Optimism — not frustration — has reigned supreme around the Emerald Ridge football program.
Even at 0-2, the Jaguars not only felt they were getting better, but they also felt they were eventually going to close the gap in the South Puget Sound League Sound Division.
Then this happened Friday night — Emerald Ridge’s 34-31 overtime victory over third-ranked Graham-Kapowsin at Sparks Stadium.
And there were no excuses coming from the defending division champions’ side of it, either — they were beaten fair and square.
“They outplayed us in every aspect,” Graham-Kapowsin coach Eric Kurle said. “Their coaches got them up, and they played hard. They played hard the whole game.”
Cody Anderson’s 5-yard up-the-gut touchdown run in overtime will go down as the game-winner for the Jaguars. But it was a play at the end of regulation that really kept their hopes afloat.
The Eagles took a 28-21 lead on Shannon Edwards’ 12-yard run with 3:44 remaining — his fourth touchdown of the game. He also rushed for 205 yards on 45 carries.
But Emerald Ridge wasted no time tying the game up, calling a slant-and-go pattern for speedster Brett Rankin. And he took a pass from Griffen Meyers, broke into the flat and went 70 yards for the touchdown.
And it was tied 28-28 with 3:20 to go.
“That was huge,” Jaguars offensive coordinator Adam Schakel said. “The biggest thing our guys have been talking about the last couple of weeks is belief. We’ve had a rough past couple games against good teams, but we had to believe in each other. And when a play like that happens, it reinforces that … we are not out of the fight.”
Graham-Kapowsin got as far as the Jaguars’ 7 in overtime, but was flagged for offensive holding on back-to-back plays. Eventually, they settled for Noah Harden’s 24-yard field goal.
The biggest play for Emerald Ridge in overtime was Meyers’ 10-yard run on a zone-read option keeper, setting up Anderson’s game-winner.
At Curtis 35, Spanaway Lake 21: Bryce Stewart-Glowski returned an interception for a touchdown, and caught a scoring pass as the Vikings earned their first victory of the season in University Place.
Olympia 34, at South Kitsap 17: Kaden Wilson’s 14-yard scoring strike to Derek Buehler with less than a minute to go in the first half gave the Bears a 21-17 lead, and they dominated the second half in a victory in Port Orchard.
Foss 26, at Shelton 14: Chris “Scooby” Reynolds darted for three touchdown runs, and the visiting Falcons picked up their first win of the season at Highclimber Stadium.
Reynolds’ 34-yard scoring jaunt with 51/2 minutes remaining capped his night, and sealed the Falcons’ victory. Fletcher Sidaris led Foss with 167 rushing yards on 24 carries.
Wilson 47, at North Thurston 21: The Rams forced three fourth-quarter turnovers, and scored four touchdowns in a seven-minute span to blow open a close game at South Sound Stadium.
Julius Yates-Brown’s 1-yard touchdown scamper with 10 minutes to go gave Wilson the lead for good, 27-21. Zavia Frazier added scoring runs of 14 and 33 yards later in the quarter in his breakout game, finishing with 152 rushing yards.
At Lakes 67, Auburn Riverside 7: It is official — the seventh-ranked Lancers are ready for next week’s showdown at Peninsula.
Quarterback Jaiave Magalei threw for 231 yards and seven first-half touchdowns as Lakes rolled at Harry E. Lang Stadium.
Sumner 48, at Enumclaw 17: The Spartans, on the back of Connor Wedington’s 182 yards rushing and three touchdowns, blitzed the Hornets with a 21-point second quarter.
Sumner trailed, 10-7, after one quarter. Enumclaw led thanks to a 25-yard touchdown reception by Zack Kruse and Jarrett Berquist’s 24-yard field goal.
That changed in the second when Wedington got free for two touchdowns, the first a 13-yard run to give the Spartans a lead they would not relinquish. After Chase Torgison scored on a 3-yard run for Sumner, Wedington scored from 43 yards out to make it 28-10 at the half.
Enumclaw was led by quarterback Scotty Garvin, who ran for a touchdown and threw for another. He completed 15 of 26 passes for 239 yards.
At Steilacoom 45, Washington 20: The Sentinels broke open a tie game by scoring 33 points in the second half to rally past the Patriots.
In the second quarter Washington led, 12-6, after Tyquan Bowie’s 1-yard TD run. Brian Thomas, who rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries for Steilacoom, scored the second of his TDs on a 31-yard run to tie it.
From there, the Sentinels’ big plays sunk the Patriots. The tie-breaking TD came on a 34-yard TD pass from Anthony Leiato to Marques Hampton. Fotu Leiato then returned a punt 96 yards to push the Sentinels lead to 13.
In the fourth quarter, Dearron Anderson had two TD receptions and Thomas scored on a 34-yard run.
Anthony Leiato completed 14 of 18 passes for 281 yards and three scores to Anderson, who had three receptions for 102 yards.
Eatonville 35, at Aberdeen 6: Logan Moose scored his first varsity touchdown last week for the Cruisers. And he piled up four more scores in fifth-ranked Eatonville’s runaway victory at Stewart Field.
Moose finished with 91 yards on 11 carries. George Tomal added a 34-yard interception return for a touchdown.