Klahowya searching for answers

It’s been a tale of two teams and four quarters this season for the Klahowya football squad.

For whatever reason, the Eagles continued to look like the state-team of last season in the first and fourth quarters, and like the 0-5 team this year in the second and third.

That recipe couldn’t cook up success Thursday as the Eagles fell to Nisqually League foe Port Townsend (2-3) 32-16 at home at Silverdale Stadium.

The Eagles took just 22 seconds to put the Redskins in a hole, with Isaac Solaita breaking outside for a 22-yard touchdown run after Sam Rucker set up the run with a 53-yard scamper of his own. But the Eagles wouldn’t get on the board again until the final quarter, while PT put up 16 in the second and 16 more in the fourth.

“That’s been the story of our life so far,” eagles coach Brad Hamblet said. “We start great and things just fall apart. It’s a tough thing to figure out the psychology of the game sometimes. We’re trying to find out what gets people ready to play. We’ve played tough in all of our games.”

But for the fifth time this season, playing tough simply wasn’t enough. The Eagles hurt themselves with turnovers and inconsistent play on defense, as the Redskins bounced off several would-be Klahowya tacklers for 315 yards on the ground.

“I don’t think our defensive scheme is bad,” Hamblet said. “We made good stops early and good stops off and on. But we didn’t make the stops when we needed to.”

And it’s been that lack of clutch performance that has the Eagles hurting.

“The thing is we just haven’t had anybody step up and make plays when we need to make plays,” Hamblet said. “I’m hoping we get that from somebody, somewhere, sometime. All it takes is one guy to step up and make a play. It just hasn’t happened. I don’t know what to say about it.”

The Eagles had opportunities to get back into the game late. Trailing 16-8, Port Townsend started a drive from their own 43, marching down the Klahowya 22.

Going for it on fourth-and-inches, PT quarterback Austin Thacker, who scored twice on runs of 1 yard, fumbled the hand off. Klahowya’s CJ Moen was there for the recovery.

But just four plays into their following drive, the Eagles did the same thing, allowing Port Townsend to get the ball, leading to one of Thacker’s scores.

The Eagles were able to score in the fourth after Chris Miller found a hole up the left side for a 35-yard touchdown. After Solaita found the end zone on the two-point conversion, KSS trailed 24-16. Solaita finished with 8 carries for 47 yards and a score while Miller added 43 yards and a touchdown on 6 carries.

But more inability to make key tackles and fill key gaps on defense led to another Redskins’ score, sealing the PT victory.

“Again, that’s the story,” Hamblet said. “We get turnovers and we turn it over. We get down deep but we don’t get in.

“Like I told the guys, ‘You can get in there quick, but the only thing that stops us is ourselves.’”

The Eagles hope to rebound Friday when they take on Sequim (3-1) at 7:30 p.m. at Silverdale Stadium.

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