'Cats crown Knights

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Mount Si once again showed that it has the heart and will to win by

defeating the Newport Knights 21-7. Newport, which had a 5-2 record

going into last Friday's contest, failed to generate any substantial rushing

yardage. And the Knights defense could not hold back the surging runs of

Austin Bachelder and Michael Dollinter.

Mount Si opened receiving the ball to start the game. Runs by

Dollinter and Bachelder pushed the offense quickly to the Newport 20-yard

line. But from there, Byron Dill threw an interception to stop the advance.

But the turnover was fruitless for the Knights who went four and out due

to great inside tackling and a hit by Chad Mills to stuff an option play.

On the very next Mount Si drive, starting from the Newport 45, the

tandem of Dollinter and Bachelder went to work. Gaining yardage on

each rush, the ball was moved down the field with Dill throwing in a pass

to Mills to keep the defense honest. With fourth and 3 looming on the

Newport 15-yard line, Dollinter broke through the middle and gained the first

down. Three plays later, from 5 yards out, Bachelder punched it across the

goal line for the touchdown. The extra point kick was good giving the Wildcats

a 7-0 lead with 5:24 left in the first quarter.

Newport would score next to even the ball game. Starting from its

own 47-yard line the team moved quickly into Mount Si territory. With the

defense playing tough, it looked as though the drive had failed as a

wide-right field goal attempt ended the drive. But a roughing the kicker

call gave the Knights a first down on the Mount Si 7-yard line. One play

later, they found the end zone and evened the score.

The Wildcats, feeling the pressure of a tie ballgame, went to work

and moved the ball down to the Newport 29. From there, Dill rolled out,

looking for a receiver, and found Tyler Osborn all alone on the 2-yard

line. Osborn made the easy catch and trotted into the end zone for the

touchdown. Brett Berbstrom's extra point kick was good, making the score

14-7 with 7:10 left in the second quarter.

On the next drive, it appeared that Newport would even the score

again. From its own 39 with fourth and 1 staring it in the face, the Newport

rushing game broke one free and headed to the end zone. But a clipping

penalty brought it back, forcing a punt.

Nearing the end of the first half, the Wildcats would once again

move into Newport territory. With seconds ticking down, Bergstrom tried a

kick from nearly 50 yards out. The ball was long enough but went left of the

uprights. Heading to the locker room, the Wildcats led 14-7.

In the second half the Wildcat defense dominated the game. A punt

by the Knights and turnover on downs were fitting ends to their first

two drives.

The Wildcats, on the other hand, could have recorded touchdowns

all day. Again the tandem of Bachelder and Dollinter moved the ball to

the Newport 20 from their own 30-yard line. On first and 10, from 20

yards out, Dill found a waiting Bergstrom in the end zone for the touchdown

reception. The extra point was good making the score 21-7 with 11:56

left in the game. Great punts by Tim Hole kept the Knights pinned down in

their own territory for the rest of the game. They even tried the shotgun

formation but to no avail as the Mount Si defense showed great pass coverage.

Tackles by Geoff Hise, Brad Connor, Dylan Seubert, Brad Davis and

Paul Bartholomew kept the Newport offense guessing as to which play

would work.

Finally, as the clock ticked down, it began to sink in that the

Wildcats would be the victors. A ceremonial dousing of Gatorade on coach

Charlie Kinnune by several players highlighted the closing seconds.

A big part of the Wildcat running game has been Dollinter. "It was a

total team effort, our line blocked 'til the whistle blew, and with Austin

getting all those runs before me, it was awesome," said Dollinter. But it was

also sinking in that this would be the last time that many on the team would

play on the Mount Si field. "It feels great, but I wish it wasn't over,"

added Dollinter.

Another person feeling the sorrows of a last home game on

the Mount Si grass was third-generation Wildcat player Chad Mills.

"We started off good early with a couple of good catches, good

momentum," said Mills after the game "It

feels great to go out with a victory." But when asked when another Mills

might play on the field at Mount Si, Mills replied, "My brothers have to

worry about that, it will be a few years."

"What a great way for our seniors to go out on our home field. I'll

tell you we have a lot of momentum," said coach Kinnune. "Our defense set

the tone and we play tough. When people run right at us we are awful tough.

We are excited about one more week of practice and end up with a great

game next Friday night."

"The kids have been practicing hard. This is a team that has

bought into the fact that they are not going to the playoffs, we are playing for

pride, and that's really what you're playing for anyway.

"We feel really good about our chances next week, we have

been practicing good, and that's what it takes this time of year no matter

where you are at."

Mount Si will take on Cedarcrest at Tolt Friday. Game time is 7:30

p.m. The Valley Cup championship trophy, sponsored by the Valley Record, is

up for grabs, with the Red Wolves having won it last year.


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