Wolvesr overcome Wildcats to seize Cup

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SNOQUALMIE—The Valley Cup is alive and well and moving

back down the mountain to Duvall.

The Cedarcrest Red Wolves fought through the elements and ran down

the Mount Si defense to post their second KingCo victory of the season, a

16-7 upset over the Wildcats in the final game of the year for both teams.

The Wolves have now beaten their cross-Valley rivals twice in the past

three years, with both victories coming on the Wildcats' home field.

Head coach Art Kuehn said the team had a great bus ride back

to Duvall.

"I told them to throw out the records and play like there was no

tomorrow," Kuehn said with a smile. "We were in some games this year,

but the team was really focused on Friday. The win helped put the season

a positive light. We won't forget that game."

Senior Eric Dick ran for 120 yards on 20 carries to lead the

Cedarcrest offense on a night that was grounded by strong winds and driving rain.

Senior running back Morgan Henley scored his touchdown in the

second quarter on a five-yard run to knot the score at 7-7.

Cedarcrest's scoring in the second half came compliments of a

57-yard burst by Dick and a wind-aided 27-yard field goal by Ben Frey on the

final play of the third quarter. The Red Wolf defense did their part, forcing

six Wildcat fumbles and then intercepting a fourth quarter pass with less

than two minutes left on the clock to seal the victory. The Wolves converted

two of the turnovers into scores, which gave them their margin of victory.

Five of the Mount Si turnovers were in the so-called

red zone, inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

Mount Si drove 45 yards to open the game possession before losing

the ball on a fumble at Cedarcrest's 20- yard line. Their second possession

was more productive; the home team held the ball for 15 plays before getting

on the scoreboard first, thanks to a nine-yard run by Byron Dill with 7:00

remaining in the second quarter. Mount Si held on to its 7-0 led until the

halftime intermission.

The Wildcats received the second half kickoff, but turned the ball

over two plays later just outside their own 20-yard line. Cedarcrest Coach

Kuehn kept the ball on the ground, handing it to Henley and Dick on four

consecutive running plays. Henley scored Cedarcrest's first points in more

than six quarters with his four-yard run around the left side. Frey's PAT

tied the score.

Cedarcrest got the ball back on a Wildcat punt six minutes later at

their own 43. Dick took an inside handoff on the next play and broke through

the Mount Si defense for the longest running play of the year for the Wolves.

"Eric is pretty fast when he runs straight ahead," said Kuehn. "Once

he got through the line, I didn't think there was anybody out there

who could catch him."

An excessive celebration in the end zone penalized Cedarcrest, and

Frey was forced to attempt his point-after attempt from 28 yards out. He

missed, leaving the Wolves with a six-point lead and 3:37 left in the third

quarter. However, Frey got the chance to redeem himself two minutes later

when the Wolves defense recovered a Wildcat fumble near the Mount Si 30.

Five running plays later, Kuehn called a time-out with his team on the

11-yard line and time running out in the third quarter so Frey could attempt his

field goal with the wind at his back. The three-pointer upped the

Cedarcrest lead to 16-7 with the final 12 minutes of the season left to play.

With the wind blowing in their direction, Mount Si seemed ready

to accept the fourth-quarter challenge and drove the length of the field to

the Cedarcrest 11 before again losing possession of the slippery ball on

a fumble. The Wolves held the ball for only two minutes before fumbling

the it away themselves inside their own 30.

But, penalties and a stiff Cedarcrest defense denied the

home team again. The two teams mucked each other back and forth before a

interception by Red Wolf captain Casey Peterson sealed the game.

The potent Cedarcrest aerial attack was grounded by the

fowl weather. All-KingCo wide receiver

Michael Smith finished the final game of his brilliant high school career with

just one catch for 17 yards, leaving him 200 yards short of his 1,000-yard

goal for the season. In addition to the stellar performance by Dick,

Henley added 64 yards on a dozen attempts.

"I had planned to use a four-back rotation to keep the attack fresh,

but we changed that plan when we saw how well Henley and Dick were

running with the ball," said Kuehn. "We finally found our running game

right when we had to have it."

Credit for the running game, according to Kuehn, should go to

the offensive line - specifically Ryan Sage, Joe Grady and Dan Gunderson -

for opening up holes for the running backs.

The two wins for Cedarcrest were two more than the team posted all

of last season. The Red Wolves and Wildcats finished the year tied for

seventh place with the Liberty Patriots in the 10-team conference. Friday's plus

performance encouraged Kuehn about prospect for next year's

Cedarcrest team. He noted that quarterback Nick Rich will be calling signals full

time and will be throwing to a talented group of receivers.

"You can never replace a talent like Mike Smith, but we have some

players who will make the plays," said Kuehn. "We were pretty limited

on offense this year. Next season we'll open up a bit more and surprise

some people."

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