On Friday evening, Eastlake delivered its seventh season victory against the Mt. Si Wildcats with a 27-20 win despite injuries sustained by key players.
The first quarter was a cutthroat competition. Mt. Si came out aggressively when Guy Brucchieri took down Eastlake wide receiver Will Eaton on the opening drive. Mt. Si’s Jake Smith was at the right place at the right time and intercepted a pass at the 33-yard line. Despite defensive efforts by Eastlake’s Griffin Miller, Mt. Si scored their first touchdown in the first minute of the game. A successful extra point bumped the score to 7-0, Mt. Si.
But Eastlake would not be bested and answered with a touchdown pass from Michael Lester to Eaton, tying the game. Eastlake took advantage of an interception by Noah Weintraub, which led to the Wolves scoring their second touchdown to take the lead.
The Wildcats quickly erased the gap with a touchdown by JT DeRouen to finish the quarter 14 all.
Mt. Si’s Jake Smith played aggressive defense for the Wildcats while Miller and Eller dominated defensively for the Wolves. With both teams continuing to fight hard, the second quarter held with no points added for the Wildcats and an anemic 3-point field goal for the Wolves, giving Eastlake the advantage, 17-14, at the half.
The third quarter, once again, saw no change to the scoreboard thanks to impressive defense from Mt. Si’s Beau Phillips and unfortunate injuries to the Wolves’ Colby Marsh and Michael Lester.
Eastlake, not to be deterred by the loss of key players, started the fourth quarter strong with Miller receiving a touchdown pass from quarterback Parker Barrysmith in their opening drive. Despite a strong defense from Eller, Mt. Si answered with another touchdown pass thanks to Avery Walker and DeRouen but a missed point after the touchdown left the score at 24-20.
With such a small margin and an opportunity to end the Wolves’ winning streak, the Wildcats were motivated. They managed to drive all the way to the 19-yard line before giving the ball back to Eastlake. Running back Jack Peterson carried the ball for the Wolves to the Eastlake 28-yard line before being tackled by Mt. Si defensive end Carson Clay. Another 15-yard rushing play by Peterson coupled with a 44-yard pass put Eastlake on the Mt. Si 13-yard line and within field goal range. The Wolves added another 3 points to the board with a field goal.
“Since it was the 4th down each time [before the two field goals], we decided it was better to kick and get some points rather than risk going for it and potentially not scoring,” Eastlake assistant coach Nathan Gibson said. “We were already ahead [this] time and wanted to add to our lead.”
With the final field goal, the game ended with a 27-20 Eastlake victory, allowing the Wolves to maintain their perfect season record. Eastlake has secured the 4A KingCo Crest division title, and will face off against Bothell for the overall KingCo crown on Oct. 28. Both teams are currently undefeated, and have one more game next week before their title showdown.
Eastlake’s (7-0) next game will be away at Issaquah (2-4) on Friday, Oct. 22 at 7:00 p.m.