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Robertson passes Eastlake to victory

Posted Saturday, September 16, 2006 by Casey McNerthney

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Eastlake 33, Woodinville 9: Robertson passes Eastlake to victory

By CASEY MCNERTHNEY
SPECIAL TO THE P-I

SAMMAMISH -- At Eastlake's pep assembly Friday afternoon, coach Gene Dales told the student body the winner of its game against KingCo 4A rival Woodinville would probably have an inside track to the conference title.

The game was at their house, Dales said, "and we're going to take care of business."

A few hours later, Eastlake, ranked by the P-I the state's No. 10 team regardless of classification, did exactly that, defeating No. 8 Woodinville 33-9.

The Wolves (2-1, 2-0 KingCo 4A) rallied behind do-everything senior Tanor Johnson, who had two interceptions, two touchdowns and an extra point in a 26-point second quarter the Falcons could not answer.

But for all the hype surrounding Johnson -- an All-KingCo player who has also spent time at quarterback -- it was junior quarterback Ryan Robertson who turned heads.

After opening with an interception, Robertson went 21 of 31 for 302 yards and five touchdowns, hitting senior Justin Helwege on the other three scoring passes and leading an Eastlake offense that outgained Woodinville 332-199 in total yards.

The Falcons, who were limited to field goals, fell to 2-1 overall, 2-1 in the conference.

Woodinville capped the game's first drive with Jared Leslie's 34-yard field goal, and linebacker Steve Low's interception set up another 34-yard Leslie field goal that gave the Falcons a 6-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Robertson tied the score in the second quarter with a 6-yard pass to Helwege, but Johnson's kick was wide left.

Johnson's redemption came two plays later when he grabbed a tipped pass for an interception and, six plays later, eluded two defenders to score and earn Eastlake's first lead with 4:15 remaining.

On the first play of Woodinville's ensuing drive, Johnson intercepted another tipped pass, which led to his 31-yard touchdown reception less than a minute later.

Robertson was 12 of 16 in the first half, hitting six receivers for 171 yards.

"We made a lot of mistakes as a team, but we ended up being able to execute at the end," Robertson said.

Woodinville quarterback Peter Roberts, who had 400 yards and four touchdown in two previous games, went 5-for-13 in the first half for 60 yards. He threw two interceptions.

The Falcons showed signs of a third-quarter comeback, but on a fourth-and-2 Eastlake linebacker Jared Fagan destroyed an option right and Woodinville's scoring drive.

"We had been practicing that play all week -- having the linebackers blitzing -- so I read the play and was ready to contain," Fagan said.

The game was reminiscent of the teams' 2005 meeting, when Eastlake demolished Woodinville 39-14, collecting 337 total yards against a defense that eventually took the Falcons to the 4A state-championship game.

"After the loss last year, everybody wanted to win," Woodinville linebacker Henry Hippely said. "But we didn't take control of our opportunities and it slipped away."

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