Rivals steamroll Life Christian for fifth straight win

Posted 10/30/21

East Jefferson’s football team has looked unstoppable as of late, stretching their winning streak to five after dismantling Life Christian Academy in a 48-7 blowout.

The Rivals met Life …

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Rivals steamroll Life Christian for fifth straight win

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East Jefferson’s football team has looked unstoppable as of late, stretching their winning streak to five after dismantling Life Christian Academy in a 48-7 blowout.

The Rivals met Life Christian at Memorial Field for their seventh matchup of the season Friday, Oct. 22. With an initial downpour of rain that subsided right before the start, the two teams prepared for a muddy matchup at kickoff.

The crowd roared with vigor as the Rivals kicked the ball to the Eagles to start the game. After the defense put on a stout effort to stop the Eagles’ initial drive, EJ’s offensive unit took the field. The Rivals started moving upfield with a couple of short runs. Senior running back Logan Massie opened up the scoring, with an exhilarating run from midfield to put the Rivals up 6-0 with 10 minutes left in the first quarter, followed by a two-point conversion attempt that came up short.

Tensions began to flare between the teams in the first quarter, as two personal fouls were called on both teams halfway through the quarter.

The Eagles experienced déjà vu as Massie raced past defenders to score again from midfield, putting the Rivals up 12-0 after another missed two-point conversion.

The tide started to shift after the Eagles took the ball 80 yards into the Rivals’ half from a kickoff return.

The Eagles punched a three-yard run into the end zone, closing in on EJ’s lead at 12-7 as the first quarter ended.

The two teams were jawing at each other throughout the second quarter, with tensions peaking as one Rivals player was ejected for engaging in trash talk with Eagles players. 

As the Eagles’ offense began driving down the field, senior defensive back Jerome Reaux Jr. snatched an interception from the opposing quarterback.

Shooting 70 yards down the sideline, the senior captain took it to the house for a pick-six, working the crowd to a fever pitch.

The Rivals returned to a comfortable lead after a successful two-point conversion, sitting at 20-7 with three minutes left before halftime.

The East Jefferson defense made another big play by forcing a fumble, recovered by senior linebacker Anson Jones. Massie powered another long run to the end zone in an extraordinary night for the 12th-grader, netting his third TD before halftime as the Rivals went up 28-7.

At halftime, EJ Head Coach Tony Haddenham implored the players to stay disciplined and tighten their grip on the lead.

In the third quarter, the EJ offense didn’t slow down.

Jones powered through for a TD, and Reaux Jr. scored on a wild run from midfield from a reverse toss. The Rivals were up 40-7 at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, EJ’s defense made yet another big play as junior defensive back Austen Hammer intercepted a pass, returning it to the house for the final touchdown of the night.

Massie finished off the team’s remarkable performance with another interception as the final whistle was blown.

When asked on his recipe to success, Haddenham said: “I think the preparation we do week in and week out, making sure kids are healthy, and putting athletes in the right positions.” 

After a rough start to the season, losing their first two matchups against Granite Falls and Port Angeles, the Rivals have rebounded to win five games straight.

Scoring more than 40 points in their last three games and allowing less than 14 points against in their last five, EJ is firing on all cylinders and winning in comfortable fashion. The Rivals sealed their playoff birth with the big win.

“We have a lot of hybrid players that can play multiple positions,” Haddenham said.

The coach noted the high-strung nature of the game, and what he said to his players to keep them disciplined in the second half.

“I told them that [the Eagles] were gonna chip at them. They were gonna start talking smack and it showed in the first half,” he said.

“We were playing their football part of the first half. We didn’t make any adjustments; we just started playing our football.”

Before the match, seniors from Chimacum and Port Townsend high schools on the football team, cheer team, and band gathered on the field to celebrate Senior Night.

The Rivals have two games left in the season against Klahowya High School and Sultan High School, both away from home.

On Thursday, Oct. 28, EJ will face a solid Klahowya team with a 4-2 record as the Rivals hope to extend their winning streak to six.

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