STEAMROLLED

Rivals eliminated from playoffs after 58-0 loss against Eatonville

Posted 11/17/21

The East Jefferson Rivals lost their opening round playoff game 58-0 to Eatonville High School on Saturday.

In their first-ever playoff game since Chimacum and Port Townsend high schools combined …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in
STEAMROLLED

Rivals eliminated from playoffs after 58-0 loss against Eatonville

Posted

The East Jefferson Rivals lost their opening round playoff game 58-0 to Eatonville High School on Saturday.

In their first-ever playoff game since Chimacum and Port Townsend high schools combined over a year ago, the Rivals were stifled from start to finish. Netting under 50 yards of total offense and allowing 48 unanswered points by halftime, East Jefferson’s performance was one they’d like to forget.

“It didn’t go the way we wanted it to go, going out by 58 points,” said Rivals Head Coach Tony Haddenham.

Both teams met at a neutral site, Bethel High School south of Tacoma, for the first round of the WIAA (Washington Interscholastic Activities Association) Football State Championship playoffs.

The Eatonville Cruisers came in ranked at No. 2 against 15th-seeded East Jefferson.

There was a bit of foreshadowing before the Rivals were cut down to size after the opening whistle.

After both teams warmed up on the field before kickoff, Eatonville’s players returned to the stadium wielding chainsaws.

Revving the power tools to intimidate the Rivals, or perhaps pay homage to their lumberjack mascot, Eatonville took to the field with the grinding sound and aroma of gasoline filling the stadium.

Disregarding the pregame theatrics of Eatonville, the Rivals prepared for kickoff hoping to control the flow of the game. Eatonville kicked the ball off and EJ geared up for their opening drive, looking to utilize their steady offensive line foundation and elite group of running backs.

The opening drive had a disastrous start for EJ as a botched snap led to a fumble that Eatonville recovered and took 40 yards to the end zone.

The Cruisers were up 7-0 as they kicked the ball to the Rivals with nine minutes remaining in the first quarter.

After a three-and-out stifling their second drive, EJ elected to punt the ball.

In a bizarre chain of events, Rivals punter Logan Massie’s punt was blocked, but the senior snatched the ball up. He proceeded to run the ball all the way to the house for a 70-plus yard touchdown.

As EJ celebrated on the sideline, their glee turned to disappointment when the referees reversed the play call to take the TD off the board.

Rivals players, coaches, and parents in the stands were astounded by the call, leading to constant jeering toward the referees from the crowd for the rest of the game.

Any ridiculing remarks from the fans in the stands were soon silenced when Eatonville’s quarterback threw a deep ball that was caught and carried into the end zone to put the Cruisers up 14-0 with seven minutes left in the first quarter.

After another failed offensive drive that led to a fumble, Eatonville capitalized with another TD to go up 21-0 with three minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Right when EJ thought their luck couldn’t get any worse, starting quarterback Cash Holmes received a hand injury from getting stepped on with a cleat.

The sophomore did not return to the game, as sophomore Aaron Glanz took over at the QB spot for the rest of the game.

The Cruisers continued to rain down on EJ, scoring four more touchdowns to go up 48-0 at halftime.

Although the Rivals held Eatonville from scoring more than 10 points in the second half, the game finished at 58-0 with Eatonville shutting EJ out in dominant fashion. The Rivals’ season came to a bitter end, after winning six straight games to get into the playoffs. Although officiating in the game was a mixed bag, the final scoreline left zero questions for who was the better team.

The Rivals offense was limited to less than 50 yards of total offense, with multiple turnovers hindering EJ’s chances of making a comeback.

Seniors Anson Jones and Christopher Fair, along with junior Siaumau Auseuga were tied for most tackles, with six each.

The loss signified the end of the Rivals’ season with a 6-2 record in which EJ won six games straight before the devastating defeat to an undefeated Eatonville team.

The EJ players gathered around for their final huddle of the season as Haddenham spoke to his players.

The game hadn’t gone the way that EJ wanted, but Haddenham was proud of his boys nonetheless.

“We came this far because of these guys right here, the seniors,” Haddenham said while pointing to the senior players.

“Unfortunately it is what it is and it happens,” he said of the loss.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here