Mount Si falls short against Totems

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The Mount Si Wildcats varsity football team added another mark to the loss column last week against Sammamish in a 19-13 Homecoming defeat. Despite the festive mood and Homecoming activities, the faces of many of the Wildcats' players were long with disbelief at the end of the game.

The difference in the game was the inability of Mount Si to score while within yards of the end zone. In two drives the Wildcats had nearly reached the end zone - one time within a foot of the goal line - but could not break the plane on either attempt.

The first quarter was a struggle with both teams having to punt on several possessions.

Sammamish, after a sack by the Wildcats' Phil Collins, could not convert deep in the red zone for the score. Runs by Michael Keller and Brandon Sales moved the ball down the field effectively as the first quarter drew to a close. A Keller rush up the middle moved the ball to the 1-yard line. Finally, on third-and-one, the Wildcats fumbled with a Sammamish player recovering the ball in the end zone for a touchback.

The Totems began their drive on their own 20-yard line with 8:40 left in the second quarter. Slightly more than four minutes later they found the end zone on a swing pass to Reid McCann. The extra point found the uprights and the Totems led 7-0 with four minutes left on the clock in the half.

The only other excitement in the first half was a snap by Mount Si to punter Eric Tierney. The ball fell out of his hands and with a rush of Totems, Tierney had to run to get the kick away. The Totems did appear to score again before the half but a holding call brought the ball back to mid-field. The Totems then tried a field goal from the 35-yard line but failed as the half wound to a close.

Following halftime activities it didn't take long for the Totems to notch another touchdown. They found the end zone on a 53-yard pass from Sammamish quarterback Lyndon Estill to McCann for another touchdown. A flag was thrown on the play giving the Mount Si sideline hope that a holding call would bring it back, but the penalty was waived off to solidify the touchdown. The Totems then went for a two-point conversion but the Wildcat defense held strong, stopping the extra point attempt. The score with 10:03 left in the third quarter was 13-0.

After a sack of Mount Si quarterback Alex Smart by the Totems, the Wildcats were forced to punt, setting up another Sammamish scoring drive. Despite tackles by Michael Gavronski, the Totems moved the ball deep into Mount Si territory. On the Wildcat 14-yard line offsetting personal fouls were called. Three plays later they found the end zone again. The extra point kick was blocked but the score still stood at 19-0.

On their next drive the Wildcats were again forced to punt but an interception by Alex Grazda of a Totem pass gave the offense new hope that they might put some points on the board. Passes by Smart to Tierney and Ben Kruze moved the ball into Sammamish territory. A run by Keller moved the ball closer to the end zone, then with 2:09 left in the third, the Wildcats' Cody Hyatt scampered around the right side for the score. Chris Brown's extra point attempt was blocked, but Mount Si was on the board 19-6.

Mount Si would get another chance to score in the fourth quarter as Smart orchestrated a promising drive. On a fourth-and-one play, Smart kept the ball to get the first down, moving closer to the Totems' end zone. Unfortunately the drive stalled on the Totems' one-foot line with Sammamish eventually taking the ball over on downs at their own four with seven minutes left in the game.

Mount Si would score one more time as Tierney caught a pass across the middle followed by the extra point by Brown making the final score 19-13.

"We have four downs on the one-foot line and we have to be able to score," said a frustrated Mount Si coach Charlie Kinnune. "Then we fumbled in the end zone. We had the ball right there.

"They covered our tight end all night and we go to run it over him because they have been soft over the tight end then they blitz us and stuff it. We looked good on the run, but we have to have the ball. They just ran it down our throat and we can't stop the run. We get down to the point where we have to make a play and we can't. We can't stop the run and that clicks time, they ate massive amounts of time off the clock," he added.

Mount Si plays at 7:30 p.m. at Issaquah Friday. Issaquah is 9-0 in action this season and has already clinched a postseason playoff berth.

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