Klahowya falls hard in house of Cards

Brad Hamblet had modest goals for his young Klahowya Secondary School football team when it traveled to Orting for a Nisqually League game last Friday night.We didn't achieve any of them, Hamblet said.But he was laughing when he said it. Hamblet really hadn't expected a win from the Eagles, playing at one of the state's small-school football shrines against a state-ranked foe.What he had hoped was that the Eagles would at least emerge from the game without too many serious injuries.Didn't happen. Klahowya lost sophomore lineman Ash Claussen with a knee injury, possibly for the year. Two other players, Brian Rathfelder and Scott Brougher, suffered concussions that could shelve them indefinitely.This is exactly what we didn't need, Hamblet said. Two real physical opponents (Orting and PT) in a row. We got pretty beat up at Orting, which we couldn't afford, and now we go against Port Townsend, which is always a hard-hitting team.Against Orting, the Eagles were bottled up offensively and man-handled defensively. They compounded those problems with mistakes, particularly on special teams. Chase Reed scored touchdowns on a 90-yard kickoff return and a 42-yard punt return for two of the Cardinals' first three scores, and they later added a fumble return.We had five turnovers, and we allowed three touchdowns on special teams, Hamblet said.We're just trying to get better, one game at a time, he said. With an almost audible shrug, he added, Last week we didn't.The Eagles did find the end zone three times in the fourth quarter, getting two touchdown runs from sophomore Shawn Squires and a third from junior Corey Scott.That fourth quarter was edifying for Hamblet, particularly after the bumps and bruises his front-line players suffered.We found out there's some young guys who want to play, he said. Squires was the most impressive. He played most of the game on defense, and then we put him in on offense and he stepped up and played pretty well.

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