Wildcats demolish Totems in first league game

SNOQUALMIE - The Mount Si Wildcats opened their new stadium in style last week, showing they are a force to be reckoned with in Kingco. They crushed the Sammamish Totems 65-0 in front of a few thousand hometown spectators.

It started on the very first play after the kickoff as Brandon Yakaboski, from the Mount Si 30-yard line, powered his way up the middle to the end zone for the first touchdown. Gibson Bardsley added the extra point and the score was 7-0 with only 30 seconds gone from the clock.

The Wildcat defense was a menace for the Totems all night. After three downs, the Totems had to punt and Tyler "Banjo" Littlejohn flew in from his defensive end position to block the kick. D.J. Johnson fell on the ball on the Totem 7-yard line.

The Wildcat offense went right to work and two plays later, Eric Forslin busted his way up the middle into the end zone. Bardsley added the extra point and the score was 14-0.

After the kickoff by Greg Gephart, the Totems started on their own 15-yard line. They went to the air to move the ball down the field, finding limited success. The Wildcats' Sean Bothell picked off a pass to give Mount Si another scoring opportunity. Three plays later, Forslin again busted up the field, around the end and into the end zone for the score. The extra point made the score 21-0 with 6:25 left in the first quarter.

Sammamish tried in vain to put a drive together but the combination of Cary Purchase and Brian Olson on the defensive line was too much. At the start of the second quarter, Mount Si was knocking on the door once again. A pass to Erik Alexander moved the Wildcats deep into Sammamish territory. Great blocking by the offensive line opened a huge hole and Yakaboski wasted no time finding his way to the end zone for another score. The extra point was added and the score was 28-0.

Sammamish tried to get deceptive on the ensuing kick return, working a reverse for a cheap score. Levi Nelson wasn't buying it for the Wildcats, though, and planted the returner deep in his own territory at the 19-yard line.

Purchase was a menace to the Totem running game all night. He alone had 3 1/2 solo tackles and five assists. He also racked up 3 1/2 sacks. The result was a stalled ground game for the Totems.

Mount Si had to settle for a field goal by Bardsley on their next possession, working down to the Totem 7-yard. A penalty stunted the drive.

The Wildcats had another chance near the three-minute mark in the second quarter. A pass interference call on the Totems and subsequent roll out pass from Rollin Smith to Marshall Griffith pushed Mount Si to the 3-yard line. From there, Griffith powered his way into the end zone and with the extra point the score was 38-0.

The Wildcats weren't done yet, though, for the half. Alexander picked off a Totem pass on their 35 and rambled to the end zone. The extra-point snap was bobbled but the score with 3:04 left in the half was 44-0.

On the next Totem drive, with only seconds having ticked away, Purchase forced another fumble and D.J. Johnson picked it up and made his way into the endzone for another touchdown. The extra point was good and Mount Si ended the half 51-0.

The Wildcat defense once again stood their ground with Littlejohn getting a huge sack. On the following punt by the Totems, Alexander turned the corner on the return and, with a key block by Bothell, sprinted to the end zone. The extra point made it a 58-0 ball game.

The last score of the game came on another Purchase defensive play. He once again forced a fumble, and Yakaboski picked it up and ran it in for the touchdown from the Totem 10-yard line.

The havoc generated by Purchase was an obvious snafu in the Totems' game plan.

"I was just firing off the ball quickly and they couldn't stop me," said Purchase after the game. "I was so amped out there and just saw it every time, grabbed cloth and they went down."

Coach Charlie Kinnune enjoyed the grand opening game as well and touted the unity that helped his team win the game.

"We could have rolled up a lot more yards," said Kinnune. "Our offense didn't even touch the field in the third quarter. We wanted to get one more series in because it's early in the season and we are playing in the best league. We need this work."

He was also quick to point out some outstanding performances.

"Erik [Alexander] had a monster game on special teams. There were big holes on the offensive line. Purchase had an awesome game," he added.

Kinnune's game plan worked.

"I was going to come out and do some cute stuff, but I'm not that cute," he said, tongue in cheek. "We ran the three back and felt we could jam it down their throats and I think this proves we are not a bad team."

Mount Si plays the state champ Bellevue Wolverines at home this week. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Friday with the Kiwanis' spaghetti dinner starting at 6 p.m.

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