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Eagles put solid hurt on Wolves
"When the members of the Klahowya Secondary School football team hit the weight room last winter, they were dreaming about nights like last Friday.When they committed to summer camps and clinics to hone their skill and teamwork, they had visions in their heads of nights like last Friday.When last Friday night was over, all the offseason work seemed worth it.The offseason work showed tonight, said Brad Hamblet, the Eagles' second-year head coach, after Klahowya opened its 2000 by outplaying visiting Evergreen of White Center for a 27-14 victory in front of a very thrilled, slightly chilled partisan crowd at Silverdale Stadium.The guys are really knowing what they're doing. They're confident in the system, Hamblet said. And we had the strength to stay with them.Saddled with a 1-26 record from its first three years - including a winless 0-9 campaign in Hamblet's debut last fall - the Eagles were ready for their fortunes to change. Historically (albeit a brief history), Klahowya was a team that wore down late in games, was pushed around by more physical opponents, and committed fatal errors at the worst possible times.That Klahowya was nowhere in sight last Friday.The Klahowyans that took the field for a rematch of last year's 36-0 drubbing by Evergreen at Highline Stadium were itching to prove that they won't be pushed around any more.We're gonna be a team to mess with, said senior quarterback Ryan Williams after his team started tentatively, then dominated the Wolverines en route to their second all-time victory. We know we have the team this year.Senior Eric Mischenko, who broke Evergreen's heart with second-half touchdown runs of 82 and 77 yards, added, This sets the tone for what we want to do this year.That tone was purposeful, competent and confident. The Eagles gave up a touchdown on Evergreen's first possession, then simply took the line of scrimmage away from the visitors on both sides of the ball. They knotted the score on Josh Rost's 8-yard run midway through the second quarter, then capped an 11-play, 89-yard drive by taking the lead for good on Williams' 20-yard pass to Kyle Skelly just 10 seconds before the halftime whistle.Mischenko put the dagger in on the Eagles' first offensive play of the second half, blowing through a huge hole over right tackle and sprinting from his own 18 to the end zone.Evergreen kept the ball for 17 plays and more than 10 minutes on the ensuing drive, but came away empty when Jason Peters, their 6-foot-1, 210-pound tailback, was stuffed on a sweep on fourth down at Klahowya's 9 yard line.Three plays later, Mischenko found another hole on the right side, spun away from one tackler and ran right out of the grasp of another for his second long TD run. The Wolverines responded with a long scoring drive, but didn't have the time or the resolve to do it twice more.The road must've seemed hard indeed against a Klahowya team that didn't give up a fumble or an interception, which committed only three penalties and which hit on every play like there was a date with Britney Spears at stake.After some beginning jitters, we didn't have many miscues at all, Hamblet praised. We pursued the ball well all night, and our goal-line stand was just a super effort. We dug down deep.Mischenko finished with 189 yards on just six carries, spearheading a rushing attack that netted 331 yards on the evening. Fullback Aaron Killoran supplied 102 tough yards between the tackles, on 13 carries, and Williams sprinkled in just enough aerial support (3-for-5 passing for 36 yards) to keep the Wolverines honest.But it was the absence of turnovers that seemed to impress Hamblet and his players the most about their offensive performance.We've been working on not giving up the ball, said Mischenko.It was a good, sound game by these guys, said Hamblet. And this was a hard-hitting game. We had some licks on people.Hitting hard never was a problem. Even in their winless first year, the Eagles could hit. This year, though, it looks like they're ready to make an impact. "