Frustration continued to mount for Issaquah on Friday night.
Four consecutive second-half drives placed the Eagles inside Eastlake’s 30 yard line, and four straight times they were turned away.
Issaquah quarterback Ryan Bergman made up his mind there wouldn’t be a fifth denial.
“I was pretty much just determined that we were going to win the game,” Bergman said.
Trailing 13-7, with 7:40 left, the senior marched the Eagles 58 yards, completing two third-down passes, and a crucial fourth and 11 laser to wide receiver Evan Peterson. Junior Taylor Wyman capped the 13-play drive off with a 2-yard touchdown run with 3:19 left.
“We knew that could have been our season,” said Wyman, who carried the ball 29 times for 127 yards. “If we didn’t score we might not be able to make it to state or finish any of our goals.”
Kicker Gavin Shumaker’s ensuing PAT gave Issaquah the go-ahead point in an eventual 14-13 victory.
“This is a big win in our division,” Issaquah head coach Chris Bennett said. “It puts us at 2-0 and lets us control our own destiny, and that’s big.”
The stakes were equally as high for Eastlake, which entered the game 0-1 in the KingCo Crest.
“That was tough,” said Eastlake head coach Gene Dales, of the loss. “I felt like our kids played extremely hard.”
The Wolves took their first lead of the game on the first play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter. Running back Cameron Hunt took a sweep to the right side, broke the first wave of Eagle defense and cut back to the center of the field for a 72-yard TD. A missed extra point from Devon DeAlteriis left the Wolves with a 13-7 lead at the 11:34 mark of the fourth quarter.
“As quickly as we got the momentum it was semi-deflated with the missed extra point,” Dales said.
Even after Issaquah scored its go-ahead TD, Eastlake was still in the game. Starting at their own 31 with 3:14 left, quarterback Kelby McCorkle broke free for a 19-yard run, bringing the Wolves to midfield. A 14-yard holding penalty on the next play, however, seemed to throw Eastlake out of whack. Two short runs left the Wolves in a 3rd and 17. In an attempt to catch Issaquah off guard, Eastlake ran a reverse pass with McCorkle handing off to back-up quarterback Keegan Kemp. The sophomore’s pass sailed down the left sideline, directly into the hands of Eagle defender Mitchell Bair.
“There aren’t really a whole lot of great 3rd and 17 plays with the clock winding down,” Dales said. “I guess I didn’t really have any more plays in my bag of tricks.”
Issaquah jumped out to the first lead of the game. After receiving the opening kickoff, the Eagles marched 80 yards on 12 plays. Wyman, who is filling in for injured senior Grant Gellatly, had six carries for 64 yards on the drive. He capped it off with a 2-yard score, and a 7-0 lead at the 6:57 mark of the first quarter. Gellatly, who entered the game for one play on the drive, didn’t run the ball, but completed a halfback pass to Bergman for 14 yards.
Eastlake knotted the game in the second quarter when Hunt, who had 14 carries for 147 yards, took a pitch for a 57-yard score up the right sideline.
Issaquah improved to 2-0 in league and 3-2 overall with the win. The Eagles travel to face Redmond (1-1, 1-4) next Friday.
“Our kids played with a lot of guts tonight and that’s what it takes,” Bennett said. “A lot of these guys have been there in pressure situations and we’re getting better, we really are. This will go a long way for their confidence to win a game like this.”
Eastlake fell to 0-2 in league and 3-2 overall. The road doesn’t get any easier for the Wolves who host Skyline (2-0, 4-1) next week.
“We’re going to be like everybody else in the state and get ready to play the team everybody has picked to win it all,” Dales said.