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Eastlake takes control early against Roosevelt

Posted Saturday, September 09, 2006 by Sam Cameron

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Eastlake 31, Roosevelt 0: Eastlake takes control early against Roosevelt
Wolves rout Roughriders with balanced effort

By SAM CAMERON
SPECIAL TO THE P-I

Dane Steel doesn't like to share, and neither do his Eastlake teammates.

"We like to be in control," Steel said after the Wolves' 31-0 rout of Roosevelt on Friday at Memorial Stadium.

Eastlake (2-0) was in the driver's seat all the way in the KingCo 4A game, keeping the football for all but a minute and a half of the first 13 minutes.

Steel rushed for 55 yards and two touchdowns before Roosevelt (0-2) ran a single play for positive yardage.

"We know that Dane is a real good running back," Eastlake coach Gene Dales said. "We feel that we have a real good running game, and I thought we were much better in week two than in week one, and that's what you're supposed to do."

Eastlake's passing game wasn't too bad, either.

Junior quarterback Ryan Robertson connected on five of his first six passes and finished 12 of 21 for 200 yards and two scores. Making his second start, Robertson completed passes to six receivers. On one touchdown pass, Robertson avoided two Roosevelt defenders and threw on the run to O.J. Helwege for 44 yards.

"I thought Robertson played real well," Dales said. "He's got great poise in the pocket for us. We keep Dane healthy so he can run the football and we feel like we have an awful lot of weapons to attack with."

Perhaps it was the Wolves' defense that sealed the win.

With about five minutes remaining in the first half, Roosevelt exposed holes in the Eastlake game plan. Cameron Stephan carried for the first Roughriders first down, 18 yards through a wide-open middle, on the first play of the drive. Stephan would add two more first downs, reaching the Wolves 31-yard line.

With less than two minutes before halftime, Roosevelt called a timeout. It was all Eastlake needed to sew up its holes.

Quarterback Aaron Klein dropped back to pass on the next play and fumbled when he was blindsided by linebacker Mike Eldredge. Jared Fagan recovered for Eastlake and the Roughriders never threatened again.

"Defensively, we're very solid," Dales said. "They found one spot to run at us and we did a great job correcting that and making adjustments. That was their one chance to make something happen, and the guys just rallied to the football and closed the door on them."

On the Wolves' next play, Robertson found Tanor Johnson in stride with a 55-yard pass down the sideline that led to a 27-yard field goal. Eastlake went to the locker room at halftime with a 17-0 lead.

It was backups like junior Taylor Lappano who played out the victory for Eastlake as three of the Wolves' four captains sat out the second half with cramps. Lappano filled in for Steel with 47 yards on seven carries.

"We feel real fortunate we have that kind of depth," Dales said. "This was the kind of game where four of our kids were not playing in the second half and the guys stepped up big for us."

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