Monday evening brought sunny skies, crisp fall air, and in what has been the norm through the first three weeks, the Eastlake JV football squad dominated their opponent. The Wolves ran away early from the visiting Warriors of Clover Park (Lakewood) in a non-conference matchup, 61-6. Even the lop-sided score did not give full justice to the game, as the running clock mercifully moved the game along for nearly the entire 2nd half.
Like a late-night Ginsu commercial, the Wolves sliced and diced the Warriors behind a cornucopia of offensive stars and another stout effort on both defense and special teams. For most of the evening Eastlake would produce play after play for the highlight reel, faster than a commercial announcer could say “But wait…. There’s MORE!” The Wolves would hold themselves back with penalties or unforced mistakes more frequently than Clover Park would or could.
Quarterback Jackson Proctor threw touchdowns to four different receivers, including three in the first quarter alone. When Proctor wasn’t finding open receivers, running back Matt Brookshier ran through the Warriors like a rolling ball of butcher knives, pounding the middle of the defense for bruising yards early in the Wolves’ first series, carrying defenders and energizing the EHS sideline and crowd, prior to a catch and run of 48 yards on a screen pass to open the scoring. Following a beautiful play action bootleg pass from Proctor to Zade Thompson, running back Nick Robbins caught the first of his two touchdown receptions on the night to bring the score to 20-0 before the first quarter was complete.
Not to be outdone by the offense, the Wolves defense was on point again, this week carrying a shut out deep into the final quarter. In the first half the Wolves forced punts or turnovers on every Warrior possession. Linebacker Jason Bryant would harass the Warriors for three tackles in the backfield before halftime alone. Linemen Hunter Snyder and Jack Lathwell stuffed inside runs, and the Wolves would not yield so much as a first down until Clover Park’s last possession of the half.
Special teams shined as well. Kicker Nate Evans was successful on 7 of 9 PAT’s on the evening, and the Wolves coverage teams bottled up Warrior returners all night. In the return game, Joey Grzetic nearly broke the opening kickoff for a score – though the play would have ultimately been called back due to penalty. Later in the first quarter Grzetic nearly broke loose again, this time on a punt return, but settled for giving the Wolves offense a short field where he would later catch the second of Proctor’s TD passes from 29 yards out.
The Wolves would tack on a score just before half to make the score 26-0. After an interception for Clover Park in their own end zone temporarily held the Wolves at bay late in the second quarter, Snyder forced a fumble near the goal line that Eastlake would recover, and quarterback Trent Nicholson would score two plays later on a run from two yards out.
The Wolves picked up where they left off in the third quarter, forcing a fumble on Clover Park’s first possession, and quickly capitalizing as Proctor found receiver Max Verboort in the back of
the endzone. After forcing a punt, the Wolves had an eventful driving beginning with Brookshier ripping off a 41-yard run to the Warrior’s 20-yard line. The Wolves then proceeded to back themselves up with penalties on three consecutive plays to set up an unusual down and distance – first and 42 – moving all the way back into their own territory. The offense recovered the penalty yardage and more Brookshier hurdled a would-be tackler at midfield, cut across the grain, and dashed 52 yards to the end zone on an off tackle run. By the time Robbins caught another short pass and ran for touchdown from 20 yards out on the next series to close out the third quarter, the Wolves were up 47-0.
While the offense cooled as the game wore on, the defense continued to build on the lead and control the Clover Park offense, as Cody Jacobson had interception returns for touchdowns on consecutive series in the fourth quarter to close out scoring for the Wolves.
The Wolves will test their 3-0 record next Monday, September 24, at Issaquah High School.
Proctor and Nicholson completed passes to nine different receivers…. Unofficially Eastlake recorded 13 tackles for loss by 7 different defenders…. The Wolves had eight offensive “explosion” plays of 20 yards or longer, and two others called back by penalty.
Big thanks to Chad Greene and Rob Veal for capturing all the great game photos!