Issaquah (2-2, 1-0) VS. Roosevelt (3-1, 0-1) @ Memorial Stadium, Friday, 5 p.m.
Tempering excitement off a big win is one of the most difficult jobs a prep coach faces.
For Issaquah head man Chris Bennett, that challenge is now unavoidable.
The Eagles thrashed previously unbeaten Newport 48-28 last week in the 4A KingCo Crown Division opener for both teams, and the final score still didn’t do justice to Issaquah’s dominant night.
“That was definitely a shocker for us, a little bit,” Bennett said of the lopsided result. “We just let our kids play football and I’m really proud of how they held up physically.”
Senior quarterback Jack Neary had what Bennett called, “his best night as an Issaquah Eagle,” in the win, throwing four scores and more importantly, keeping plays alive downfield with his legs when protection broke down around him.
“That was just something he hadn’t shown,” Bennett said. “He is a bigger kid, more of a pocket kid, but he did a great job extending plays.”
If Neary and his corps of pass catchers (Bennett said he believes he can go six-deep at wide receiver) can continue to operate with such efficiency, defenses will be put in a difficult position, given the Eagles also boast standout all-conference performer Jack Gellatly at running back.
“All those guys catch balls and they all have their own little niche,” he said. “They are just a nice group.”
The task this week is a Roosevelt team that has allowed more than 16 points only once this year, in last week’s 36-0 loss to Skyline. In the other three games thus far in 2013, the Roughriders have allowed 10 points per contest.
After watching Newport perhaps underestimate his own team last week and pay a heavy price in a blowout loss, Bennett said he hopes the lesson was filed away with his players.
“You want them to play with that confidence,” he said. “The theme of this week is validating that win.”