Bothell opened quickly with a score at 6:03 on the clock (literally, 6:03PM….yes, it was quick). After the stunning start, the game turned into a first-half defensive battle. The half saw many changed possessions, including rare fumble turnovers on back-to-back plays. The Eastlake first-half defensive effort was highlighted by sacks from Michael Puttick and Jake O’Donnell. Bothell found enough offense to add another touchdown with a mere :09 seconds on the first half clock. The bookend scoring drives left Bothell leading 12-0 at halftime.
The proverbial “orange slices at half” (thanks Josh) felt like they might be a highlight of the young Wolves day. But the Wolves responded by shaking off the late first half Bothell TD with more scrappy play. The scrap led to a second half full of great energy and exciting play. The offense started to get on track with a nice mix of pass and run. At the 2:58 mark of the third quarter, Eastlake finally found the end-zone. A nice 35 yard pitch and catch from Grady Robison to Puttick, capped with the reliable Ryan Curran PAT. Eastlake was just a score from taking the lead, now trailing 12-7.
The fired up defense got a sack from Caden Snyder and a big tackle and strip from Matt Brookshier that was recovered by Ian Baisler. With Eastlake gaining momentum, Bothell did not back-down. Bothell scored on a short pass and 2 point conversion that put the Cougars up 20-7 with little more than half the fourth quarter remaining on the clock.
The score and the clock against them, the Eastlake offense worked quickly. Making their way downfield, Eastlake capped off the quick drive with Robison scoring on a 4 yard run with 3:08 left in the game. Needing a big stop, the it was back to the defense to respond. And they did. In three plays - Puttick delivering a big stop, a Bothell fumbled QB exchange, and a huge pack of Wolves stuffing another run – the Wolves D delivered the necessary three-and-out. The quick stop provided Eastlake 2 minutes to navigate 80 yards for a tie – and then a PAT away from an improbable lead.
The potential game-winning drive was started by a great throw by Robison to a toe-tapping Vini Monteiro for over 20 yards. Bothell was called for a defensive hold and Eastlake was quickly on Bothell’s side of the field. Facing a game-stopping fourth down play, Robison rolled right - and running out of both time and space - he threw back to his left and hit Monteiro to keep the drive going. Eastlake was pulling out gadgets, including a nearly successful double-pass. Facing yet another huge play, 3-and-long, Robison hit Puttick for to move the chains again. Now inside the 10 – Eastlake and the clock were both rolling….which would strike first? Today, it would be the clock. Eastlake set up at the 2 yd line, the clock showed :01 remaining, and Eastlake had battled to be in a spot for a win. Sadly the Robison pass deflected and fell into the arms of a Bothell defender. Game over, 20-14 for the visiting Cougars.
Come out and cheer the boys efforts as they take on their plateau rivals next week. Their next game starts at 6PM on Monday, October 9th at Skyline. #WSPS
Thanks to Chad Greene for photos!