Gilbert's offense was too much for an injury-plagued Skyline team that came in with five straight losses as the Tigers defeated the Coyotes, 38-14, on Friday night.
Gilbert (4-4) broke out to a 14-0 lead early in the game on two goal-line touchdown runs by fullback Matt Herman, then again moments later on a 5-yard pass from Mitchell Trail to Connor Helvig.
Down 21-0 Skyline sophomore quarterback Michael Amado ran the ball up the middle for a gain of 3 yards, but suffered a neck injury that left him motionless on the field for several minutes. Paramedics eventually took Amado to the hospital for X-rays on his neck, though he was able to move his hands and feet before being driven away.
Justin Brown took over at quarterback for Skyline (2-6), but after a strong drive following Amado's injury, the Coyotes couldn't put the ball in the end zone on fourth-and-goal. Brown had 124 yards passing and a touchdown.
"At the beginning Brown showed a lot of poise, he was nervous but you would expect that," Skyline coach Pete Jonovich said. "He trained for this. He got hit a lot and rushed some things but that is part of the game."
Gilbert went in to the half with a 28-0 lead, led by Trail and running back Jared Johnson. Johnson had 137 yards rushing on 23 carries and one touchdown while Trail had 193 yards passing with 16 completions and two touchdowns.
"Skyline is a good football team, but they're not Red Mountain, Marcos or Basha," Gilbert coach Dan Dunn said. "With that said some of our guys stepped up and did a real good job tonight. Some of our guys that have been doing so-so stepped up and did a real good job."
Running back Russel Baptiste put the Coyotes on the board on the first drive of the second half, running for a 15 yard touchdown. The Skyline drive was also aided by two 15 yard penalties on the Gilbert defense, but after the 2-point conversion the Tigers were still up 35-8.
Skyline outscored Gilbert in the second half 14-10, but a rough start to the game and the injury to Amado was too much to overcome.
"We can't start every game down," Jonovich said. "We had a chance off of their fumble but we had a three and out, and a few turnovers and we just can't start that way."
Skyline's most impressive play of the game came off a 75-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Tanner Thomas that set the score at 35-14. Garrett Warren hit a 26-yard field goal for Gilbert's last score of the night.
"This game puts us back even at .500, and gives us at least an outside chance at the playoffs," Dunn said. "That's what we were looking for."