YAKIMA — The Eastmont football team couldn’t keep the potent Eisenhower attack out of the end zone the first three times the Cadets had the football Friday.
Ike’s Darius Pati had two touchdowns on eight catches and 165 yards. Big Nine-leading quarterback Chris Sawyer continued to shine with 297 yards passing and five touchdowns in the Cadets’ 44-14 win.
“The first quarter, they ran all over us,” Eastmont head coach Doug McGill said after the game in a phone interview. “They rushed for 160 in the first three drives. We weren’t able to get off the field. We had a couple big plays and missed a field goal before the half that would’ve been a nice momentum boost.”
The Wildcats did manage to score on a pair of big plays, the first from Brian Burt. The senior running back utilized his breakaway speed to score from 69 yards out in the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7.
But Ike scored on its next two possessions to make it a 20-7 game.
Then in the third quarter, junior Phillip Moore found the end zone from Eastmont’s 44-yard line. It was Moore’s first game as a Wildcat after transferring from Wenatchee over the summer. But Moore’s touchdown would be the last time the Cats put points on the board as the Cadets scored three more touchdowns to ensure the win.
“You take (Burt) and Phil’s big plays away, we don’t have many yards,” McGill said. “We passed the ball better tonight. They passed for 296 yards on us, well they had 120 on their last few pass plays alone.”
Burt finished with 120 yards on the ground, but had only five in the second half.
Despite the final score, McGill said he was happy with his team’s effort and preparation.
“I saw a lot more focused team,” he said. “We got beat by a good team today. We got beat by a team with pretty special athletes. I know we’ll play them better the next time we play them. I thought our kids did a nice job competing to the bitter end, which is a tough thing to do when you come in playing for the ‘W.’ ”
The Wildcats will look to refocus and rebound against cross-river rival Wenatchee at Wildcat Stadium.
“These kids know each other really well. I’m looking forward to it. It’s always exciting for the valley. It’s an honor to be a part of such a great opportunity to play the Panthers,” McGill said. “… I don’t think it’s going to take any motivation to get our kids up to play their best. We need to work on our execution so we can make plays to compete with them.”