West Seattle brought its best against the Cleveland Eagles on Friday Sept. 27 but in the end they were overpowered and lost 26-0.
SLIDESHOW: Cleveland Eagles shut out Wildcats 26-0
By Jeremy Martin
On Friday night, a feisty West Seattle football squad, coming off its first win of the season, took to the gridiron at Memorial Stadium with the aim of spoiling an otherwise joyful homecoming for Cleveland High School.
Despite last week’s confidence boosting victory over Franklin, the Wildcats were unable to carry its momentum forward, falling to the Eagles 26-0.
It was a tough night for West Seattle’s offensive eleven as its trio of quarterbacks managed only 44 yards air, although that did include a beautiful 22 yard first quarter strike from sophomore Carter Golgart to junior Tre Stewart.
The West Seattle ground attack was led by senior tailback Raphael Jackson who earned 42 yards on 14 carries.
Though the loss drops West Seattle to just 1-3 on the year, the Wildcat defense came to Seattle Center ready to rumble, shutting the Eagles down on an early 4th and goal while also forcing Cleveland into several miscues and three and outs.
West Seattle had its hands full trying to contain Eagles quarterback Amonte Phillips, but the Wildcats were undaunted in its quest to contain the shifty freshman.
One play in particular showed off the visitor’s tenacity.
Having been forced into a 4th and three at the Wildcat 30, Phillips took the snap from center and attempted an end around to the left, however a strong push from the defensive line forced the young signal caller to double back right where he was met from behind by a Wildcat defender who popped the ball loose, directly into the hands of West Seattle Lineman Wyatt Bailey.
Bailey, all 220 LBS of him rumbled off a 20 yard return before being brought down at midfield, living out the ball carrying dreams of every high school hogmolly.
The big play however was all for naught as the Wildcats would fumble on the very next snap, losing possession to the Eagles.
Capitalizing on Cleveland’s new found momentum, Phillips connected with senior WR Dale Daniels for a 42 yard touchdown bomb on the Eagles first play following the turnover.
The long strike gave the hosts a two score lead going into the half.
Phillips, who showed off both his arm and his legs, finished the game with 178 yards passing and three touchdowns, while netting 30 yards on the ground.
Daniels was one of two Eagles receivers that had big nights, as the senior grabbed 4 passes for 68 yards and two scores. He also picked off a second quarter Golgart pass.
Daniels was joined by sophomore Zechariah Brown who caught 5 balls for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Daniel Matapula led the way on the ground for the Eagles with 82 yards rushing. Rachaun McConico also chipped in, netting 52 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
West Seattle stayed strong throughout the game, once again averting disaster in the third quarter by recovering an Eagle fumble deep in its own territory, but it was forced to punt after three runs from Jackson failed to move the sticks.
The victory improves Cleveland’s record to 3-0 as the Eagles due battle with Hale next week at Memorial Stadium.
West Seattle takes to the road once again next week as it squares off with Rainier Beach at the Southeast Athletic Complex.
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