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Wolves Sports

Air Eastlake takes flight

Posted Saturday, September 16, 2006 by Michael Ko
Saturday, September 16, 2006 - Page updated at 12:16 AM

Air Eastlake takes flight

By Michael Ko
Seattle Times
staff reporter

SAMMAMISH -- Before Friday's game against Woodinville, Eastlake coach Gene Dales was hesitant to talk about exactly what his supposed two-quarterback rotation would look like.

The secret's out.

Junior Ryan Robertson took all the snaps and threw for 302 yards and a school-record five touchdowns, three to senior wideout Justin "O.J." Helwege, to lead fifth-ranked Eastlake over Woodinville 33-9 in a KingCo 4A matchup.

The 6-foot-5 Helwege caught eight passes for 123 yards. Robertson finished with 21 completions in 41 attempts, with two interceptions.

Tanor Johnson started the season as the Wolves' top quarterback, and Dales had hyped the do-it-all senior as the preseason conference MVP. While Dales believed Robertson had a live arm, the junior known around school as "Ry-Ro" wasn't even mentioned in preseason questionnaires returned by Dales to local newspapers.

"We realized that maybe our best chance at making a deep run (in the playoffs) and being as efficient as possible is to have Ry-Ro throwing the ball and have Tanor playing in space because he's so quick," Dales said.

On a chilly night atop the Sammamish Plateau, against what could be one of KingCo 4A's best defenses, Robertson showed how fast his maturation has come.

The 6-3 quarterback stood poised in the pocket against a physical pass rush and slung completion after completion, directing a four-touchdown explosion in just eight minutes during the decisive second quarter.

By the time the marching band came out for its entertaining take on "Bohemian Rhapsody," Eastlake (2-1 overall, 2-0 KingCo) led 26-9.

As for Johnson, if he was disappointed, he didn't show it on the field.

Starting at safety and wide receiver, Johnson intercepted two Woodinville passes, both off tipped balls, in the second quarter. On both drives after the turnovers, Robertson and Johnson connected on TD passes.

Johnson caught four balls for 61 yards. He said he felt an initial blow to his pride but, "I'm pretty pumped with the position I'm playing right now. It's like last year, just running around and being able to make plays, and being the big-play guy again."

Woodinville (2-1, 2-1) led 6-0 after the first quarter on a pair of Jered Leslie 34-yard field goals, before giving away the momentum on turnovers. Leslie added a third field goal as time ran out in the first half, from 41 yards.

Difference Makers
Ryan Robertson, Eastlake: Completed 21 of 41 passes for 302 yards, 5 TDs.

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