Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography Eastlake Wolves senior receiver Jaxon Williams hauled in three touchdown receptions from quarterback Connor Brown in the season opener against the Issaquah Eagles. Eastlake defeated Issaquah 42-14 on Sept. 1 at Gary Moore Stadium in Issaquah.

Wolves cruise to victory against Eagles in opener

The Eastlake Wolves very first offensive play from scrimmage against the Issaquah Eagles in the season opener on the gridiron didn’t go according to plan.

Eastlake Wolves’ junior quarterback Connor Brown, who was making his first-ever varsity start, was sacked after being hit directly in the chest on a bone-crushing sack by Issaquah right defensive end Max Dalquist.

The early game setback didn’t phase Brown.

Brown shook off the big hit and was the best player on the field for the rest of the game. Brown connected on six touchdown passes, leading the Wolves to a convincing 42-14 victory against the Eagles in the season opener on Sept. 1 at Gary Moore Stadium in Issaquah. Brown connected with speedster Jaxon Williams on three of his touchdown tosses. The Wolves’ signal caller also hooked up with Wolves’ wide receiver Hank Pladson on two touchdown passes and hit Nate Sutter for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Williams wasn’t surprised to see Brown click on all cylinders in his first game under the bright glare of Friday night lights.

“It was just awesome,” Williams said. “We knew what was coming for him. All summer he has just been putting in work. The fact that he got six [touchdown passes] tonight just shows what kind of quarterback he is. We were really excited to see him throw.”

Williams speed was on display on all three of his touchdown catches (38 yards, 63 yards and 29 yards).

“I was able to create separation and use my speed well tonight,” he said.

Pladson’s athletic ability was evident on both of his touchdowns. Pladson hauled in a 12-yard touchdown reception courtesy of a one-handed grab with 9:49 left in the third quarter. Pladson’s second touchdown came on a screen pass where he dove successfully for the pylon for a 11-yard touchdown score with 4:47 to go in regulation.

Brown said the Wolves took advantage of Issaquah’s man-to-man pass defense.

“I knew that we had playmakers,” Brown said. “I just had to get them the ball. I knew they were going to make plays and beat their man. [Issaquah] came out in man coverage. No one could cover Jaxon and definitely no one in the [KingCo] league can cover Hank. I had all the confidence in them and in my offensive line. Hank is a freak. That one-handed catch in the corner, that was a mediocre throw but an extraordinary catch. He is playmaker. That is what he is. He doesn’t get enough recognition for that.”

Brown also connected with Sutter on a perfectly thrown 22-yard touchdown strike on a fade route with 6:55 left in the second quarter. Eastlake head coach Don Bartel couldn’t have been more impressed with Brown’s performance.

“He did all the things that you wanted him to do,” Bartel said of Brown. “He had a great presence in the pocket and he made progressive reads. When he threw the ball, he threw it so strong. There were a couple of times where [Issaquah] got loose with some pressure and got him (first play of the game). It didn’t faze him.”

Issaquah was led by the gritty performance from junior quarterback Trevor Morine. Morine had two rushing touchdowns for the Eagles and continually had success with his legs against the formidable Eastlake defensive front.

“We just sat in base (defense) and learned our lessons the hard way. We gave up 14 [points] and that kid (Morine) punished us a little bit,” Bartel said.

The Wolves will face the Woodinville Falcons in a Class 4A KingCo showdown at 7 p.m. on Sept. 9 at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell. Woodinville was one of only three teams that defeated Eastlake during the 2016 season.

“I’m pumped,” Brown said. “They got us last year. I think honestly we are just as good as last year, if not better. I know they haven’t lost much either. It is going to be a good game. We’re excited.”

Bartel concurred with his signal caller’s assessment of the matchup against the Falcons.

“What a great test it is for us,” Bartel said. “Week 2 lets go after the big dog and finds out how good we are. I’m excited to watch film and see where they (Woodinville) are at. I have heard that they look good. It is going to be great for us. We are going to love it. Saturday night at Pop Keeney, it’s going to be perfect.”

More in Sports

Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography
                                The Garfield Bulldogs defeated the Eastside Catholic Crusaders 13-10 in double overtime in a Class 3A football quarterfinal matchup on Nov. 17 at Memorial Stadium in Seattle. The Crusaders finished the 2017 season with an overall record of 10-1. Eastside Catholic sophomore tight end DJ Rogers, left, gets tackled by Garfield defensive back Tre’Shaun Harrison, right, during the game on Nov. 17.
Bulldogs defeat Crusaders in Class 3A quarterfinals

The Garfield Bulldogs defeated the Eastside Catholic Crusaders 13-10 in double overtime… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
                                The Issaquah Eagles girls soccer team hoists the championship trophy following their 2-1 victory against the Central Valley Bears in the Class 4A girls soccer state title game on Nov. 18 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
Issaquah earns state soccer championship

In the immediate seconds following the final whistle signaling the end of… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography
                                Eastside Catholic Crusaders safety Malik Putney, right, makes a tackle against the O’Dea Fighting Irish in a contest earlier this season.
Putney patrols the secondary with passion

The last line of defense for the Eastside Catholic Crusaders football team… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Susan Schlepp
                                Skyline senior Geneva Schlepp, left and Issaquah senior Sami Corman, right, put together prolific performances at the Class 4A girls state Cross Country meet Nov. 4 at Willows Run Golf Course in Pasco. Schlepp captured fifth place with a time of 18:01.3. Corman earned ninth place with a time of 18:27.3. Issaquah’s Kenna Clawson earned eighth place individually with a time of 18:25.2.
Cross Country athletes thrive at Class 4A state championships

Skyline senior Geneva Schlepp, left and Issaquah senior Sami Corman, right, put… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Troy Anderson
                                The Eastlake Wolves girls and boys Cross Country teams were well represented at the Class 4A state meet on Nov. 4 at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco. Eastlake senior Nate Pendleton captured fourth place in the Class 4A boys division, clocking a time of 15:16.40. Eastlake senior Brooke Manson captured 20th place in the Class 4A girls division, tallying a time of 18:42.30. Eastlake boys head coach Troy Anderson, Pendleton, Manson, assistant coach Tracy Felton and Eastlake girls head coach Jody Anderson are pictured in the above photo.
Eastlake runners perform well at Class 4A state meet

The Eastlake Wolves girls and boys Cross Country teams were well represented… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of John Fisk
                                The Eastside Catholic Crusaders volleyball team earned fourth place at the Class 3A state volleyball tournament on Nov. 11 at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. Eastside Catholic had an overall record of 2-2 at the state tourney, registering victories against Timberline and Ferndale. The Crusaders lost to Capital in the Class 3A semifinals and Mount Spokane in the third/fourth place contest. Eastside Catholic finished the 2017 season with an overall record of 19-6.
Eastside Catholic captures fourth place at Class 3A state volleyball tournament

The Eastside Catholic Crusaders volleyball team earned fourth place at the Class… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography
                                The Eastside Catholic Crusaders football team defeated Edmonds-Woodway 42-13 in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs on Nov. 10 at Memorial Stadium in Seattle. Crusaders’ sophomore wide receiver Gee Scott Jr (pictured) hauls in a touchdown pass despite tight coverage from an Edmonds-Woodway defensive back in the contest. Eastside Catholic (10-0) will face the Garfield Bulldogs in the Class 3A quarterfinals on Nov. 17 or Nov. 18.
Crusaders cruise past Edmonds-Woodway in first round of state football playoffs

The Eastside Catholic Crusaders football team defeated Edmonds-Woodway 42-13 in the first… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Jim Nicholson
                                The Skyline Spartans defeated the Bothell Cougars 31-28 in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs at Skyline High School in Sammamish on Nov. 10. Skyline defensive lineman Matthew Cindric (pictured) returns a fumble for a touchdown in the second quarter. Cindric finished the game with a team-high three sacks. Skyline will face Central Valley in the Class 4A quarterfinals on Nov. 17 or Nov. 18.
Skyline conquers Bothell in first round of Class 4A state playoffs

The Skyline Spartans defeated the Bothell Cougars 31-28 in the first round… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
                                Issaquah Eagles players surround goalie Chloe Lang (yellow jersey) after she made two dramatic saves in a penalty kick shootout against the Puyallup Vikings. The Eagles outscored the Vikings 3-2 in the overtime shootout to capture a victory in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs.
Eagles prevail against Vikings in overtime thriller

The entire Issaquah Eagles girls soccer squad made a beeline for goalie… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography
                                The Skyline Spartans girls soccer team registered a 2-0 victory against the Rogers Rams in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs on Nov. 8 at Skyline High School in Sammamish. Skyline senior midfielder McKenna Ross, left, dribbled the ball down the field while being chased by a Rams player.
Skyline shuts out Rogers in first round of 4A state soccer playoffs

The Skyline Spartans girls soccer team registered a 2-0 victory against the… Continue reading

Crusaders cruise past Roughriders in regular season finale

When it was all over the Eastside Catholic Crusaders football team hoisted… Continue reading

Farr lands coveted coaching position

Eastside Catholic School announced on Oct. 12 that Katie Farr was hired… Continue reading