Photo by Jim Thrall, https://www.matfocus.com: Eatonville senior quarterback Kevin Wulff plows into the end zone for one of the Cruisers' many touchdowns on the night. The Cruisers defeated the Montesano Bulldogs, 35-18.
Photo by Jim Thrall, https://www.matfocus.com: Eatonville senior quarterback Kevin Wulff plows into the end zone for one of the Cruisers' many touchdowns on the night. The Cruisers defeated the Montesano Bulldogs, 35-18.

For the third week in a row, the Cruisers were tested by a top-10 ranked opponent and again came out on top. This time, Eatonville took down No. 8-ranked Montesano, 35-18, Friday night at Jack Rottle Stadium.

Montesano (3-2 overall, 0-1 1A Evergreen) started the game by driving 75 yards on 11 plays and finding the end zone when quarterback Jayden McElravy jkept the ball for a 1-yard score. Eatonville’s Job Kralik got a hand on the extra point attempt, and it sailed wide right. Montesano led for the first and only time of the night, 6-0, with 7:33 left in the first.

The Cruisers, on their first possession, got things started at their 27-yard line. They put together a 10-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a Blain Hanley 9-yard scoring run. Once Kralik's extra point attempt sailed through the uprights, the Cruisers took the lead at 7-6.

On the Bulldogs' ensuing possession, they again drove deep into Cruiser territory. Facing a fourth-and-1 at the Cruiser 5-yard line, Eatonville’s defense flexed its muscles and stuffed Montesano’s Isaiah Pierce at the line of scrimmage as the Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs.

The Cruisers' fast-paced, high-octane offense went right back to work, quickly moving the ball to midfield thanks to a 50-yard pass from quarterback Kevin Wulff to receiver Kralik. Four plays later, Wulff found a streaking Jakob Lucht in the corner of the end zone for a 29-yard Cruiser score. Eatonville extended their lead to 14-6 with 9:50 to play in the second quarter.

Starting at their 34-yard line, the Bulldogs again drove the field and found themselves in an identical fourth-and-1 from the 5-yard line. Again, the Cruiser defense stepped up and corralled Pierce at the line of scrimmage, creating Montesano’s second turnover on downs in the Cruiser red zone in as many possessions.

Eatonville took a 14-6 lead into halftime.

In the second half, the Cruiser offense turned up the heat on the Bulldogs with an eye on putting the game out of reach.

Eatonville scored three times in the second half. Jake Wood found the end zone on a 1-yard drive up the middle, Wulff scored on a 6-yard keeper and Kralik finished out the scoring for the Cruisers when he stepped in front of a Jayden McElravy pass and outraced the defenders for an 80-yard interception return for the score.

Montesano scored two more times in the second half. Kralik again blocked one of the extra points, and then the Cruiser defense would again step up and deny the Bulldogs' 2-point conversion attempt on their last score of the game.

The Cruisers' record improves to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in Evergreen 1A league play.

On Friday, the Cruisers will host the Elma Eagles in another Evergreen 1A contest for homecoming. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. with the homecoming court announced at halftime.

Game Stat Leaders

Passing: Kevin Wulff — 9/13 for 171 yards, one TD, one INT

Rushing: Dylan Norman — 13 carries for 97 yards

Receiving: Job Kralik — five catches for 98 yards, two blocked PAT’s, 80-yard interception returned for TD

Tackles: Blain Hanley — 15 tackles

Sacks: Zach Barnett (2), Chase Grant (1), Waylan Mettler (1)