YAKIMA — Eastmont’s game against Davis played completely different than teams’ game in the first week of the season, but the result was the same.
The Wildcats had only one first down in the first quarter and turned the ball over three times in the second half and ultimately fell 9-7 in a defensive battle at Zaepfel Field in Yakima.
“They were able to get a lot of pressure on us, and we had some opportunities but made some mental mistakes,” Eastmont head coach Doug McGill said.
Pirates quarterback Nikhil Lizotte was held to just 15 yards on the ground and 119 in the air — the junior had 290 all-purpose yards in week one. But the shifty signal-caller was able to find a wide-open Kristian Sanders from 38 yards out, which proved to be the only touchdown Davis would need to secure the victory after scoring six in the teams’ last meeting.
“Their touchdown pass was another blown coverage, and it cost us,” McGill said. “It was a play they were setting up and we saw it coming from the sideline and we couldn’t see it on the field.”
Davis did as good a job as any Big Nine team all year containing Wildcat running back Brian Burt, who had just 58 yards on 16 carries.
Eastmont’s only score came in the second quarter: Sophomore quarterback Nick McGill connected with Dante Weigel on a fourth-and-long to keep the drive going. Two snaps later McGill took it himself from seven yards out with a minute left in the second quarter.
Penalties combined with turnovers sunk the Cats in the second half as their last three possessions ended in a giveaway. After recovering a muffed punt, the Wildcats gave the ball back by fumbling.
“Nick breaks off a 40-yard run and we got a hold (called on us),” McGill said. “We would’ve been in field goal range, we were down two. The next play we gave the ball back.”
McGill connected with Weigel for a 41-yard catch to get Eastmont off of its own goal line, but a bad snap shortly thereafter turned the ball over again.
Lizotte sealed the victory by picking off McGill with a minute-and-change remaining.
A crucial penalty on the Wildcats defense gave Davis the first down it needed to go into victory formation and end the game.
Eastmont (1-5) is still searching for its first Big Nine win, and its best chance might be next week when it plays a road game against 3A Sunnyside.