Issaquah blasts Garfield 55-14

October 1, 2008

By Staff

Kyle Hansen, Issaquah senior running back, leaves Garfield linemen in his wake as he rolls up a 41-yard gain in the third quarter of the game, a 55-14 win for the Eagles. Photo by Greg Farrar

Kyle Hansen, Issaquah senior running back, leaves Garfield linemen in his wake as he rolls up a 41-yard gain in the third quarter of the game, a 55-14 win for the Eagles. Photo by Greg Farrar

Legendary automaker Henry Ford once said, “There is no such thing as no chance.” But Ford would change his opinion had he witnessed the Sept. 26 football game between Issaquah and Garfield high schools.

From the opening series, the Issaquah Eagles blocked, passed, ran, tackled and executed with far greater superiority than theirBulldog counterparts. The end result was a 55-14 victory — a win not as close as even the lopsided score might indicate.

Issaquah utilized this game to add some new wrinkles to its offense. Lining up in a wide variety of formations, the Eagles sometimes utilized the no-huddle offense, calling plays via hand signals from the sideline. 

“We’ve been working on it for a long time,” explained Issaquah head coach Chris Bennett. “I’ve planned on running it since day one, but tonight we made it a point of emphasis and started using it. For the most part, it went fine. It’s probably something you’ll see from us the rest of the season.” 

Issaquah’s first scoring drive was set up just minutes into the first quarter. Lining up with an empty backfield, quarterback Joey Bradley found senior receiver Ross Zuhl for a 22-yard reception to the Garfield 15-yard line. Moments later, running back Kyle Hansen zipped through defenders and into the end zone, for the first of four touchdowns he would score. 

“With both Grant Gellatly and Dustin Talley out for the week, Kyle Hansen stepped in and did a great job,” Bennett said. “Hansen’s a senior and a program guy. A good runner in his own right. He shouldered the load himself. We gave him the ball and let him run.”

After Garfield’s offense sputtered and was forced to punt, Issaquah took over at its own 10-yard line. On back-to-back plays, Bradley dropped deep into the pocket and tossed jailbreak screens of 32 yards and 25 yards to Brennan Miller. On the next play, Zuhl ran an end-around, zipping 37 yards for the touchdown, and putting the Eagles up 14-0. 

Garfield quickly punted again, and Issaquah took over. As the Eagles lined up in a four-receiver set, a Garfield coach in the press box could be heard panicking. He shouted into his headset for one of his fellow assistants on the sideline to tell a Garfield defensive back to cover Miller. It was to no avail, as Bradley dropped back to pass and fired a dart to Miller, running free in the Bulldog secondary. The play went for 45 yards.

Moments later, Bradley hit Miller again, this time in the end zone, for a 16-yard strike. This extended the lead to 21-0. That play typified the night for Garfield, as four Bulldog defenders whiffed on their attempts to tackle Miller.

The night’s only suspense came with nine seconds left in the first half. Garfield’s Pierre Wright took a handoff and tossed a nice pass to De’Andre Taylor for a 2-yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked, and it appeared that Issaquah would take a 21-6 lead into the locker room.

The Bulldogs squibbed the ensuing kickoff, however, in an attempt to run the clock out. The ball bounded off the turf and headed straight for one of Issaquah’s up men, Philip Hamilton. At first, the youngster flinched as if to catch it. But he changed his mind and ducked down, allowing the return men behind him to track it down. 

Hansen promptly scooped it up, broke through the incoming wave of tacklers, and sprinted free up the left sideline for an 81-yard touchdown return. Issaquah now led 28-6 at intermission, and the home crowd enjoyed a Homecoming performance that was capped by a fireworks display. 

The second half featured a parade of miscues and uninspired play from the Garfield squad. Numerous missed tackles, errant passes and poor execution pockmarked the Bulldog performance. Deandre Coleman, the 6-foot-5 295-pound senior who verbally committed a few weeks ago to play next season for the Washington Huskies, had a quiet night. Issaquah double-teamed him throughout the contest, and effectively neutralized him. 

Midway through the third quarter, sophomore running back Taylor Wyman showed some good wiggle, with a 3-yard touchdown run. Then, after the Garfield punter muffed the snap and was buried at his own 6-yard line, Issaquah’s offense was right back on the field. One play later, Hansen struck again, scoring off left tackle. This put the Eagles ahead 48-6. 

Following this, Bennett began emptying his bench in earnest. A wave of youngsters entered the game, as well as senior tailback Wilson Yeh, who plunged into the end zone with a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. This made the final score Issaquah 55, Garfield 14.

“We hope to have Grant Gellatly and Dustin Talley back next week,” Bennett said in the game’s aftermath. “We got a chance to get some experience for the younger guys. Taylor’s a great running back. He’s running behind some veterans right now. You can see that he’s a good one. The future is bright for him. 

“I also got reps for our young quarterbacks, Kevin Nye and Ryan Bergman,” he said. “I’m trying to get them reps, give them some Friday night experience. The future is bright with both of those guys.”

Reach interim Sports Reporter Derek Johnson at 392-6434, ext. 236, or ip-sports@isspress.com.

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