Northwest NEWS

September 27, 1999

Sports

Red Wolves football

Heartbreak at Tolt Field

by Doug Sage, contributing writer

   The Cedarcrest Red Wolves came oh-so-close to their first win of the season last Friday night against the Issaquah Indians, only to come up short in overtime, 20-14.

   In a game marred by nagging injuries and sometimes sloppy play with numerous penalties and turnovers by both sides, the Red Wolves were again left holding the short straw when the final whistle blew.

   Matt Geiger got the Red Wolves into good position to start the night with an inspired kickoff return out over the 41-yard line. From there, the Red Wolves went to a spread offense with 3 receivers to one side and threw early and often.

   A run outside by Eric Dick and a pass completion to Mike Smith still left Cedarcrest short of their initial first down. From punt formation, Cedarcrest's Nate McLallin got a good foot into the ball and the Issaquah punt returner muffed the punt, which was recovered by the Red Wolves' Cody Wheeler at the Indian 25.

   A long pass followed from QB Nick Rich on first down to Smith, and the only defense the Indians could play was to tackle him before he got to the ball. No flag by the referee, and the Red Wolves were left at 4th and 10. An option pass from Jed Dern to a wide-open Smith, and the wide receiver hauled it in at the goal line and stepped in for Cedarcrest's first score of the night and their first lead of the season. Kicker Ben Frey added the extra point, and Cedarcrest was up 7-0 with 9:18 to go in the first quarter.

   The Cedarcrest defense came to play, as well. On the Indians' first possession, the Red Wolves held from the 36-yard line and on 3rd down, Matt Geiger sacked Indian QB Jon Lefrandt inside the Issaquah 30, setting up a 4th and 20 situation.

   After an exchange of punts, the Indians had the ball again and were driving on the stout Red Wolf defense late in the first quarter. With Issaquah held to a 4th and one from the Cedarcrest 39, Brandon Stark carried out of the Fly Offense down to the 1-yard line. The Red Wolves held on first down as Lefrandt tried a quarterback sneak, which went for a loss of 1 back to the 2.

   On the first play of the second quarter, Issaquah was flagged for illegal procedure, which moved the ball back to the 7. From there, the Fly Offense worked again as Matt Thompson scored for the Indians.

   Issaquah had another illegal procedure call on the point after try, and from 5 yards back, hooked the kick wide right to leave the score 7-6 Red Wolves with 4 seconds gone in the second quarter. Cedarcrest was moving again when Issaquah intercepted a Rich pass intended for Smith.

   The Red Wolf defense was strong, and after a tackle for a loss in the backfield by Joe Grady and Matt Geiger, the Indians had a 4th down and long. Issaquah tried a fake punt from near midfield and Cedarcrest sniffed it out and stopped them short of the first down. With 7:58 to go in the half, Cedarcrest moved 15 yards downfield on a pass interference penalty on Issaquah.

   After a punt gave the Indians the ball inside their own 30, the Red Wolves made their presence felt by causing a fumble, recovered by Dern at the 24. After minimal gain, the Red Wolves were left with a 3rd and 9, Casey Petterson was sacked for a 13-yard loss and had to punt again. A nice kick by McLallin put the ball down at the 5-yard line. Petterson intercepted the Indians pass on first down from the 5 and ran laterally for the corner, but was stopped short by Issaquah. The Red Wolves started 1st and goal from the 5, but had a very misguided drive.

   On first down, Dick fumbled the handoff which was recovered by Dern, but the misdirection caused a clipping penalty on the Red Wolves. 1st and goal from the 22: a holding call on the next attempt moved the ball out to 1st and goal from the 40. Quarterback Petterson scrambled out of the pocket, looking for a receiver on 2nd down, and found one.

   Unfortunately, it was a lineman, and the call was intentional grounding. This left the Red Wolves in a 3rd and 54 situation. This missed opportunity would come back to haunt the Red Wolves later in the contest. Halftime score: 7-6, Red Wolves.

   Cedarcrest kicked off to Issaquah to start the second half. The Red Wolf defense was inspired, and Issaquah had to punt again and Cedarcrest took over on their own 28. From there, the Red Wolves turned in a dazzling play off tackle by twisting and sliding all the way down the field, breaking the final diving try by an Issaquah defender at the 10 to finally sprint into the end zone for a spectacular touchdown run of 72 yards.

   Frey added the extra point and Cedarcrest held the lead at 14-6. This lead held until the end of the third quarter, but Issaquah ended the quarter with second down at the Red Wolf 1. The Indians scored on the first play of the fourth quarter, and after Cedarcrest called a timeout to organize their defense, Issaquah ran a quarterback sneak and scored the 2-pointer to knot the score at 14-14 with the entire fourth quarter to play.

   After neither team could move the ball, Issaquah had it at their own 27. From there, Steve Polejewski had a big hit to knock the ball loose, recovered by the Red Wolves at the 28. Unfortunately, the Red Wolves could not stand prosperity, and fumbled it right back to the Indians.

   They didn't count on the Red Wolves bending but not breaking. In an exciting sequence, the crowds on both sides standing and cheering, the Indians drove methodically downfield, and with 1:10 left in the game, had the ball first and goal at the Red Wolves' 7. Not to be denied their first win in this situation, Cedarcrest dug in their heels and stopped Issaquah on 3 straight plays. The defensive stops, along with a delay of game penalty, set up Issaquah at the left hash mark 4th and goal from the 10, bringing in their field goal unit to kick the game-winner with 25 seconds to go in the contest. The Cedarcrest faithful erupted as the kick sailed well left of its intended mark, leaving the final score in regulation tied, 14-14.

   Overtime was not pretty. Cedarcrest got the ball first from their 25. On first down, a slant pass tipped at the line of scrimmage was intercepted by the Indians ending Cedarcrest chance at a score. Issaquah now started at the 25, and on first down, threw a beautiful pass down the right side, caught by the receiver at the goal line and in for the game-clinching score. Elation Indians, heartbreak Red Wolves.

   The Red Wolves played hard, and for the first time this season were able to compete for 4 quarters. As this team continues to find itself, they will be a force to be reckoned with in Kingco 3A. Next up: the always-tough Bellevue Wolverines at Bellevue. Go, Red Wolves!