Knights hand 'Cats another league loss

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BELLEVUE - The King County Journal predicted a win by the Mount Si football team but someone forgot to tell the Newport Knights as they ran away with a victory, 56-26.

The Wildcat defense had a tough time stopping the running game of the Knights as several end-runs and counters squeaked by. When the running game stalled, the Knights went to the air. The Wildcat offense moved the ball effectively on the ground but fell short when it came to scoring at a time when Mount Si desperately needed a league win. They have been so close in so many games but have kept coming up short.

Newport scored first in the game despite defensive pressure from Eric McCammon. Newport's Mujale Chisebuka ran it in from 37 yards out around the right side to get the touchdown. Neal Chalmers added the extra point and Newport was on the board with 3:12 left in the first quarter.

Mount Si answered in the second on a short pass from quarterback Rollin Smith to Brandon Yakaboski, who somehow picked his way through the defense and scampered 65 yards for a touchdown. Chris Brown added the extra point and Mount Si was tied 7-7 early in the second quarter.

McCammon and Adam Rothgeb began to badger the Knights backfield on their next drive but Newport continued to move into Mount Si territory. From 10 yards out, the Knights' Brock Olsesen powered to the end zone. Chalmers added the extra point and the Knights once again took the lead 14-7 with 5:34 left in the second.

The Wildcats went to the ground game in their usual fashion, up the middle and hard hitting. Eric Forslin powered his way into the Knights defense. On second and six, Smith found receiver Eric Meuli heading down field, in stride with open arms. If the turf had not tripped him, Meuli, would have been on his way to the end zone. Mount Si continued its assault toward the end zone, finally getting the touchdown with Forslin busting his way in from two yards out. Chris Brown added the extra point and the score was again tied at 14 each with 3:11 left in the second quarter.

Newport started from their own 26 on the next drive. They quickly moved into Mount Si territory, sitting at the Wildcat 20 with 1:26 left in the second quarter. Chalmers headed for the corner of the end zone, catching a pass from Phil Brown for the touchdown. With the extra point the score was 21-14 as both teams headed for the locker room at halftime.

The second half was all Newport as they scored five more touchdowns. The first came with 5:30 left in the third quarter and with a Phil Brown run, they added the two-point conversion to make the score 29-14. Mount Si answered on one of the best plays of the game. Yakaboski headed for the flat after taking the handoff, then launched a pass to the waiting hands of Meuli, who poured on the speed heading 57 yards to the end zone. The Wildcats tried the two-point conversion but the pass fell incomplete. The score, with 2:33 left in the third, was 29-20 in favor of the Knights.

The knights came back quickly a little more than a minute later as Chisebuka burst through the Wildcat defense again from 38 yards out. Chalmers added the kick and the score was 36-20 with 1:14 in the third.

Mount Si started from their own 20 on the next drive and immediately went to the air. Meuli made a beautiful catch across the middle but a hard-hit popped the ball loose with Newport recovering. Two plays later, the Wildcats recovered a Newport fumble on a reverse at their own 47 yard line. The clock ticked down, ending the third quarter with a score of 36-20. The Wildcats were forced to punt to start the fourth quarter.

Chisebuk added a touchdown to his stats early in the fourth quarter from 44 yards out. Chalmers added the extra point and the Knights had a 43-20 lead. At first it looked as though a flag would bring the run back but the touchdown counted and the flag was on Mount Si as a player was assessed a technical foul and ejected from the game.

The Wildcats took the penalty on the ensuing kickoff, starting on their own 20. Ian Atkinson took over the role of quarterback and immediately went to work. Four passes failed to find their mark but the young quarterback showed his speed and footwork. The Wildcat defense forced a fumble with 10:40 left in the game on their own 35. Several plays later, Cody Hyatt plowed up the middle from 19 yards out for the touchdown to make the score 43-26. The two point conversion pass fell to the ground incomplete.

Newport would add two more touchdowns to the scoreboard in the last six minutes of the game for the final score.

Mount Si hopes to pull out one league win in their final game of the season. They take on Mercer Island, who last week lost to Interlake 41-7. The Islanders have defeated both Sammamish, 34-21 and Newport, 42-27. Game day is Thursday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. at Issaquah High School.

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