Friday night signified new beginnings for the young Wolves. After losing 30 of their talented Seniors last year, there’s no doubt that they are in the process of rebuilding and shaping their current talent pool. So many of the Wolves stepped up in a major way against the Senior heavy Bearcats team.
This game was filled with tons of excitement and nail-biting stress for the dedicated Wolves fans. Though the Wolves were in the lead for a large portion of the game, each possession contained heart stopping plays that proved to be pivotal for both teams.
Junior, Drew Farrington started the Wolves off on the right foot as he brought down top ranked Wide Receiver, Efton Chism III, with an impressive tackle on the opening kickoff. This was followed by a huge defensive play on fourth and one from Senior, Jason Bryant and the Defensive Line led by Seniors, Jake O’Donnell, Jacob Allen, and Axel Isackson.
On Eastlakes opening drive, with 5 minutes left in the 1st quarter, record setting Senior Quarterback, Grady Robison, connected with talented Junior Wide Receiver, Max Verboort to score the first touchdown of this highly anticipated game. This was the first touchdown of the season for the Wolves and the first of many for these two incredible athletes.
After an impressive drive down the field, Bearcats Senior Running Back, Blake Rybar would go on to run 1 yard to score a touchdown. Eastlake quickly answered back with a perfectly executed fake hand off to Senior Running Back, Jalen Bright. Grady Robison’s spot-on decision making and shifty running skills led him to run in a 54-yard touchdown that would temporarily hush the Bearcats stands. This amazing run would be followed by an impressive 2-point conversion pounded in from Sophomore, Jack Peterson at the end of the first quarter.
Going into the 2nd quarter, the score was Wolves (14) and Bearcats (6). The Wolves 3rd touchdown would come from the gifted, Junior Running Back, Leroy Jackson IV. Jackson has been on fire since the beginning of his Sophomore season, showing tremendous speed, agility, and athleticism with each game he plays. Senior Kicker, Ryan Curran’s kick for the extra point helped to increase the momentum of the Wolves and ignited the dedicated Eastlake fans.
With 4 minutes and change left in the 2nd quarter, Rybar would score the Bearcats 2nd touchdown, and Chism would secure the 2-point conversion with a reception.
At just over 1 minute left in the half, Senior Linebacker and the 2018 4A KingCo Defensive MVP, Garrett Carney, secured the fate of the half with an effortless looking interception. This interception gave the Montana State commit, Grady Robison another opportunity to showcase his skills. He connected with talented Receiver, Cooper Williams for a tremendous gain. Shortly after this play, Williams would sense Robison was in trouble and break away from his intended route to create a play for a 25-yard reception resulting in another Eastlake touchdown to end the half - terrific football IQ from this Senior Receiver.
The Wolves were up 28-14 at the start of the 2nd half, but the Bearcats came out with the intensity of a team losing on their own home field. Rybar would go on to score the 1st and 2nd touchdowns of the 3rd quarter, tying the score 28-28.
The 4th quarter of this game would prove to be the most intense for all fans, players, and coaches alike. Robison would provide the Wolves a little comfort with a 31-yard gazelle-like gallop into the end-zone.
The Bearcats would answer back quickly by moving the ball up the field with steady consistent passes. With just under 3 minutes left in the game, Rybar found the end zone again. The extra point was good, leveling the score to a 35-35 tie. With neither team able to score before the clock ran out, the game went into overtime.
With the Wolves getting the ball first in overtime, Robison connected with Verboort again for a 19-yard reception that resulted in a Wolves touchdown! Unfortunately, the extra point attempt was blocked. With the Wolves up 41-35, our defense would need to be impervious in order to stop the Bearcats determined offense. Buoyed by their 2nd half comeback, the Bearcats were confident and focused; they executed their offense flawlessly to score another touchdown. With the game tied, the Bearcats scored the extra point to squeeze out a 42-41 victory.
Though a tough loss for the Wolves, this game was filled with excitement, milestones, and loads of effort from these young players. If this game is indicative of the season to come, Wolves fans will have tons to look forward to.
Let’s go Wolves! #WSPS
Special thanks to…
· Game Story Writer: Brandy Brown
· Statistician: John Miller
· Spotters: Jonathan Allen & Eric Bryant
· Photographers: Chad Greene & Mark Sutter