Sports

Turnover denies Red Wolves overtime victory

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CARNATION Cedarcrest coach Art Kuehn knew what it would

take to beat Issaquah last Friday night: Get senior wide receiver Michael

Smith more involved in the Red Wolves' offense.

That statement rang especially true on the first play of overtime in

Friday's KingCo game against Issaquah. The halfback option pass intended for

junior Nate McLannin was intercepted by the Indians' Torn Applegate deep

in Red Wolf territory.

With Smith out of the game because of dizziness, Issaquah's

Austin Rupe stepped into his defensive zone and caught a 25-yard pass on the

very next play to cap a dramatic comeback by the Indians.

The 20-14 defeat was the third straight for Cedarcrest and the

12th loss in a row over two seasons.

The Red Wolves led 14-6 beginning the fourth quarter and

seemed headed for the winner's circle for the first time in 23 months. That's

when the Indians mounted a fourth-quarter drive the length of the field on an

exhausted Red Wolf squad. Issaquah scored on a one-yard TD plunge.

The two-point conversion tied the score and sent the game into an extra

period.

Smith attracted at least two Issaquah defenders all-night and

finished the evening with just three receptions for 53 yards, including a

27-yard touchdown catch in the opening stanza.

"He should have had 18 catches (after the first two games),"

Kuehn said before Friday's emotional home game at Howard Miller Field.

"We need to get him (Smith) the ball. We're trying to find more ways to put the

ball in his hands."

Smith was a first-team all league selection last season on a team that

finished without a win in nine KingCo 3A conference games.

Kuehn said his inexperienced offensive line must give his

quarterbacks more protection to help Cedarcrest's spread offense. His version of a

pro-spread offense uses three and four wide-outs and only one running back.

McLannin punted seven times against Issaquah, averaging

32-yards per attempt. The Red Wolves' offense was hampered by five turnovers,

including three interceptions.

"It was a long night for both of our quarterbacks," said Kuehn,

referring to junior Nick Rich and senior Casey Peterson. The coach indicated the

pair would probably split playing for the remainder of the KingCo

schedule. Each of the quarterbacks completed only one pass attempt against the

Indians.

Cedarcrest's Jed Dern scored on a 72-yard counterplay early in the

third quarter to build on Cedarcrest's 7-6 half-time advantage. The 5-10

junior finished with eight carries for 91 yards. Dern completed his only pass

attempt, the first quarter scoring strike to

Smith. He also led the defense with eight unassisted tackles.

Junior Darrin Carrido sat out Friday's game with a broken

collarbone suffered against Sammamish.

After starting the season with two consecutive lopsided losses,

followed by last week's heartbreaker to Issaquah, it is hard to believe that

the Red Wolves are now just beginning the toughest part of their KingCo

schedule. Over the next 14 days Cedarcrest will go on the road to take on the

undefeated Bellevue Wolverines before returning to the Valley for

homecoming on Oct. 8, when they host the powerful Islanders from Mercer

Island.

Friday's clash in the shadow of Bellevue Square will match

the Wolves against the power running attack of Bellevue High. The

Wolverines trounced Liberty 40-9 last week, scoring 40 consecutive points,

including 111 yards and two touchdowns by Cory Stosich as Bellevue piled up

369 yards on the ground.

Wolverine fullback Lane Johnson continued his scoring frenzy

with touchdowns on runs of 1 and 9-yards, plus a 19-yard TD reception.

Johnson has scored nine touchdowns in the past two conference games.

"I would feel much better about going up against Bellevue if our

linemen could add about 30 pounds and four inches each before game

time," said Kuehn. "That probably won't happen, so we'll spend this week

trying to come up with something that will knock their locomotive off

its track."

Johnson scored twice in last year's late October game that ended in a

49-14 win for Bellevue. The Wolverines run the potentially lethal "Wing T"

offense. Smith is expected to be back at full strength for this Friday's

league game.

"If we survive this week, things should really be looking up,"

Smith told The Valley Record. "The seniors on this team have waited a long

time for a win. They worked hard against Issaquah and deserve a real win."

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