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Garfield Comes Up Short In Nail-biter Against Eastside Catholic (updated w/photos)

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Eastside Catholic's Samuel Burroughs (6) puts pressure on Garfield quarterback E.J. Caminong during the Crusaders 16-14 win over the Bulldogs Friday night at Memorial Stadium. Staff Photo/Chris B. Bennett.

By RayJaun Stelly, The Seattle Medium

The Garfield Bulldogs entered Friday night’s matchup undefeated against powerhouse Eastside Catholic. Both teams opened up league play with wins, and looked to hand each other their first division loss.

The Crusaders established their rhythm by running the ball on offense. Defensively, Eastside Catholic was disruptive in the early stages of the game, as they were able to get into the Bulldogs’ backfield for sacks, and many tackles for loss. They also had a sack, a fumble recovery and an interception.

Offensively, Eastside Catholic’s plan was to wear down the Garfield defense by giving them a heavy dose of the Crusader running game. The plan worked as Eastside Catholic marched down the field for touchdown.

Garfield’s defense would respond by forcing two turnovers on downs, a missed field goal attempt and recorded an interception.

Although both defenses were sending a message to one another’s offense, Eastside Catholic still had the momentum and led 16-0 heading into the second half after Samuel Burroughs returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Despite being down 16, the Bulldogs’ defense kept them in the game. Garfield would start the second half by causing a fumble, which led to their first touchdown of the game.

Continuing the momentum, Garfield’s Denali Dukes forced a fumble and later intercepted a pass for a ‘pick six, as the Bulldogs’ would score 14 points in the third quarter, cutting their deficit to two points, 16-14.

Both offenses became stagnant in the second half, while both defenses continued to impose their will. Forcing punt after punt.

The game came down to the final minute with Garfield having possession. With three seconds left in the game, the Bulldogs completed a pass that would have put them in field goal position, but it was called back after a penalty.

Following the penalty, Garfield’s ‘Hail Mary’ attempt was unsuccessful due to a bad hike, which resulted in an Eastside Catholic sack as the clock struck zeros, and the Crusaders handed Garfield their first loss of the season.

Next week will be a battle of the rivals as Garfield plays Rainier Beach and Eastside Catholic plays O’Dea.

Pictorial Highlights of Garfield vs Eastside Catholic