This past Friday night, the Cruisers played host to the Franklin Pierce Cardinals in a league crossover game to determine seeding into the West Central District 3 playoffs.

This game was also Eatonville’s last home game and Senior Night. The Cruisers would recognize their senior players before the game. The Cruiser senior players are Alex Brymer, Chris Van Cour, Devon Morgan, Kaden Foster, Tyrese McElyea, Trevor Schier, Lukas Wolfe, Caleb Eisenhooth, Nick Sawyer, Zach Smith and Brandon Hopkins. 

Both teams came into the contest as their respective league’s second place finishers. The Cruisers overall record sat at 5-4 while the Cardinals came into the game at 7-2. The winner of the game captured the SPSL 2A’a number 2 seed into the district playoffs while the loser would be the number 5 seed.

The Cruisers struck first when they put together a long 78-yard drive that took nearly six minutes off the clock. The drive was capped off when running back Alex Brymer would leak out of the backfield and catch a Caden Jumper pass for a 14-yard score. Trevor Schier’s extra-point attempt would sail through the uprights and the Cruisers led 7-0.

On the Cardinals first possession, the Cruiser defense flexed their muscles and the Cardinals turned the ball over on downs at the 22-yard line.

Eatonville again put together a 78-yard scoring drive. Smith connected with Jumper from 16 yards out for the touchdown. Schier’s kick was be blocked and the Cruisers would lead 13-0 early in the second quarter.

The Cardinals would finally get their offense moving. After starting at their own 43-yard line, they scored on a 1-yard run up the middle by Delaquan Wood. Aaron Hall’s kick was good, and the Cardinals cut into the Cruiser lead and trailed 13-7 midway through the second quarter.

The Cruisers once again put together a long drive. Starting at the 23-yard line, they marched all the way to the Cardinal 32-yard line before intercepting Jumper at the three.

The Cardinals then wasted no time getting on the board again right before halftime. Quarterback Claudell Quinlan found receiver Elijah McCrady in the endzone for the touchdown. The extra-point attempt would be successful. The Cardinals would take a 14-13 lead into halftime.

After each team traded possessions, the Cardinals would hit pay dirt again midway through the third quarter when Quinlan would keep the ball and scramble in for the score. After the kick the Cardinals would extend their lead to 21-13.

The Cruisers clawed their way back into the game when Zach Smith took a hand off from Jumper on the jet sweep play and weave his way through the Cardinal defense for a 19-yard score. The Cruisers two-point conversion attempt would be intercepted in the endzone. The Cruisers would trim the Cardinal lead down to 2 points at 21-19 with just under 12 minutes left in the game.

The Cruiser defense came up big again and forced the Cardinals to punt. After the Zach Smith fair catch, the Cruisers would start 1st and 10 at their own 12-yard line.

After making their way up to the 19-yard line, Cruiser quarterback Caden Jumper showed the Cardinal defense just how hard he is to tackle. Jumper kept the ball on a designed quarterback run play and weave his way through the defense. He broke numerous tackles on his way to an electrifying 71-yard touchdown. The Cruisers again attempted a two-point conversion and be denied. They led the Cardinals 25-21 with just under 8 minutes left.

The Cardinals then put together a 4 and a half minute, 79-yard scoring drive that would see quarterback Claudell Quinlan keeping the ball and evading a couple of Cruisers defenders before finding the endzone. Their two-point conversion would fail, and they would lead 27-25 with just under 4 minutes left in the game.

The Cardinal defense came up big on 4th and 17 and stop Zach Smith short of the first down lone and would take over on downs. They then ran the clock out to take the victory 27-25.

With that loss, the Cruisers will be the SPSL 2A No. 5 seed going into the district playoffs. They will face the SPSL number 3 seed Orting Cardinals on Friday, November 8th at 7 p.m. at Cardinal Stadium in Orting.

Statistics

Passing: Jumper 11-16 118 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT/Smith 1-1 19 yards, 1 TD

Rushing: Jumper 14 carries 195 yards, 1 TD/Brymer 17 carries 45 yards/Smith 3 carries 39 yards, 1 TD

Receiving: Schier 5 catches 55 yards/Foster 2 catches 27 yards/Lucht 2 catches 12 yards/Brymer 1 catch 14 yards, 1 TD/Jumper 1 catch 19 yards, 1 TD