The final score may not have reflected it, but the Mount Si football team’s effort last Friday, Sept. 12 against Issaquah showed considerable improvement over their week one performance against Eastlake.
If the Wildcats continue improving at this rate, they could spell trouble for future opponents.
The main factor in this improved effort, displayed in the Wildcats’ 34-20 loss to the Eagles at Issaquah High School, was Sean Snead. The senior running back, who missed much of the Sept. 5 opener with a quad injury, started last Friday and his presence made a major impact. Snead scored a pair of touchdowns and ran for over 150 yards.
“I just came out and ran as hard as I could and did my best,” Snead said.
The offense as a whole benefited greatly from his efforts.
“Sean was running the ball hard,” said wide receiver Ryan Frazier. “It’s good to have him back, and when he gets going, everyone seems to get going.”
“I’m very proud of this group right now, just because of how we played last week” said Mount Si coach Charlie Kinune. “If [Issaquah] is the fourth-rated team in 4A, we’re a pretty good team.”
Issaquah opened the scoring on the first drive of the game. While Mount Si had Snead tearing it up on the ground, the Eagles had their own ground-eater in junior running back Grant Gellatly. Gellatly scored a touchdown from a yard out untouched, and following a point after, Issaquah was up. Gellatly was busy throughout the game; he ran for over 100 yards in the contest.
The Wildcats responded on their opening possession. A 49-yard run by Snead set up Tyson Riley, and the senior quarterback took advantage, walking it into the end zone on the next play from three yards out. The point after was missed and the Eagles remained in front.
No matter, though, as the Mount Si defense forced an Issaquah three-and-out on the Eagles’ next possession, and the Wildcat offense was right back at the controls. Snead did his part, but it was three third-down passing conversions for first down by Riley that were key in the drive. Two of the passes went to Alex Hiebert, the other to Frazier. Snead finished the drive early in the second quarter, running from one yard out over a pile of linemen on the ground into the end zone. After a two point passing conversion, Mount Si was up 14-7.
Later in the second frame, Gellatly scored another touchdown from a yard out, but Mount Si’s special teams came up big, blocking the point after, and keeping the Wildcats in the lead. That same special teams unit did it again just before halftime, blocking a field goal attempt by the Eagles’ Gavin Schumaker. Mount Si was in the lead 14-13 at halftime.
The Wildcats opened the second half on offense, and got off on the right foot. Snead and Brandon Smith made solid gains on the ground, and Snead closed the deal with an excellent touchdown run from four yards out. Snead initially ran toward the moving line, but changed direction mid-stream and ran into an open end zone as a result.
“We kept running power over and over again,” Snead said. “I saw them shift over to the right side a lot because they knew it was coming, because we ran it like 20 times. I was thinking ‘maybe they’re going to over-pursue it.’ I just cut back and I was right.”
The point after was blocked by the Eagles, giving Mount Si just a seven-point, 20-13 lead.
Issaquah came right back and tied the game, on a 14-yard run by Gellatly, then took the lead with another touchdown, this a 64-yard score by Sean Stuby just before the end of the third quarter. Mount Si made their best efforts to tie, but Gellatly put the icing on the cake with one last touchdown, from 20 yards out, with two minutes left in the game.
The Wildcats return home this Friday, Sept. 19, hosting Interlake in the league opener. Game time is 7 p.m.
Snead wants fans to expect one thing from his team — “a win.”