September 10, 2013
By David Hayes
Jack Gellatly leads Issaquah attack with four touchdowns
On Sept. 5, Mother Nature reminded the region she’s still a force to be reckoned with, displaying quite the impressive thunder and lightning show.
The following night, Issaquah High School put the region on notice it, too, will be a force of nature in KingCo this season. The Eagles stormed into host Interlake High School’s field and ran away with a 44-3 win in a nonleague matchup.
The victory begs the question why the perennial powerhouse wasn’t in pre-season top-10 discussions.
“Yeah, I can’t remember the last time we weren’t in the top 10 pre-season,” said head coach Chris Bennett, thinking back through his 14 years with the Eagles.
From the first snap, it was obvious the Eagles were a bigger squad than the Saints.
“They’re a great team with a strong tradition that’s just in a rebuilding year,” Bennett conceded.
After the squads traded possessions on downs, the Eagles would score on their next six possessions, led by the aerial assault of Jack Neary and ground attack of Jack Gellatly.
The two seniors hooked up on a screen pass that Gellatly ran 60 yards for the Eagles’ first scoring drive.
Neary later tossed his second TD pass of the night to senior Jeff Shipley, who ran it for 50 yards and a score with 6:45 left in the first half.
The Eagles’ up-tempo attack kept the Saints on their heels all night. The Eagles were able to drive within field goal range where Jason Schwartz made up for an earlier blocked extra point attempt with a field goal as time expired to give Issaquah a 30-3 halftime lead.
“The up tempo was something we wanted to do this year,” Bennett said. “The kids seem to like it. It wears down the other team.”
As for Neary’s handling of the offense, Bennett said the senior handled the no-huddle well. But even in a 44-3 blowout, he added, there is still room for improvement.
“Yeah, he had a few throws he’d like to have back,” Bennett said.
With the game firmly in hand, the starters were rested and sophomore Cam Humphrey took over the offensive reins, adding two TD passes, one to Ray Littles and the other to Derek Chapman.
With only two returning starters, Bennett said the offensive live will be a work in progress this season. Regardless who’s blocking defenders, running back Gellatly continued to punch holes into the end zone.
The bigger Eagles pushed Saints around all night, finishing off drives by handing the ball off to last season’s top KingCo running back. Gellatly finished the night with TD runs of two yards at 4:24 in the first quarter, four yards at 10:50 in the second quarter and his final punch with a 2-yard run at 8:18 in the third quarter.
Gellatly said the team did well for its first game, but he’s eager to get back and review the game film to see where the Eagles still need to improve for their big matchup Sept. 11 against Mount Si.
He added having a long TD run from a pass was a great feeling.
“The long ones are more exciting, but the short ones are more rewarding,” he said.