Inglemoor High’s players are a tight-knit group wherever they roam. They have a special bond. They’re family.
That’s what Viking junior Colby Ryden feels is responsible for the team’s turn-around from last year’s one-win season. This year, the Viks already possess a 4-1 record and they continued to roll with a 21-12 victory over North Creek on Friday night in front of a raucous homecoming crowd full of students dressed in togas and screaming at the top of their lungs.
“The atmosphere I think was great,” said senior Michael Keating, who had a touchdown and two sacks. “The fans always support us a lot, they’re just always helping us and it always just gives me a lot of energy.”
Ryden scored a pair of touchdowns and said that as long as the Viks keep executing their jobs, they’ll continue to make an impact this season.
Inglemoor scored first on a Kolby Solomon 12-yard touchdown strike to Ryden, who beat a defender and made a leaping catch in the left corner of the end zone. The touchdown with 8:34 left in the first quarter capped a nine-play 67-yard drive to start the game.
Later, Inglemoor upped its lead to 14-6 on Ryden’s second touchdown of the game, a 1-yard run with 3:31 left in the second quarter. Braden Dick notched his second PAT of the game.
On his performance against North Creek, Ryden said with a smile: “My family’s here so I wanna show off for them, and homecoming, I had to show off for my seniors. I was really pumped up to play them ‘cause they were 3-1, we were 3-1, it seemed like a pretty even matched up game. I knew in the end, we were physically stronger than them, so we’re gonna come out with the W.”
North Creek dropped to 3-2 with its second straight loss at Pop Keeney Stadium.
Jaguar quarterback Jack Charlton rolled into the end zone with a 20-yard run with 18 seconds left in the first quarter on a third-and-8 situation. Inglemoor blocked the kick and stayed on top, 7-6. An Anthony Lu interception and 13-yard return gave North Creek the ball to begin its drive.
North Creek’s Shea Hoogerwerf got the Jaguars back on the scoreboard with a 8-yard run with 2:41 left in the third quarter. The two-point conversion failed and the Viks remained ahead, 14-12.
Inglemoor added a final score on Keating’s 8-yard run with 9:43 left in the game. Dick again delivered the PAT to put the Viks up, 21-12.
Along with Keating’s sacks, the Viks racked up some more from Brayden Costilla (two), Trevor Thurman and Olo Fauolo to stave off North Creek drives. Kincaid Schmitt snagged an interception in the end zone with 1:10 left to finish the game.
In one of the most stunning plays of the night, Inglemoor’s Quentin Moore took the spotlight with a 27-yard reception and run up field during which he hurdled an opponent and had the packed Viking stands roaring.
North Creek reeled off some impressive drives to stay in the game and featured nice runs from Hoogerwerf, Olsen and Jaden Landagora, and receptions from Lu, Chris Jenkins, Rami Hakim and Abe Woodward. North Creek had one touchdown — a 48-yard run by Timmy Olsen — negated by a penalty at 8:38 in the fourth quarter.
Keating is proud of the way the Vikings have rebounded to reap success this season by forming a positive and winning culture.
“Right from the start, our seniors just established a good work ethic,” he said. “Everyone’s just been working hard, either with the team or out of the team (at the Ford Sports Performance training center in Bellevue). Everyone is grinding the entire season, everyone was just ready to go from day one.”
North Creek hosts Redmond at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at Pop Keeney and Inglemoor travels to Newport at 7 p.m. Oct. 5.