By RayJaun Stelly,The Seattle Medium
Eastside Catholic (7-1) came into their round of 16 game against the Stanwood looking to continue their six-game win streak, as the Crusaders would put their high-powered offense to the test against the Spartans who pulled off an upset against Lincoln (Tacoma) last week.
The Crusaders elected to kick first, which paid off instantly as they forced a three-and-out and scored the games’ first touchdown as quarterback Brady Mckelheer connected with Dallas Daley on a 41-yard touchdown pass.
It’s known that the Crusaders score in high fashion, but their defense and special teams was just as impressive against Stanwood. Defensive lineman LJ Imo’s sack on Stanwood’s quarterback resulted in a fumble which was recovered by Eastside Catholic.
Eastside Catholic quickly turned the turnover into points, as Daley received the snap in a wildcat formation and scored on a 6-yard rushing touchdown.
After forcing another punt, the Crusaders’ Drew Sanidad would return a kick for a 55-yard touchdown.
Despite their first half struggles, Stanwood showed some life as their defense answered when Otto Wiedmann intercepted a pass for a ‘pick six’ for 75-yards before halftime.
Marching their way down field with 18 seconds left till halftime, Mckelheer made up for his interception by scrambling for a 6-yard touchdown as time expired before halftime, to give the Crusaders a 28-6 lead.
In the second half, Eastside Catholic would be the only team to score points by way of a rushing touchdown, then their defense followed suit as they recovered a fumble that was returned for a 78-yard touchdown by defensive lineman Tyler Hill.
The defense of Eastside Catholic did not allow an offensive touchdown by Stanwood and that momentum fueled their 41-6 win over the Spartans.
Eastside Catholic’s will now face Mt. Spokane in WIAA 3A quarterfinal matchup this Saturday at Seattle’s Memorial Stadium.