After their landslide victory against Kentwood the week before, Eastlake pulled through with a close 17-16 victory in an away game against the Rainier Beach Vikings at Seattle’s Memorial Stadium on Friday.
Eastlake’s Jack Peterson put the Wolves on the board with a 9-yard dash just eight minutes before the end of the quarter. Soon after, Rainier Beach countered with a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chance Gaudiz to wide receiver Jaelin Green. Rainier Beach then attempted a two-point conversion to take the lead, but was unsuccessful, maintaining the score at 7-6 with an Eastlake lead.
Refusing to be outscored, Eastlake managed another 35-yard touchdown pass. Then on an unusual play, Eastlake intercepted a pass on the one-yard line, running into the end zone. However, when the Eastlake player crossed over the goal line and then back into the end zone, he was wrapped up by a Rainier Beach player. With the refs blowing the whistle on the play, the back and forth resulted in a two-point safety for Rainier Beach to end the first quarter 14-8.
During the second quarter, thanks to a failed punt by Rainier Beach and a strong Wolves defense, the Vikings were kept scoreless. But that was not the case for the Wolves. Eastlake’s Noah Weintraub managed a 25-yard field goal, increasing the lead to 17-8.
The second half of the game was a fierce battle. Rainier Beach began to close the gap during the third quarter. With a Gaudiz one-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion by Scottre Humphrey, the Vikings managed to tighten the score to just 17-16.
In the fourth quarter, dominated by a series of passes, Eastlake battled to keep Rainier Beach out of the end zone. But Rainier Beach fought hard hoping to score just one more time for a Viking win. With just three minutes left, thanks to several successful connections between Gaudiz, Green, and Shaki Davis, it seemed Rainier Beach could take the lead. However, as luck would have it, Rainier Beach’s Nahmeir Robinson fumbled at the Eastlake 17-yard line, giving the Wolves the opening they needed to take back control. With neither team scoring in the fourth quarter, Eastlake squeaked by for the 17-16 win.
Originally, the game was not supposed to happen. Rather, Rainier Beach was scheduled to play Tukwila’s Foster High School. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 exposure and quarantine, Foster had to cancel, leaving Rainier Beach’s head coach, Corey Sampson, to take to Twitter in hopes of finding a nearby opponent. Eastlake returned the call, and has now won their first two games of the season. Their previously scheduled game against Auburn Riverside has been postponed, with the date yet to be announced.
Eastlake’s (2-0) next game will be at home against Kentridge on Sept. 17. Their full schedule can be found here.