September 23, 2002
Red Wolves ambushed by Indians late in game
by Doug Sage
Valley View Sports Reporter
The Cedarcrest Red Wolves took one on the chin late in the game as the Issaquah Indians scored three times in the last 10 minutes to pull away from the Red Wolves and post a 34-14 victory.
In their first home game of the season last Friday night, the Red Wolves football team looked sharp in their new home uniforms, and the band, directed by Ryan Lewis, was the best sounding band I had heard this early in the season in years. The cheerleaders, the drill team and the dance team kept the crowd enthusiastic throughout the entire game.
The game started slowly with both teams' opening drives stalling on 4th down plays deep in opponent's territory. Cedarcrest moved with purpose down the field on their second possession to score on a shifty 10-yard run by Tommy Harding. Running the option, quarterback Manin DuBois pitched to Harding who was chased back to the 12 where he eluded a would-be tackler and sprinted to pay dirt for the game's first score.
Not to be outdone, Issaquah came back for a 21-yard touchdown pass to tie the score early in the second quarter. Cedarcrest then took the ensuing kickoff and struck quickly as Dubois hit wide receiver Russell McGinnis who made a great grab in traffic, broke a tackle and sprinted 26 yards to midfield. Completing the quick strike, DuBois dropped straight back and with great protection from Vong Ly, Robbie Westerman and Coy Chittenden, found Petterson streaking down the middle of the Indians' zone. A perfect pass hit him in stride at the 35 and he sprinted 50 yards untouched for the go-ahead score. Kyle Eldred made his second PAT and the Red Wolves had a 14-7 lead with 7:50 remaining in the first half.
The Indians' methodical march on their next drive ended on a 4-yard run to pay dirt on a nice sweep right for the tying score with 3:34 to play in the half.
Looking for more points, Cedarcrest kept their high-flying offense in gear.
Unfortunately, Dubois' pass on first down was intercepted and returned it to the 40 to set up what looked like the go-ahead points for Issaquah.
Cedarcrest found inspiration deep inside as they held the high powered Indians' offense out of the end zone for the next three minutes. Left with 4th and goal from the 10, Issaquah lined up for a go-ahead field goal. The 27-yard field goal try never made it to the cross bar and the Red Wolves dodged a huge bullet to keep the score knotted at 14 at the intermission. What Issaquah hoped would be a momentum shift their way, turned for the Red Wolves as they went into the locker room on a positive note. Led by Cody Petterson's 7 catch, 146- yard half, the Red Wolves had reason to believe they would be in this game to the end.
In the second half, Issaquah moved their linebackers and safeties deep to take away the deep throws by Cedarcrest, so Tommy Harding and the offensive line went to work on a ball control running game. Harding (17 carries, 94 yards, 1 TD) and the offense moved the ball smartly down field.
Taking advantage of the soft middle of the Indians' defense and the tough blocking of the interior line, Harding rushed for 77 yards in the second half to lead the Cedarcrest offense.
Taking their first shot at Petterson in the second half proved costly as DuBois was picked again by the deep dropping linebackers and returned to the Cedarcrest 34.
Derrick Foote stopped that Issaquah drive with an interception of his own on a nice tip as he defended the pass and caught the ball as he was lying on his back at the 18.
After an exchange of punts and the change of quarters, Issaquah found themselves with a 3rd and 15 on their own 29. Ferguson took the inside flanker screen from Kramer and rambled 48 yards to the Cedarcrest 29 setting up the 4-yard scoring run by Blake Stern. A low snap on the PAT and the try bounced off the crossbar leaving the score at 20-14 with 9:01 to play in the game.
Jake Ballingham picked up the short kickoff and returned it 14 yards to the 32-yard line where Cedarcrest set up once again. This drive proved costly as DuBois' pass to Petterson deep down the middle was incomplete.
Unfortunately, the safety got there just as the ball did and Cody was down on the turf for several minutes with the wind knocked out of him. Petterson walked off the field under his own power, but it looked like more than the wind was knocked out of the Red Wolves. After dropped passes and a short punt the Indians knew how to administer the knockout punch as they completed a 37-yard touchdown with 6:34 to go in the game. The Indians scored one more time to make the final score 34-14.
Petterson returned to the game, but by then the outcome had been determined. Cedarcrest played well, but just could not overcome the hole they dug for themselves with turnovers, dropped passes and missed assignments.
Coach Eric Hansen of the Red Wolves said after the game, "I think the football team is still performing very well. We played great football for 38 minutes. Late in the game the Indians made some plays, we had some breakdowns, and the wheels came off. We're going to use this to motivate ourselves and get better."
Next up, the Mercer Island Islanders play hosts to the Red Wolves providing their field is ready for play. Check out Redwolvesfootball.com for the latest information about where and when this game is to be played. The Red Wolves defeated the Islanders last year to kick off their season, and hope to keep their winning streak alive against the team from the Rock.