November 11, 2002
Red Wolves bring Valley Cup home with victory over Mount Si
by Doug Sage
Valley View Sports Reporter
The Cedarcrest Red Wolves (4-5) finally sang the fight song at home as they triumphed over the Mount Si Wildcats 19-14 in the traditional last game of the year.
In a tradition the team has begun, they gather and sing a hearty round of the fight song to the crowd after every victory. It had not happened at the new field at CHS until the Red Wolves put the finishing touches on their win last Friday night.
The game was all Cedarcrest in the 1st half as they broke out to a halftime lead of 13-0. Mt. Si came back with renewed vigor and took the lead late in the game on a 23-yard touchdown with 7:03 to play in the season. The game was in doubt as the 4th quarter rolled along, when junior WR/QB Russell McGinnis hauled in the game-winning 23-yard touchdown with 3:50 left in the game.
He made a fine juggling catch at the 10, broke a couple of tackles and went into the endzone standing up.
McGinnis said about the game winning catch, "I thought the LB was going to come over and pick it off, but it got through. I juggled it a bit, then I saw the goal line and I was going to get there."
The game started slow with Cedarcrest turning the ball over early, and giving up field position on a long punt return by Mt. Si. The defense led by Alan Shultz stiffened and held and although the Wildcats ran off most of the clock on offense in the 1st quarter, the score was knotted at 0.
Shultz was playing with a fire that burned in all seniors this night. If he wasn't in the backfield sacking the QB, sticking the RB or recovering a fumble, he was on special teams making a big touchdown-saving tackle along the boundary. This was one of the best games Shultz played all year, and it was a fine effort by him and all the seniors on the squad. Dan Merrick played his usual stout defense.
Cody Petterson started the scoring in the second quarter as he hauled in a pass from Manin DuBois for a 39-yard touchdown. Petterson broke inside, then back out and was open in the corner for the score. The PAT was wide right leaving the score 6-0. WR Tyler Connoly was effective on the night, although he did not catch any passes, he ran precise routes and kept up the offensive threat.
Tommy Harding (24 Carries, 102 Yards) came to play in his last CHS game as well. Starting with the running attack, Harding led the offense in the 1st half with 71 yards. In the 2nd quarter, DuBois (12-21, 230, 3 TD, 2 int) led them on a productive march culminating in a 12-yard strike to junior WR Jake Ballingham.
Ballingham hauled in the slant route and broke between the two safeties and wasn't going to be denied his first TD of the year as he dove headlong into the endzone for the score. Derek Foote made the PAT and the score stood at 13-0 at halftime.
The 3rd quarter started slowly and picked up steam after Mt. Si completed a long pass play for a TD to get on the board late in the quarter. Kyle Eldred then put together a 64-yard pass play from DuBois to set up the Red Wolves in scoring territory at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Eldred took an inside flanker screen and broke it straight down the middle as he weaved his way inside the Wildcat 20.
The offensive line of Robbie Westerman, Coy Chittenden, Dasheil Hei, Vong Ly and Russell Knight did a great job keeping the pass rush off DuBois and opening holes for Harding. Not an easy feat since one of the defensive linemen for Mt. Si stood 6'8" and came in close to 350 lbs. He played over Knight most of the game and Knight did a fine job of using technique to keep the big lineman in check.
There are always seniors who don't get much ink throughout the year. Either because of playing non-glamorous positions, or not being high on the depth chart, their contribution to a winning program goes unnoticed, but not unappreciated. These players work hard throughout their careers, and although they may not have gotten very much playing time, their drive and perseverance are invaluable to any football team. Glen Trowbridge played mostly on special teams, and was effective in that role. Alvaro Lira was also on special teams and worked hard on blocking for kick returns. James Harter played DB and he was always ready to go if the coach called on him. Brad Petty played RB and got carries in a few games.
Kyle Pierce saw some of his most prolonged action of the year as he filled in at DE in the first half when Josh Rosen went down with an injury.
After the game, Pierce commented on his senior status and the win. "It was a fun year. I wish the kids coming on good luck next year." Pierce stood his ground as DE against one of the fiercest rushing attacks in the league.
Manin DuBois set a Cedarcrest record for most yards passing in a season with 2,038 this year, breaking Brent Robertson's record.
DuBois was a gifted QB this year, and always found a way to get the ball to his favorite receiver, Cody Petterson. After the game, DuBois (who wouldn't let go of the Valley Cup in the locker room) said that after they went behind 14-13 he said in the huddle, "We're going to go down and score on these guys. We've played too well to let this one slip away." Commenting on the team, he said, "The team showed what we had and that was a lot of heart. That's what we showed on that last drive, and our defense played great."
Cody Petterson said after the game, "I am a senior, my last game, I had to go all out." And go all out he did. As a DE he was in the face of the QB for Mt. Si all night. He tipped passes and generally made life miserable for the Wildcats.
There was one potentially major snafu that occurred late in the ballgame. With Cedarcrest holding to a 13-7 lead, the Red Wolves were driving deep into Wildcat territory. On 2nd down, Petterson ran an out and up route, the DB bit on the out and left the #1 receiver in the state wide open at the goal line.
DuBois lofted a perfect pass right on his hands for what should have been a margin widening lead. As the crowd rose to witness the game being put away by their year-long hero, something strange happened.
Cody dropped the ball. Actually, it was more like it just slipped through his fingers.
After the game, I asked Cody, "So what happened?" To which he replied, "I think I'm allowed to drop one every couple hundred." Yes, son, you are. A remarkable season by Petterson will not be forgotten by anyone in the Valley for a long time to come.
"It was a good win," said Coach Eric Hansen.
This was a terrific year. Not just because there was hardly a drop of rain on any game, but the team played well, they played hard, and we all should be proud of their accomplishments.
It was a fitting end to the season as I walked out of the locker room just as it started to rain. The lights of the new field shone bright in the darkness as the end of the season had arrived.
Congratulations on a great year. I wish all of the players and coaches the best of luck, and Go Red Wolves!!