Issaquah Eagles football team advances to face Skyview
November 1, 2011
By Christina Lords
After a decisive 40-24 victory in a must-win game over the Inglemoor High School Vikings on Oct. 28, the Issaquah Eagles advance to the preliminary round of the Class 4A state football playoffs this week.
“We tell the guys that we have to earn every week of practice,” Issaquah coach Chris Bennett said. “The Inglemoor players wanted to win just as bad as we did … and we’re really lucky that we’ve earned an extra week.”
The game was a loser-out contest and could have been Issaquah’s last of the season.
“We try to put too much on it,” Bennett said. “Over the last three years we’ve made some pretty deep playoff runs, and we just talk about getting better.”
The Eagles started out strong, as senior quarterback Ethan Kalin completed a hand-off to sophomore running back Jack Gellatly for Issaquah’s first score on the night just two minutes into the first quarter.
Kalin would connect with junior wide receiver Reed Peterson twice in the first half, first with a 59-yard touchdown pass followed by a 25-yard touchdown pass. The 59-yard-pass was Kalin’s longest of the night.
Inglemoor senior Junior Vi gave the Vikings some momentum going into the half after he picked off a Kalin pass and ran it in for the 30-yard touchdown return late in the second quarter.
“We played good but it wasn’t perfect,” Peterson said. “ We had a couple of mistakes … we dropped the ball, got some interceptions, a couple of turnovers on downs. That can’t happen, but we pulled it out.”
The Eagles were able to maintain a narrow 20-17 lead over the Vikings at the half.
“We’ve had a couple of injuries this season, and some guys have really stepped up,” he said. “We’ve overcome some adversity and came together as a team.”
The Eagles answered back at the start of the third quarter, as Issaquah sophomore wide receiver Derek Chapman snatched a 54-yard Kalin pass for a touchdown during Issaquah’s first possession of the second half.
Gellatly would give the Eagles two two-yard rushing touchdowns in the second half to seal the win for Issaquah. He had 33 carries on the night for a total of 197 rushing yards.
Defensively, Issaquah juniors Eric Rauch and Tyler Sheehan stood out with five solo tackles and six assists and four solo tackles and three assists, respectively, in the game. Junior Matthew Solusod picked up one sack during the contest.
“Their line outweighed us by 100 pounds at least,” Peterson said. “It was all about heart for us. We just had to keep fighting, keep pushing.”
The Eagles will face an away game against the Skyview Storm at 7 p.m. Nov. 4 in Vancouver’s Kiggins Bowl.
Christina Lords: 392-6434, ext. 239, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.