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Eastlake flexes muscle in 52-14 win over Newport | Football
So much for slow starts.
After three weeks of scoring seven total first-quarter points against teams with losing records, No. 2 ranked Eastlake asserted itself Friday against one of the KingCo Crest's better teams, crushing Newport 52-14.
"We've been waiting to make a statement and I feel like we did that tonight," said senior wide receiver Bryan Cassill.
The Wolves not only accomplished their goal, they did it in a flash.
On the second play from scrimmage, senior running back Ryan Lewis broke through the defense and up the right sideline for 36-yard touchdown. He tacked on a 2-yard score later in the quarter, giving the Wolves a quick 14-0 lead.
"We've had slow starts throughout the season, but we just got our mental toughness down and came out strong," said Lewis, who had eight carries for 118 yards, three touchdowns and one catch for 41 yards.
Cassill pushed the lead to 21-0 early in the second quarter, returning a punt 35 yards for a TD. Lewis tacked on a 21-yard TD run and quarterback Keegan Kemp dove 1-yard in for another score, giving Eastlake a 35-6 halftime lead.
If there were ever any doubt about the outcome, it was erased 13 seconds into the second half. Cassill, who had a return for a touchdown called back in the first game of the season, took the second-half kickoff 85 yards for his second TD of the game.
"We're a fast football team and we actually played that way tonight," said Wolves' head coach Gene Dales, crediting his offense, defense and special teams. "I'm really pleased with all parts of it."
The Knights, who came into the game at 3-1, were held to 90 yards rushing. Mobile quarterback Isaac Dotson had negative 11 yards on five carries. He was 9-for-20 passing for 95 yards and one TD.
Kemp completed 8 of 10 passes for 130 yards and a 12-yard touchdown pass to Aaron DiGenova. He also rushed five times for 30 yards.
The Wolves improved to 5-0 overall, and perhaps more importantly, have gained confidence they can get things done early in games.
"I kind of almost liken it to that our kids have been waiting for a big challenge like this," Dales said. "Obviously, this is a big springboard for us."
Eastlake travels to face non-league Mariner (3-2) at 7 p.m., next week. They then return home for two big league games against Issaquah and Skyline.
"Those are monster games," Dales said.
Things don't get any easier for Newport (3-2), which hosts Skyline next week.