards (356 yards a game) and 17 touchdowns this year with a 74 percent completion rating and three interceptions.
Jeffers said they’re not used to seeing dominant quarterbacks the caliber of Browne.
“Not really,” Jeffers said. “So we’re in for a treat.”
In the victory over K-M, sophomore quarterback Brandon Illies was the catalyst for the Vikings, accounting for 338 total yards and four touchdown passes.
Illies’ top target was junior receiver Levi Jordan.
The shifty Jordan had 203 total yards and two touchdowns.
“We did some things well,” Jeffers said. “The defense is coming along, and it’s been a little bit of a battle for us all year.
“The last three games, we’ve really started to jell and play much better defensively. When you defense is being opportunistic and getting turnovers, it makes everything a lot easier.”
The Royals were playing in their first postseason game since 1998.