Cruisers headed to state

Cruisers headed to state

Cruisers headed to state

The Cruisers scored quickly, and they scored often in their District 4 play-in game against Seton-Catholic this past Friday night as they picked up a 44-6 victory to advance to the state playoffs round of 16.

After forcing a quick three and out, the Cruiser offense went to work with a short field starting at the Seton-Catholic 17-yard line. Two plays later, Dylan Norman took quarterback Kevin Wulff's handoff  7 yards for the score, and the Cruisers took an early 7-0 lead and never looked back.

The Cruiser defense forced another Cougar punt on the very next possession and set Eatonville up with good field position again, this time at the Cougar 28-yard line. A few plays later, Norman scored again, this time from 20 yards out. Sebastian Molina’s kick split the uprights, and the Cruisers extended their lead to 14-0 with 9:21 left in the first quarter.

After Seton-Catholic turned the ball over on downs after attempting a fake punt, the Cruisers set up shop at the Seton-Catholic 30-yard line, where they wasted no time finding the end zone. Wulff handed it to Jake Wood, who plowed in from 1 yard out for the touchdown to make it 21-0 midway through the first quarter.

After another Cougar turnover on downs, this time at their 15-yard line, Griffin Clevenger took the handoff on the fly sweep and rambled 15 yards for the score. Molina's kick was unsuccessful, and Eatonville led 27-0 with 4:23 left in the first quarter.

As was the theme of the night, Seton-Catholic turned it over on downs at the 45-yard line. The Cruisers marched 45 yards and capped the drive with a Reilly McIlraith score off a 14-yard screen pass to make it 34-0 with 2:13 left in the first quarter.

On Seton-Catholic's first play following the kick return, McIlraith picked off freshman quarterback Joe Callerame’s pass at the Cougar 31.

Three plays later, senior Kaden Olsen got in on the scoring when he took a Wulff handoff at the 23-yard line and out-raced the Cougar defense for the score to increase the Cruiser lead to 41-0 as the end of the first quarter neared.

The Cruisers emptied their bench for the most part and sat the starters the rest of the game.

Midway through the third quarter, exchange student Sebastian Molina hit a 24-yard field goal to round out the scoring for the Cruisers and put the game at 44-0.

Seton-Catholic never stopped fighting, and with 9:03 left in the game, found the end zone for the Cougars' first post-season score in school history. Callerame found receiver Sean Emberlin in the front corner of the end zone for a 4-yard score. Eatonville’s Walker Bruun would bust through the line and block the extra-point attempt, and the Cruisers led 44-6 after what would be the final score.

The Cruiser offense racked up 305 yards of total offense, with the brunt of those yards coming on the ground. Eatonville ran the ball 31 times for 254 yards, with Norman leading the way with six carries for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Norman made the longest run of the night when he reeled off a 29-yard run.

Through the air,Wulff attempted only two passes, completing one for 15 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore backup Hunter Klumpar completed all three of his pass attempts for 36 yards.

With that 44-6 victory, the Cruisers secured their spot in the state playoffs.

The seeding committee met Sunday and seeded all 16 of the teams that qualified for the state playoffs. They awarded Eatonville the No. 2 seed. The Cruisers will host the No. 15-seeded East Jefferson at 1 p.m. Saturday at Art Crate Field at Bethel High School.



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