Red Wolves prepare for season opener

Cedarcrest gained some much-needed game experience last week

as the Red Wolves prepared to open their third year as a member

of the 3A KingCo conference Thursday night against Newport.

Coach Art Kuehn was pleased with the way his young team

performed against two 4A schools at the annual jamboree held

Friday, at Skyline High School on the Sammamish Plateau. Both

opponents ran option offenses, which Kuehn believes will help the

Wolves prepare for Newport's wishbone.

Cedarcrest held Woodinville scoreless during the scrimmage,

and then executed well on offense to score on the more physical


"Woodinville has the numbers, both in terms of players

and experience," Kuehn said. "Our defense did a good

job of shutting down Woodinville's Wing T option offense."

The coach praised the work of both quarterbacks, senior Casey

Peterson and junior Nick Rich. Cedarcrest scored on an acrobatic

catch by senior wide-out Michael Smith. The Red Wolves ground

game clicked behind the blocking of senior Ryan Sage and the

running of junior Darrin Carrido.

During the second scrimmage, the Cedarcrest defense shut down

the Fly offense of Central Kitsap High. KingCo foes Liberty and

Issaquah will be running similar offensive schemes this season.

Kuehn was especially pleased with the play of linebackers Ted

Durn and Matt Cain.

The linebacker corps will play a key role if Cedarcrest hopes

to stop Newport's potent wishbone attack Thursday night at Howard

Miller Field in Carnation.

The Knights scored seven touchdowns without the aid of a

forward pass last year, when they beat the Red Wolves 49-28 in

the third game of the season.

This year's team from Newport will be relying on senior

running back Tripper Johnson to help the squad rebound from

1998's mediocre 6-3 record. Johnson led the Knights as a junior

last year with 897 yards rushing, 10 touchdowns and kicked 27

extra points He had 61 tackles and three interceptions for

Newport on defense.

The Knights will have five starters returning on each side of

the line of scrimmage. The Red Wolves will need to expose the new

players in the Knights' defense if they hope to upset Newport at

home on Thursday.

"I know the players are excited about opening the season

in front of friends and family," said Kuehn. "But

honestly, it does not matter to me if we play them at home or on

the turf field in Bellevue. We still need to find a way to stop

the option offense, then take the ball back, turn around and

score ourselves."

Newport's 80 wins during the 1990s are 26 more than any other

team in the KingCo conference. Bellevue ranks second during the

decade with 54 victories.

Thursday's game is scheduled to start at 7:30pm. The game was

rescheduled from Friday in respect for the Jewish holiday of Rosh

Hashanah that begins at sundown on Friday.

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