September 25, 2000
Red Wolves ambush Indians
By Doug Sage
The Cedarcrest Red Wolves blew into Issaquah stadium like the cold wind that was last Friday night and came away with a hard fought 15-12 win over the Indians.
Coach Art Kuehn of the Red Wolves (1-2) said after the game, "We didn't play our best game tonight, but we played well enough to win it. We put it into the endzone when we needed to, and stopped them when we needed to. It was a great game."
The game started slowly as neither team could move the ball in the first quarter with any consistency.
The Red Wolves passing game was moving in spurts and the Indians running game was almost nonexistent early in the contest. The field position was in the Red Wolves favor early as they were helped by a pass interference penalty on Issaquah.
The first big break of the game came when Matt Geiger and the center of the Cedarcrest defense blocked an Indian punt and recovered the ball deep in Indian territory at the 18.
Smart running by Darrin Carrido gave the Red Wolves the ball inside the 10 yard line. Aaron O'Neal pushed it down to the 7 and a first down as the 1st quarter ended with the Red Wolves on the move.
The first play of the second quarter was a quick slant from Nick Rich to Matt Geiger who had lined up in the left slot. Geiger held on tight to one of his three catches as the speedy senior scored the first touchdown of the night.
When Tom Felts sent the point after clean between the uprights, Cedarcrest had its first lead of the year, 7-0. After the defense held tough and forced the Indians into punt formation on 4th and 2 from their 35, Issaquah tried a fake punt as they had no confidence in their kicking game after the blocked punt in the firstquarter.
The snap to the upback was stuffed by Jesse Thompson and the center of the Red Wolf defense and the Red Wolves took over. Issaquah started their next drive at their own 20 after the Red Wolves were unable to move and the punt just went over the goal line for a touch back. From there, the Indians put together their longest drive of the night.
Unable to punt from their own 47, another fake, this time gained enough for the first down as Issaquah was starting to move the ball on the ground. Issaquah scored on an end around play from the 18 with 3:37 left in the first half.
Again, Cedarcrest's defense was strong in the kicking game and they blocked the point after to keep the score 7-6 Red Wolves. A late interception inside the 5 stopped Cedarcrest on the last real threat of the first half.
The second half opened with Ben Frey booming a kick high and deep and Dan Merrick making a fine open field tackle on the return. From here, Brandon Stark went crazy for the Indians.
Issaquah made several adjustments at the half in order to get their big back rolling. And roll he did. Amassing 252 yards on 26 carries, he was the offense for Issaquah including a 35-yard touchdown on the opening drive that put Issaquah ahead 12-7 with 10:33 to play in the 3rd as the 2 point conversion failed.
The strong contingent of Cedarcrest boosters led by the cheer squad made lots of noise as both teams punched and counter-punched their way through the 3rd and into the 4th quarter. Big run blitzes by Aaron O'Neal and tough tackling by Tom Felts kept the Indians off balance the rest of the game.
The game was intense as Issaquah called time out with 6:03 to play in the game looking at a 4th and 16 at the Red Wolf 34. Taking the punt team off the field and going for it on 4th down, gave senior Curtis Coe the opportunity to take over the ball game.
First he made an outstanding play on the 4th down reverse to drop the ball carrier for a 7-yard loss and give the ball to the Red Wolf offense. From there Carrido (10 carries, 70 yards) and O'Neal had big holes behind Coe's blocks to drive the 52 yards for the go ahead score.
The big play of the drive was a 32-yard gain by Carrido that pushed the ball deep into Indian territory at the 20.
On 4th and inches at the 10, Cedarcrest went with the QB sneak behind Bobby Znak and Colin Guthrie for the first down. From there, O'Neal went straight up the middle behind the big blocks of Znak, Guthrie and Coe for the 9-yard TD to put Cedarcrest ahead with 2:07 to play.
Bobby Znak was leading the cheers as the offense stormed off the field as he had led O'Neal into the endzone.
The 2 point conversion from Rich to Geiger made the score 15-12. This is where it got very interesting.
After the kick off, Issaquah was moving the ball smartly but ran into a Red Wolf defensive buzzsaw.
With 1:15 to play, Cedarcrest caused a fumble recovered by Jed Dern. All thought the game was over at this point as Issaquah had only one timeout left.
On second down, at the 1:10 mark, Cedarcrest fumbled the handoff and Issaquah recovered to set up shop for some late game dramatics at the Cedarcrest 47.
After a big sack by Coe on 3rd and 10, it all came down to a 4th and 17 play from the 43. The Indians went with a pass up the right side which came up a yard short as a pack of Red Wolves swarmed the ballcarrier at the 27 with 25 seconds remaining in the game.
The horn sounded as Rich took the snap and took a knee at the 25 and Cedarcrest was jubilant with their first win this year, 15-12.
Coach Kuehn said after the game, "We tried our best to give it back to them, but we played well enough to win it. We put it into the endzone when we needed to. It had to be a great high school game to watch."
Indeed, it was. With excitement on almost every play, this game was what high school athletics is all about. Overcoming adversity, and capitalizing on opportunity is how Cedarcrest fought its way to their first win of the young season.
Next up, a contest with the Bellevue Wolverines at Howard Miller field in Carnation on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Come on out and cheer for the home team as they put their winning streak on the line. Go Red Wolves!!