Mount Si stuns Issaquah 24-21
September 15, 2009
By Dan Catchpole
After a tough loss to Bothell, the Issaquah Eagles suffered another difficult loss Sept. 11 in an upset to Mount Si, 24-21.
The Eagles matched the Wildcats touchdown for touchdown. But in the end, a 23-yard field goal in the third quarter put the Wildcats ahead.
Issaquah jumped on the board first, but lost the lead to Mount Si for good in the fourth quarter.
Despite returning a strong core of starters this year, the Eagles’ season is off to a tough start. But despite the loss, there were bright signs.
Issaquah’s new quarterback Ryan Bergman continued to improve on the field. The senior led the offense to 218 passing yards with three touchdown passes.
However, the Eagles’ rushing game was almost nonexistent, managing only 32 yards for a combined 250 offensive yards. Star running back Grant Gellatly’s absence due to a hamstring injury was felt in the Eagles’ running game.
“Grant Gellatly’s worth two or three touchdowns a game,” Wildcats head coach Charlie Kinnune said.Bergman has improved since stepping into the starting quarterback position this year. In the first quarter, he found wide receiver Evan Peterson, a junior, on a 44-yard touchdown pass. Then, in the fourth quarter, Bergman unleashed a 65-yard pass to Peterson in the end zone.
The Wildcats’ defense had difficulty containing Peterson, but without a real running game, the Eagles couldn’t exploit the receiver’s speed.
“Speed doesn’t deal with us in a nice way,” Kinnune said.
But the Wildcats were able to scrap together enough hustle to shut down the Eagles’ rush offensive.
However, a sterling passing game was not enough to overcome Mount Si’s offense, which has a new rising quarterback as well.
The Wildcats’ Chris Clark started the first game of his high school quarterback career. Clark, a senior, missed the first game due to an arm injury in August.
Back on the field, he stepped up his passing game, completing 15 of 17 throws for 226 passing yards.
“Nobody in our program has worked as hard as him the past nine months to prepare for this season,” Kinnune said.
The first half of the game was slow, with each team scoring one touchdown.
In the first quarter, Mount Si opted to punt on a fourth down, but the snap sailed over the punter’s head. He recovered it, but the Eagles tackled him, forcing a turnover on downs.
Issaquah toed the line on Mount Si’s 44-yard line. Bergman quickly managed a touchdown pass to Peterson to score first with 7:14 left in the first quarter.
Mount Si put up a strong offensive drive to Issaquah’s 2-yard line in the second quarter thanks to rushing by junior Matt Bankston, but was unable to put the ball in the end zone.
However, the Wildcats soon got another chance starting on their own 14-yard line. They drove down the field, and Clark connected with senior Jordin Kinnune in the end zone with 1:21 left in the first half.
Mount Si opted for a field goal in a drive in the third quarter. Freshman kicker Cameron Van Winkle kicked 23 yards to take the lead.
In the fourth quarter, Issaquah and Mount Si each posted touchdowns in quick succession.
Bergman found Peterson on a 65-yard pass, and Clark found junior Taylor Mitchell for a 15-yard completion, putting the Wildcats ahead, 17-14.
Mount Si drove down the field thanks in part to Bankston, before Clark padded the score with his third touchdown pass of the night, this time to senior Rossco Castagno. That pushed the score to 24-14 with 2:50 remaining.
The Eagles drove back, quickly moving down field for Bergman’s touchdown pass to Peterson, with only 40 seconds left in the game.
Issaquah tried for an on-side quick, but Mount Si recovered the ball and ran out the clock.
Dan Catchpole: 392-6434, ext. 246, or firstname.lastname@example.org.