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  • José Luis Villegas / jvillegas@sacbee.com

    Rio Linda's Marcel Brown is brought down by Center's Tyrell Anderson after a short gain Friday night. Brown finished with 88 yards on the ground.

  • Jose Luis Villegas / jvillegas@sacbee.com

    Vaughn Hingano (56) of Center wraps up Rio Linda's Tobias Marshall for a two-yard loss in the second quarter. more tk

Skattebo name lives on as Rio Linda shuts out Center

Published: Saturday, Sep. 28, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 - 8:13 am

The Skattebo name lives on and lives large in Rio Linda.

And forgive Mike Morris for offering broad grins in reflection and in fondness of a father-son combination that has done the region proud.

Leonard Skattebo gave Morris his first victory as the Rio Linda High School coach in 1992, catching a touchdown and intercepting three passes to down El Dorado. That effort dulled much of the misery from Morris' debut crash-and-burn 0-10 Knights campaign of '91.

These days, it's a fullback in Leo Skattebo who has Morris thinking championship.

Skattebo, looking every bit the role of a fullback at 5-foot-10 and 245 pounds, bulled and pounded his way for 106 yards and a touchdown in time-consuming drives to fuel the No. 13 Knights' 17-0 triumph over No. 14 Center in a nonconference contest in Rio Linda.

Skattebo opened with a 2-yard scoring run, Stephen Andrews hit Aarion McNealy for a 24-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 at the half, and Johnathan Tafoya kicked a 33-yard field goal in a meeting of teams that have faced off each fall since Morris took over.

The elder Skattebo set myriad school receiving marks and was one of the top three-sport players in school history, even grabbing 19 rebounds as a senior in '92 to give famed Knights basketball coach Terry Ray his 300th career victory. These days, pops marvels at his son.

And the respect is mutual.

"My dad motivates me, inspires me, because of his work ethic, who he is and how he carries himself," said Skattebo, a 3.3 GPA student with recruiting interest from UC Davis, among others.

"He played here when they had grass, and now he tells me that I'm running on turf where he used to play. It's great to be here."

There were smiles after the game as the Knights (3-1) appear to have the ingredients to give Morris his 13th playoff team since 1998 and sixth league title since 2000.

There was sadness in reflection at halftime with a moving tribute to Marion Adams.

The beloved Knights track and field coach and lower-level football coach died last spring in a bicycle mishap on campus. He was 59.

Adams' family was on hand to thank the school and town for recognizing a man known to wear Mickey Mouse ears on campus when he wasn't decked in bright neon shirts.

"Mr. Adams was a great guy and an amazing teacher," said Leo Skattebo, eying a sticker with Adams' initials on the back of helmets. "It's a strong community, a great community, and we come together."

Skattebo is part of the thunder-and-lightning backfield, he the thunder.

The speed comes from Marcel Brown, who had 80 first-half rushing yards and 88 total.

Andrews, the quarterback, is a wrestler who competes like one.

The offensive line includes Hunter Clark and Matthew Morris, son of the coach.

The defensive line stuffed the Center ground game with Danny Perez, Vaughn Hingano, Daniel Chavez and Fila Hingano.

The Knights stopped the Cougars (3-1) on fourth and 1, just shy of the goal line, in the first half.

Tyrell Anderson passed for 144 yards and made plays on defense and special teams for Center, but he was outnumbered. McNealy and Zack Burden each had interceptions for Rio Linda.

"They have a good team and we respect them," said Anderson. "I know some of those guys and root for them when we're not playing against them."

Skattebo, ever the unselfish grinder, said carries are nice, but he is fine with being a lead blocker.

"I love that part, pushing people down," Skattebo said. "I love to block for Marcel Brown. We're doing well, but we're not satisfied. We can get better."

TODAY'S GAMES

• Calaveras at Rio Americano, 1 p.m.

• Florin at Sacramento, 1 p.m.

• West Campus vs. Stone Ridge Chr.-Merced at Burbank, 6 p.m.

• Cristo Rey vs. Delta at CRC, 7 p.m.

• Encina vs. San Juan at El Camino, 7 p.m.

• Elliot Christian-Lodi vs. North Tahoe at Lincoln-Stockton, 7 p.m.

NOTE TO COACHES

It is the responsibility of the home coach/athletic director to report the scoring summary and any game highlights to The Bee by 10 p.m. for night games (6 p.m. for day games) to ensure publication in print and online. Call (916) 441-4100.

Joe Davidson and Mike Finnerty break down high school football from 9-10 a.m. on ESPN 1320 each Saturday morning (linked later to ESPN1320.net).

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Joe Davidson



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