The Wolves travelled to Veterans Memorial Stadium to face the Glacier Peak Grizzlies in the opening round of the playoffs looking to earn a ticket to the state championship bracket. The Wolves won the opening toss and deferred to start the night on defense and started what would be a dominant performance by the Wolves defense. The Grizzlies pushed the ball up the middle to midfield, but a stout defense forced a punt after a huge sack by Zach Kennedy and stellar play by Brody Leslie breaking up a 3rd down pass. Eastlake took the ball deep in their own territory starting their 1st drive of the night at the 18. Grady Robison went to work on the 1st play keeping the ball and putting Eastlake across the 50. Robison continued to break down the defense with a series of QB keeps and made a 16-yard scramble look easy giving the Wolves the early 7-0 lead after a Ryan Curran PAT. With minutes left in the 1st quarter the defense continued to battle and despite a long pass across the 50-yard line by the Grizzlies, the Wolves stout defense forced another early punt.
The Grizzlies started the 2nd quarter at midfield after a fair catch interference by the Wolves and quickly picked up yardage with a 1st and 10 at the Eastlake 30. The defense held strong with Jason Bryant and Jacob Allen coming up with huge solo tackles forcing the Grizzles to go for it on 4th down. Nate Sutter broke up an end zone pass by forcing the Grizzlies to walk away empty handed and giving Eastlake the ball and momentum after the huge defensive stop. Robison took over on downs and the Wolves drove the field quickly with a huge pass to Leroy Jackson bailing Robison out of defensive pressure and putting the ball at the 19. The Wolves unfortunately came up short and couldn’t convert in the red zone giving the Grizzlies the ball back on downs. Their series however wouldn’t last long as Allen came up big with a fumble recovery after a huge Bryant hit. The Wolves once again came up just short of another score in the red zone and gave the ball back on downs. GP took over on offense in what would be the final series for their 4th year starting QB. Despite driving across midfield, the defense continued to hammer the Grizzlies O-Line and QB with huge sack by Garrett Carney and Jake O’Donnell. Carney would unfortunately have to leave the game early with an injury but not before recording 4 tackles and 2 sacks. The Grizzlies suffered a blow with their QB loss but salvaged their drive with a big 42-yard FG making the score 7-3 Eastlake at the half.
The Wolves took the opening kickoff to start the half and on 3rd down Robison completed a huge 39-yard pass to Jack Rud who would end the game as the leading receiver along with Leroy Jackson with 47 yards. Both defenses continued to battle in the 3rd with stops from both teams. The Wolves took over on downs midway through the quarter and finally broke through. After a quick pass to Sutter, Robison found Vinny Monteiro across the middle for 27 yards and a 1st down. Sutter picked up another quick first down and the Wolves finished the drive and the 3rd quarter with a 27-yard field goal from Curran extending their lead to 10-3. The Wolves looked to extend their lead and put the game away in the 4th with two big series on Defense. After a big
stop by Allen on 3rd down, Bryant came up big with a blocked punt giving the Wolves the ball at the 20. Robison wasted no time and hit a leaping Jackson Proctor in the corner of the end zone for another Wolves TD. The wolves went for two with Proctor taking it into the end zone giving them a 18-3 lead. The Wolves came out strong again on defense and after another Wolves sack, Monteiro intercepted the ball at midfield. Frustration begin to set in for the Grizzlies and after a costly personal foul and Bright first down run the Wolves found themselves once again in the red zone. Behind a great block by Sutter, Robison kept the ball and ran 20 yards for the final score of the night. The Wolves wound down the clock keeping the Grizzlies out of the end zone all night and walked off the field with a ticket to the State Championship bracket with a 25-9 win.
Defensively, the Wolves had 19 players record at least one tackle or assist with 7 for a loss and 5 sacks. Ryan Curran was a perfect 2-2 on PAT’s and made a 27-yard FG. Offensively, the Wolves ran the ball 38 times with 5 different rushers and attempted 26 passes for a total of 177 yards and 2 TDs.
Big thanks to statistician John Miller, spotter Eric Bryant, and photographers Chad Greene and Mark Sutter.