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Wildcats crush Cedarcrest in annual championship game
DUVALL - Rivalry football games are always a highlight of the season and few rivalries have lasted as long as the one between Cedarcrest (formerly Tolt) and Mount Si. The annual battle dates back to 1945, when the two teams joined the Lakeside league. They have played intermittently since that time with Mount Si winning 16 of its 20 games. Cedarcrest last won in 2002.
This year's battle, was a resounding win for the Wildcats, 70-0. The score, the highest ever for a Wildcat team, included nine offensive touchdowns and one defensive score.
Seven different Mount Si players scored touchdowns with Eric Forslin notching three and Brandon Yakaboski getting two.
The Wildcat offense started at a furious pace on its very first drive with a pass play to the big tight end Tyler Littlejohn from 33 yards out. Gibson Bardsley kicked one of his record-breaking 10 point-after completions to give Mount Si a 7-0 lead.
The Wildcat defensive front of Nick Johnston, Daniel Johnson, Kyle Meyers and Brian Olson wreaked havoc on the Cedarcrest offense from their first drive. The result was Mount Si taking to the field offensively again, this time a pass to Cory Lindberg near the end zone from 10 yards out scored the Wildcats' second touchdown. Bardsley added the point-after and the score, only minutes into the game, was 14-0 in favor of Mount Si.
Kyle Meuli added another touchdown a few minutes later after the Wildcats took the ball offensively again. He ran a corner route and grabbed the ball out of the air above a Cedarcrest defender for the third score of the game.
Defensively, the Wildcat secondary shut down the Red Wolves passing game as both Meuli and Sean Bothell batted down passes or snagged interceptions.
Brandon Yakaboski scored his first touchdown of the game midway through the first quarter rushing from 10 yards out. Bardsley added another point-after and the score was 28-0. Forslin then scored his first of three as the first quarter ticked down, and with the point-after the score was 35-0 to end the first.
The Wildcat defense gave the Red Wolves offense very little time on the field, giving the offense more opportunities. Yakaboski scored his second touchdown of the game early in the second quarter. With that the Wildcats brought most of its JV squad in as did the Red Wolves. Marshall Griffin scored the next touchdown followed by Ben Frieler before the half was over. As the two teams headed to the locker room, the score was Mount Si 56, Cedarcrest 0.
The second half started with the Mount Si defense on the field. Cedarcrest started their drive from the 20 but on the first play, fumbled the ball. Forslin picked it up and ran it in for a touchdown.
Cedarcrest looked strong on their next drive, moving into Mount Si territory. The drive eventually stalled though, giving it back to the Wildcats. Forslin scored his third touchdown and the final touchdown of the game with 6:41 left on the clock in the third quarter. The run from 32 yards out and subsequent point-after made the score 70-0.
The Wildcats accepted the traveling trophy from Valley Record publisher Jim McKiernan after the game.
"It started off quick and we executed our game plan to perfection," said Mount Si coach Charlie Kinnune. "We wanted to stay with our strengths but also counter off some things we did in the first game. The theme of last week was all about discipline and execution."
Kinnune attributes the win to the Wildcats' work ethic.
"There are a lot of things out of your control, but one of the things you can control is how hard you work," said Kinnune. "We had 50 guys every night doing speed camp and 60 guys every night in the weight room working out. Those are the things that will carry you through. These kids worked hard together. They weren't seeing each other for the first time at the first day of practice. They had been working together all summer long."
Kinnune was also quick to point out the great play of all of his players but especially his corners, Bothell and Meuli.
"Sean had an interception, fumble recovery and three batted balls, and on the other side of the field we had Kyle Meuli," said Kinnune. "I have never seen Kyle out of position."
Mount Si takes on the Ellensburg Bulldogs at Ellensburg this Friday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.