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Amazing ride ends for Mount Si football team | Coach: 'They set the tone, forever' | Photo Gallery
The season is over, but the memories will last from the Mount Si football team's journey this season.
The Wildcat varsity team had been on a roll when they arrived at Memorial Stadium, beneath the Space Needle, this past Friday, Nov. 15. They had a three game winning streak, losing only one of their 10 games this season and that to state-champion Bellevue, before taking the field at Seattle Center, cheered by a huge Mount Si band and cheer squad.
Yet the O'Dea Fighting Irish were more than a match, handing the Wildcats a bitter 49-7 loss.
The Mount Si offense was under pressure all night. Quarterback Nick Mitchell did connect with senior Trevor Daniels for Mount Si's lone touchdown of the game, just shy of three minutes into the fourth quarter.
"I didn't want it to end without a touchdown," said Daniels. "I just focused on catching the ball."
Yet the Wildcats couldn't hold off the Fighting Irish's big, fast runners. The Irish offensive line opened holes for junior running back and team captain Myles Gaskin, who repeatedly muscled through the Mount Si defense to move 231 yards and score five times. He helped put O'Dea up 28-0 in the first half.
In the second half, O'Dea's sophomore receiver Bobiono Sims broke away for a big run to the end zone.
After the final buzzer, Mount Si players and coaches emerged from the tunnel, sharing hugs and shedding a few tears for the hopes that had ended. Then, they quietly boarded the bus home.
As he left the field, senior lineman Jack Nordby said he'd miss "All the guys…people I grew up with," and the camaraderie they'd experienced together,
"They set the tone, for forever," head coach Charlie Kinnune said of this group.
Working with this bunch since last winter, "I thought this team was capable of winning ten games," Kinnune said. "We would have, if we hand't run into O'Dea tonight. That is going to be a great game between them and Bellevue."
Going by the stats, this was a memorable year. As their season ends, Mitchell, signed to Oregon, was the league's top passer, shooting for 1,773 yards. You had senior Evan Johnson, who led the league for tackles with 77, and senior Jon Proctor, who led for sacks with 11. Wyatt Baker was third, behind two Bellevue players, for total punt return yardage and had more of them, 13, than anybody. Trevor Daniels was third in league, behind Bellevue's Budda Baker and Lake Washington's Kelly Guy, for kickoff return yardage. Bailey Takacs was the number-three-ranked carrier in the conference. Sean Lowney was the number-two ranked kicker with 49 points.
After last year's Dome-visiting season, "Everyone was counting us out," said Johnson. "They thought we were a one-and-done kind of team. We made sure we worked hard in the off-season, and did everything we could to make this year not a bust…. We didn't get to the Dome. But the coaches prepared us so well for everything. We're blessed to have the opportunities we did. We did so well, coming into the playoffs.
"We wanted to make it as far as we possibly could. It's hard that we lost tonight. But I'm so proud of this team."
Catching from Mitchell this season was a treat, said Daniels.
"You can't really ask for more than a D1 quarterback, going to Oregon state. He's definitely a brother I won't forget."
He will miss the fellowship: "How we came together. We're really a brotherhood. I don't think that'll ever change."
"There's nothing like football. It's more than family," said Johnson. "You know these guys will always be with you. You're always going to remember these moments."
When 2014 comes, Mount Si fans can look forward to a team led by a lot of varsity-experienced players, today's juniors, including Chris Schlicting, Jonathan Hillel, Richard Willard, Sean Hyland, Cam Davis, Deven Lalgee, Andrew Thompson, Anthony Channita, Jason Chapman and Porter McFaddon, among others.
Nick Mitchell hands off to Bailey Takacs. Mount Si's offense was heavily pressured by the Fighting Irish. Photo by Calder Productions.
Mount Si's Jack Nordby heads for his target in an offensive play.
The Mount Si offensive line squares off in the second quarter.
Mount Si's big band entertains at the half.
Left, Beau Daniel, and Jacob Blazevich, center, take the field after the half.
Nick Mitchell practices his throws at the half. The two-year varsity starting quarterback led the league in passing this season.
The Mount Si defensive line collides with O'Dea in the late game.
After the game, heartbreak. Players and coaches commiserate.