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Wolves Sports

Football playoffs: Cascade eliminates Eastlake

Posted Saturday, November 05, 2005 by Gene Dales

Football playoffs: Cascade eliminates Eastlake

by Justin Hjelm
For the Journal

SAMMAMISH -- Much has been made of thunder-and-lightning backfields, but Cascade of Everett has gone against the grain with its thunder-and-thunder tandem of seniors J.P. Oliver and Evan Crawford.

The bruising pair led the Bruins to a 34-28 victory over Eastlake Friday night in a Class 4A winner-to-state game.

Oliver, checking in at 5-foot-9 and 220 pounds, racked up 129 rushing yards and three first-half touchdowns. He also returned an interception 66 yards and recovered a crucial onside kick to seal the Bruin win.

"I'm just so happy that we got here and we won this game,'' Oliver said. "We all just pulled through as a team.''

Chief among those teammates was Crawford, who rushed for 47 yards and intercepted four Eastlake passes.

The first quarter was all Eastlake. Bradley Tonahill intercepted a Dirk Snel pass on the Bruins' first possession, and the Wolves went 64 yards in just five plays and scored on a Jack Brinck pass to Tanor Johnson.

Cascade followed with another three-and-out, and Eastlake again methodically moved to score, taking 10 plays to travel 58 yards. Brinck scrambled six yards to give the Wolves a 14-0 lead.

But the second quarter belonged to Oliver and the Bruins.

On their first possession of the quarter, they went on a 13-play march, greatly aided by a pass interference call on a third-and-15 play. They punctuated the drive with a 2-yard Oliver rumble.

Three plays later, Cascade had the ball back and scored in four plays to even the game.

Crawford made his first interception after Oliver hit an Eastlake receiver, and Oliver scored his third TD two plays later to give the Bruins a 21-14 halftime lead.

Eastlake's offense continued to stall in the second half, and when Snel threw a 12-yard TD pass to Phillip Thomas with 2:43 remaining, the Cascade had a 34-14 lead.

But Eastlake rallied, and on its first play from scrimmage, Brinck hit Justin Helwege for a 63-yard score. The Wolves recovered the onside kick and Brinck hit Helwege for another touchdown six plays later to pull to 34-28.

Dane Steel led the Wolves with 87 yards on 15 carries, and Johnson ran for 64 yards.

"We just made so many mistakes,'' Eastlake coach Gene Dales said. "But the fact that the kids played hard, that's what we've gotten from them all year long and that's why it's a pleasure to coach these guys.''

The Wolves started 8-0, but ended the season with two straight losses. Cascade will play either Edmonds-Woodway or Battleground in the first round of the state tournament next week.

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