Issaquah High School football team rolls over Ballard, 49-28

October 16, 2012

By John Leggett

The Issaquah High School had its hands full with a feisty Ballard bunch Oct. 12 before a large Homecoming throng of maniacal yet appreciative Issaquah followers.

After a rocky start, the Eagles took command in the encounter and prevailed, 49-28, over the Beavers, behind the relentless ball-carrying skills of Eagles’ junior tailback Jack Gellatly, who would go on to notch four rushing touchdowns to add to the 10 he had already gleaned before the encounter with the Beavers.

The north-south running stylings of Gellatly undoubtedly spearheaded the fourth Eagles’ triumph of 2012 to give Issaquah a 3-3 league mark and a 4-3 accounting on the year so far, virtually assuring a play-off crossover appointment, probably with 3-0, 6-1 Woodinville (of the KingCo 4A Crest Division).

Issaquah wisely elected to mix a little aerial attack in with its first-half offensive scheme, to keep the Beavers perplexed, guessing and on their heels from the opening kick-off.

The Eagles scored on their initial couple of possessions in the opening period as Gellatly found pay dirt on runs of six and 19 yards to send Issaquah out to a 14-0 upper hand after the encounter’s opening 12 minutes of action.

Then, the Eagles caught Ballard napping when they abruptly began to diversify by airing the pigskin out early in the second quarter. Issaquah quarterback Jack Neary, unleashed two long bombs of 46 and 24 yards to senior flankers Craig Greiwe and Reed Peterson, respectively, and after Gellatly tacked on his third touchdown jaunt of the evening on the ground, the Eagles jogged into the locker room at the break, with a decisive 35-7 lead.

After the game, played in an almost constant drizzle, rain-drenched Issaquah coach Chris Bennett called the aforementioned first half of play probably the best half of nearly mistake-free football his squad had played all season long.

Ballard continued to get a steady dose of Gellatly’s clock-burning running style as he forged ahead for one first down after another in the third period, ending the night having toted the ball 20 times for well over 200 yards, before becoming a spectator. He was pulled in the fourth quarter to keep him healthy for the next game.

Ballard meanwhile, utilized its mercurial team speed to its advantage with quick openers, screens and post patterns as the Beavers’ talented QB Johnny Verduin tried to engineer a desperate second-half comeback, but the rally fell well short of the mark. This by virtue of the fact that Ballard eventually abandoned the running game and most of the time, when Verduin dropped back to pass, he would either be forced to run for his life or be buried by a wave of Issaquah tacklers. Verduin was sacked a half-dozen times.

Senior Issaquah kicker Alex Shane represented well on the point after touchdown kicks going a perfect 7-for-7, accounting for seven of Issaquah’s 49 points.

The one-sided victory did not come without a price for Issaquah. The Eagles may have lost their stellar senior offensive left tackle, Jake Volk, for the remainder of the season with an excruciating medial collateral ligament tear.

The debilitating injury was brought about by a couple of Ballard players. Volk said after the game that the two seemed bent on eliminating him from the field. Volk was on crutches by game’s end.

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