September 17, 2000
Cedarcrest comeback falls short
by Doug Sage
CARNATIONThe Cedarcrest Red Wolves tried valiantly to overcome their first half woes last Friday night at Tolt field, but were unsuccessful this time around.
After falling behind to the Skyline Spartans 22-0 in the first half, Cedarcrest put their game faces on and made a contest of it, only to fall short on the scoreboard 29-21.
The Red Wolves are proving to be a formidable second half team this year, outscoring their opponents after the break, unfortunately they were outscored 22-0 in the first half.
"If we can get control of our game, if we can be masters of our game in the first half, we'll be all right," said coach Hansen after the contest. "Our defense played great the whole game, we had a few blown coverages by some guys with very little experience, it's not a thing we can't fix."
It is a credit to this team and the coaching staff that they have been able to find the combinations in the second half that have been working, and as the team gains experience, they will get better in the first half as well.
The evening started on a somber note, and in light of the past week's events a candle-light vigil was held right before the game. It was a cleansing experience to be with friends, neighbors and classmates and feel the National Anthem. It never sounded so good, nor so right. After a moment of silence, it was surreal to watch the teams strap on the pads and go to battle. I, for one, was glad that they did.
The Spartans started the game quickly and built a 10-0 lead in the first quarter on two long pass plays, the first coming as the culmination of their first drive of the night - a 35- yard strike for 6 points, while the second was a 55-yard pass and run play.
Cedarcrest knocked them out at the 2, and the defense held without giving any ground on three straight running plays to force the field goal. Skyline scored twice more in the second quarter as do-everything back Simi Reynolds scored on a 10-yard run up the middle, and a 35-yard pass reception to make the score at halftime 22-0.
After the break, Cedarcrest's defense held the Spartans to 3 and out with good pressure from the center of the Red Wolf line led by Coy Chittenden, and took over at their 24-yard line. Sean McDonald then engineered a great ball control drive.
After several nice runs up the middle by Felts and O'Neal, he used the play fake effectively to hit Jesse Pettersen for a long gain, and with a face mask penalty against the Spartans it moved the ball to first and 10 at the 15.
The drive stalled at the 10 when on 4th and 5, McDonald was sacked and the ball went back to the Spartans.
Chittenden and Robbie Westerman applied great pressure on the QB and forced the Skyline offense to do what they weren't good at, and that was running the ball. Kyle Eldred returned the punt for five yards to set up the Red Wolves 1st and 10 at the 35.
From there Aaron O'Neal and Tommy Felts put hard running together with outstanding blocking by Cole Birk and Curtis Coe to move the ball to 1 where Felts took it over for the first score of the night with 28 seconds left in the 3rd quarter. The ensuing kickoff saw great downfield coverage by O'Neal and Alan Shults as they stopped one of the best kick returners for no gain at the 18-yard line.
The Red Wolves created a big break as Cole Birk recovered a fumble at the 39 and the Red Wolves were in business again. A nice run by O'Neal and a great catch by Brett DeVries moved the ball to the 18 when Cody Pettersen took the reverse and with some nifty moves took it all the way to the 2.
From there, O'Neal took it right up the middle for the touchdown to close the gap to 22-14 with 8:20 to play in the game. It was a great way to capitalize on the fumble recovery and good field position.
Skyline then put together their only offense of the second half as they drove 83 yards for the score. The drive, helped by a couple of unfortunate defensive penalties to keep the drive alive, was capped off by a 52-yard toss from Brian Foreman to Joey Vieceli to increase their lead to 29-14 with 6:25 to play in the game.
Cedarcrest started opening up the offense as McDonald hit DeVries and Zack Taylor with critical passes and moved the ball down to put more points on the board. McDonald went across on a 2-yard sneak to cap off the 80- yard drive with 1:05 to play, bringing the score to 29-21.
The ensuing on-side kick was recovered by Skyline at the 49-yard line. After taking the snap and downing the ball, the Red Wolves used their remaining time outs to force the punt and get the ball back with only two seconds remaining.
The last gasp play gained yards, but came up short of mid-field as the clock ran out. Great game against the defending State 3A champions, great comeback, they'll get them next time.
Next game is Friday, Sept. 21, at Bellevue against the Wolverines (2-0). If the Red Wolves (1-1) can get the offense moving in the first half, this should be a great contest against two teams moving in the right direction. Go Red Wolves!