Gaining their footing after a scoreless first quarter, the Eastlake Wolves bested the Tahoma Bears to open the postseason with a 28-0 win.
With outstanding defense and a crazy number of penalties for both teams, the first quarter dragged with back-and-forth possessions that led nowhere. Despite numerous first downs, neither team could find the end zone.
However, that all changed late in the second quarter when the Wolves were bolstered by a blocked kick by Balaz Dancshazy, giving Eastlake the ball on the Bears’ 33-yard line. Continuing to be plagued by penalties, the Wolves seemed to take two steps forward and one step back until Blake Borup found the end zone on a handoff from Cole Hunt to take the lead, 7-0, with 3:17 left in the half. With their final possession in the remaining minutes of the second quarter, the Bears were unable to answer.
The third quarter opened with a kickoff to Tahoma, but their possession was shortlived due to impenetrable defense from Colby Marsh, Jack Porter, Jack Edmunds, and Dancshazy. With 10:16 remaining in the quarter, the Wolves regained possession.
Ticking only 18 seconds off the clock, the Wolves found the end zone with just two plays — a short carry from Borup and a 38-yard-long bomb from Hunt to Grady Woodward up the middle for a 14-0 lead.
The next possession for the Bears only furthered their frustration when they ran into linebackers Ben Carollo and Carter Thompson, as well as outside lineman Andrew Painter. Going nowhere, with four-and-out, Tahoma was, once again, forced to punt.
The Wolves did not waste the opportunity and marched down field with multiple carries and four first downs when Borup crossed into the end zone with 5:46 left in the third quarter to give the Wolves a 21-0 advantage.
Despite the lopsided lead, Eastlake refused to ease up. Another four-and-out and the Wolves were back in possession with just over three minutes remaining in the quarter. Hunt switched from a running game to a passing game with two consecutive completions to Woodward. Hunt’s second pass was up the middle to Woodward, who managed to out-maneuver two defenders to get to the outside right for a 33-yard touchdown run and a healthy 28-0 lead to end the third quarter.
With a significant margin secured, the Wolves sent in their second string halfway through the fourth quarter to end the night. While they did not increase the lead, they did hold the Bears with precise defense including a pair of back-to-back quarterback sacks from defensive lineman Jonah Park.
In the end, the Wolves delivered a 28-0 shutout — and a promising start to this year’s postseason campaign.