Before No. 10 Olympia met 4A KingCo’s Issaquah on Friday night, a question lingered — are the Bears good, or did they start 4-0 by playing subpar teams?
Olympia answered it with a decisive 32-14 win over the Eagles at Ingersoll Stadium.
“We’re right there,” Olympia coach Bill Beattie said. “I’m proud as heck of our kids.”
The Bears put up four rushing touchdowns — all by running back Scott Gunther – to improve to 5-0 for the first time since 2011.
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Gunther rushed for 267 yards on 40 carries — his fourth consecutive 200-plus yard game — to lead the Bears.
“Scott battled like crazy tonight and I think the offensive line did a nice job with a few adjustments to kind of break him lose at different times,” Beattie said.
Olympia struck first with 11 seconds to play in the first quarter. Freshman running back Jaden Toussaint broke free for a 60-yard gain to move the Bears to Issaquah’s 11-yard line.
Three plays later, Gunther punched it in from the 1-yard line to give the Bears a 7-0 advantage. Olympia never trailed.
The Bears forced a three-and-out on Issaquah’s following drive, but fumbled the punt reception. Griffin Morimoto recovered for the Eagles, but Christian Reed immediately forced another fumble to regain possession for Olympia.
On the following play, Conner Pederson intercepted Jack Bell’s pass, but Olympia again caused a fumble for the fourth turnover in less than a minute. Sam Bochsler recovered to give the Bears a 12-yard gain.
Gunther capped a 6-play drive by leaping into the end zone from seven yards out. Corbin Hartsock caught the 2-point conversion attempt to make it 15-0.
Beattie said, going into Friday’s game, that Olympia’s plan was to contain Issaquah quarterback Cameron Humphrey — which was mostly successful.
“That’s what we were trying to do,” Beattie said. “Obviously, he can throw the ball like a son of a gun, so our defense, for seeing that, did a fantastic job.”
Clay Markoff sacked Humphrey for an 8-yard loss on the opening play of the game — the Bears brought the Issaquah quarterback down in the backfield a total of seven times.
Humphrey was 20 of 38 for 240 yards passing with two touchdowns and one interception — which Gunther picked off in the fourth quarter. The Bears limited the Eagles to 16 total yards rushing.
Humphrey tossed a high floater to Joe Nelson who made a jumping catch from 5 yards out in the second to cut the lead to 15-6 entering the half.
Gunther ran for another nine-yard touchdown in the third, but Humphrey connected with Nelson again late in the quarter on a 13-yard pass. The 2-point conversion pass to Nelson was good, and brought the Eagles to within one score at 22-14.
But that was as close as they got.
Olympia picked up another touchdown on a 26-yard run up the gut by Gunther in the fourth, and added a 23-yard field goal by Skyler Davis with 1 minute, 27 seconds to play to seal the win.
“They didn’t buckle,” Beattie said. “Every time it looked like we were losing a little bit, they stepped back up and played well again.”
Olympia travels to Stadium Bowl next Friday at 7 p.m. to face the Tigers (2-3).
Lauren Smith: 360-754-5473
For video from this game, visit theolympian.com