Wildcats demolish 4A Garfield, Newport next

The Mount Si Wildcats' football team went to Memorial Stadium last Friday night looking to make quick work of the winless Garfield Bulldogs in advance of this week's big game with Newport. Without their star, Brandon Yakaboski, in uniform, that is exactly what they did and as a result, the future got a chance to shine. Yakaboski suffered a hip injury against Issaquah last week but is expected to be ready for Newport this week.

Dan Reeves scored two touchdowns and Ian Atkinson threw two touchdown passes of his own and scored another on the ground as the Wildcats took care of Kingco 4A Garfield 35-0 in the nonleague game.

"We didn't play as well as we could have but a win's a win, said wide receiver Sean Bothell. "But, we got some players in there that need to see the field every once in a while and we need to play a lot better against Newport this week," he added.

Things started quickly in the first quarter for the Wildcats. An excellent punt return deep into Bulldog territory set up the opening score. Atkinson fired his first touchdown pass, a 10-yarder, to Pat Lehan to put Mount Si on top 7-0 just a few minutes into the game. Later in the quarter, Reeves scored his first touchdown from 13 yards out and the Wildcats were on their way.

The second quarter's only score came when Atkinson fired his second touchdown pass, a 13-yard strike to Brian Olson with about four minutes left to put the Wildcats up 21-0, which was the halftime score.

Mount Si's defense was tough all night and that defense set up the fourth Wildcat score. A third-quarter interception by Mike Ushler was returned by the senior linebacker all the way to the Garfield 7-yard line. Reeves then marched in from 5 yards out for his second touchdown of the game to get Mount Si into the driver's seat for good.

Atkinson's 1-yard running touchdown sealed the scoring with 3:02 left in the third.

According to the senior quarterback, the game was all about one thing. "Mainly, just a matter of execution. We know we have it in us and if we go out and execute, we're going to do good things like we did tonight," Atkinson said.

The Wildcats, with the big lead and it being a nonleague game with no bearing on the Kingco 3A standings, were able to rest their star-running back Yakaboski. This allowed the team to bring in some of their younger reserve players, such as sophomore Tyson Riley and junior Evan Aaltonen, who replaced Atkinson at quarterback in the fourth quarter. "We graduate 26 seniors and this coaching staff would be irresponsible if we did not find ways to get our young kids in game-like situations, so we're working hard to do that," Wildcat coach Charlie Kinnune said.

Bothell praised the younger players. "They're doing good. They're stepping up, backers are filling the holes, hitting hard and our coverage was great tonight. No deep balls on us," Bothell said.

Mount Si's final Kingco 3A road game of the year is this Friday at Newport at 7:30 p.m. This appears to be another must-win game on the road for the Wildcats in order for them to maintain their second-place standing in the conference.

Kinnune says his team is ready. "We have a big showdown and we're battle-tested. We feel we have that going into that game," Kinnune said.

Yakaboski is expected to be back for this contest. Fans going to the game should know the school campus is currently under construction, so parking may be limited.

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