Pt. Townsend ends Eagles' postseason

"Last week, the Klahowya Secondary School football team proved it could beat Port Townsend.Saturday, in a Nisqually League mini-playoff for one of the league's state playoff berths, the Eagles proved they could beat themselves. Plagued by their own turnovers, the Eags dropped an 18-0 decision and bowed out of the postseason after 24 disappointing minutes.Eatonville, the other team involved in the mini-playoff, beat Port Townsend 17-2 in Saturday's second game at Puyallup's Sparks Stadium, earning the Nisqually No. 2 state berth and dropping PT into the No. 3 spot.The three teams finished the regular season tied at 5-2 behind undefeated Nisqually League champion Orting, forcing the three-way playoff.Klahowya, 1-26 in its first three years, finished the 2000 season with a 7-2 regular season, including a 21-12 victory Nov. 1 at Port Townsend that forced Saturday's set-to.In the rematch with Townsend, the Eagles put themselves on the mat early and never really got a chance to recover.We played so error-free most of the season, this just wasn't like us, said Klahowya coach Brad Hamblet. It was just one of those things, that you'd get that all in one game like that.The Eagles fumbled on the first three plays they ran, losing two of them. That allowed Townsend to take a 12-0 halftime lead in the scaled-down game (four 6-minute quarters instead of the usual 12-minute periods) on touchdown runs by Craig Stahl and Kolby Riley. Quarterback Aaron Parker tacked on another TD in the fourth quarter.We let them play the real short field, Hamblet said of PT's first two scoring drives. Both times, we gave it to them inside our own 30.In all, the Eagles committed five turnovers, including a pass interception by Riley that killed a drive inside Townsend's 20.Hamblet said the turnovers simply didn't leave his team with enough opportunities to catch up.Usually, in a (short) game like that, if you get five possessions, that's kind of good, he said. Unfortunately for us, we just didn't take care of the ball. I don't think we had as many turnovers all season as we had (Saturday).I'm sure if we'd have been able to hang onto the ball, we'd have played as well as we did (in the Nov. 1 victory at Jefferson County Memorial Field).Despite the loss, Hamblet was upbeat about the Eagles' season, during which their only two regular-season losses came against Orting and Eatonville, both of whom were state-ranked in the top five (by The Associated Press) at the time of their games.We're very disappointed with the outcome (of the mini-playoff), he said. I don't think any of us wanted to see it end this early in the postseason.But overall, I think we've got to be very happy with with way things went. It's been a banner year for these kids.The Eagles actually had to win three games in a row to earn their first postseason experience. After back-to-back road losses to Orting and Eatonville, Klahowya scored must-win victories over Chimacum (21-14) and Foster (30-27) to lead up to the Nov. 1 Port Townsend game. They came from behind against Chimacum, with two fourth-quarter touchdown drives, and Port Townsend, scoring the go-ahead TD with less than three minutes left to play.We talked about (the season) Saturday night, Hamblet said of the time the Eagles sat waiting for the outcome of the Eatonville-Port Townsend mini-game. A Townsend victory would've given them an all-the-marbles shot at the Cruisers for the No. 3 state berth. I think our kids feel good about what they've accomplished.Riley was in on four of the Eagles' five takeaways, intercepting three passes and recovering a fumble. "

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