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Defensive Eastlake throttles Redmond

Posted Friday, September 22, 2006 by Chris Chancellor

Last modified: September 22. 2006 12:00AM

Defensive Eastlake throttles Redmond: Wolves' Dane Steel rushes for 133 yards and 2 Tds in 27-7 win

By Chris Chancellor
Journal Reporter

REDMOND 2 Eastlake watched a year ago as Woodinville, paced by a hard-hitting, opportunistic defense, advanced to the 4A state championship game despite finishing below the Wolves in the regular-season standings.

So despite eight penalties and three turnovers against his team Thursday night, Eastlake coach Gene Dales was excited to see his defense display the same traits that made the Falcons successful last year in a 27-7 win against district rival Redmond.

"Our defense is playing outstanding and flying to the football," Dales said. "We have a lot of team speed, and they are flying to the ball. They are ball hawks."

Dales, who played linebacker in the 1970s at Oregon State, appeared to be more disappointed that Eastlake did not get a second consecutive shutout win than by his team's offensive mistakes. The Wolves (3-1, 3-0 league), who defeated Roosevelt 31-0 last week, led 10-0 in the second quarter when quarterback Ryan Robertson was intercepted by Jabari Mu'ied, who returned it for 33 yards for a touchdown.

"We thought we were going to turn things around there," Redmond coach Mike Pluschke said.

But Redmond (2-2, 2-2 league) rarely was able to build any offensive momentum. Star running back Logwone Mitz did not start the game because of a thigh contusion and the Mustangs could not avoid mistakes.

Quarterback Cole Kloppman, who completed 5 of 14 passes for 45 yards, threw the first of his two interceptions in the first quarter when the Mustangs had a first down at the Eastlake 40. With his team down 10-7 at halftime, Pluschke decided to replace Kloppman with Paris Shewey to open the second half. On the opening play from scrimmage, Shewey underthrew a deep pass that was intercepted by Taylor Corr.

"We just wanted to try and get a momentum change," Pluschke said. "We came out with the deep ball and when you throw an interception, it hurts."

That might have been the understatement of the day.

Robertson, who completed 19 of 33 passes for 261 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, capped a 66-yard drive with a 18-yard touchdown pass to Corr to give the Wolves a 17-7 lead with close to eight minutes left in the third quarter.

"Robertson is making some mistakes, but he's been under the gun against some good defenses," Dales said, referring to the junior making his third career start.

While there was some inconsistency in the Wolves' passing game, there was almost none with their running backs. Dane Steel had a season-high 133 yards and two touchdowns 2 including a 41-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter 2 to give Eastlake a 24-7 lead.

"Dane is a great competitor for us," Dales said. "He's a great running back, and we've been waiting to get him out of the blocks."

It was the third straight win in the plateau rivalry for Eastlake, which held the Mustangs to 133 yards of total offense. Redmond's last win in the rivalry was 21-7 on Oct. 3, 2003.

"We've got to eliminate our turnovers, but we will," Dales said. "We are really pleased with the direction we are going."

Chris Chancellor can be reached at (425) 453-4257 or chris.chancellor@kcjn.com

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