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'Cats notch sixth win
SNOQUALMIE - Mount Si hosted the Interlake Saints on the new turf last week but showed very little compassion for their visitors, blasting them 43-13.
The Wildcats used a combination of their smash-mouth ground game and spread receivers to immobilize the Saints' defense.
Only 20 seconds into the game, Brandon Yakaboski zipped around the left end, down the sidelines and into the end zone for a touchdown. It was the first play from scrimmage and an indication of things to come. Gibson Bardsley added the extra point and the score was 7-0 in favor of Mount Si.
The defense was stingy on yardage and the line rush was overwhelming for the Saints' offense. Keith Keller, playing outside linebacker, picked off a tipped pass and rambled to the Saints' 25-yard line to give the Wildcats another shot at the end zone.
A pass to Cory Lindberg pushed Mount Si closer to the end zone and picked up the first down. With 7:08 left in the first quarter, quarterback Rollin Smith found Kyle Meuli in the corner for the score. Bardsley added the extra point and the score was 14-0.
The Mount Si defense only let down one time during the game and that was midway through the first quarter. A penalty on the 'Cats pushed the Saints to near mid-field. The Saints offense scrambled for every yard and with 4:30 left in the first quarter, scored on a pass. The extra point was added to make the game 14-7.
It would be the last glimmer of offensive hope for the Saints until near the end of the game as the Wildcat "Meat" squad had defensive duties.
Yakaboski was stellar in his kick returns for Mount Si, with many runs racking up 20 or 30 yards per return. On the next Wildcat possession, passes to Lindberg and Tyler Littlejohn, combined with runs by Eric Forslin and Yakaboski, moved the Wildcats toward the end zone. From six yards out, Forslin pounded his way up the middle for another touchdown. With 2:26 left in the first quarter, Mount Si had a 21-7 lead after Bardsley's extra point.
The Wildcats would answer again near the end of the first quarter. Yakaboski scooted around the end and bolted for the end zone to make the score 28-7 after Bardsley's kick.
Early in the second quarter, Meuli snagged an Interlake pass for an interception but Mount Si was forced to punt with 8:35 left in the second quarter. The hike sailed backward over Littlejohn's head and as he grabbed the bouncing football he was tackled at the Wildcat 9-yard line. But there was a glimmer of light for the Wildcat defense. After four attempts at getting into the end zone by the Saints, the ball turned over on downs. It was a goal-line stand of epic proportions as two quarterback sneaks failed.
The Wildcats scored again as the half was winding down. Forslin, on a power dive, pounded the Saints' linebackers, knocking several backwards. From there it was a burst for the end zone and the touchdown. Bardsley's extra point missed but Mount Si took a 34-7 lead to the locker room at the half.
On the fourth down of their first possession of the half, the Saints made same mistake as the 'Cats. The punt hike flew over the kicker's head but this time it sailed through the back of the end zone for a touchback. The score was 36-7 only minutes into the second half.
Sean Bothell pulled down an amazing leaping interception with 2:33 left in the third quarter. That, combined with runs by Yakaboski, Forslin and Marshall Griffith, and a reception by Meuli, resulted in a touchdown for the Wildcats. Griffith powered his way into the end zone and with Bardsley's kick, the score was 43-7 with 9:14 left in the game. With Mount Si substituting out their starting lineup, the Saints scored a late touchdown with only seconds left on the clock. The extra point was missed for a final score of 43-13.
Yakaboski racked up 248 yards rushing in the contest to maintain his second-best spot in the Kingco rushing standings.
"My line was giving me some big holes so I had some yardage," said Yakaboski. "They had eight in the box so it was hard on the dives so we just moved outside," he added.
He also touted the special teams after racking up 67 return yards.
"Our kick-return team has been working real hard in practice, making some big holes. I just sprint to them and make something happen," added Yakaboski.
Mount Si coach Charlie Kinnune was impressed with the team despite some simple mistakes.
"We got a little sloppy, came out in the second half, dropped the ball that we haven't dropped all year, fumbled a pitch that we haven't fumbled all year," said Kinnune. "We had a bad snap and haven't had anything close to that this year. But there is a little silver lining in all that. Because of the fumbled long snap, we had an opportunity for our defense to put up a goal line stand and it was successful.
"Sometimes you come out of big wins like this over an inferior team with a bad taste in your mouth and I don't have that bad taste. It made me feel like we got better last week, but we have to get even better this week preparing for Liberty," said Kinnune.
Returning to the lineup will be a couple of starters who were absent for the Interlake game. Kinnune is expecting good things from the returning players. "Eric Alexander was out and he will be back, James [McKiernan] is out and will be back. That will help us out, things are going pretty good."
Mount Si takes on Liberty at Liberty this Friday at 7:30 p.m. A win is crucial if Mount Si wants to nail down the second playoff spot behind unbeaten Bellevue.