Roosevelt 17, Garfield 7
Ian Buie’s defensive play seals win for the Roughriders, who sealed the Sound Division with the win Friday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
In a game that was marred by offensive futility, it was only fitting that it was ultimately decided by a defensive play.
Roosevelt lineman Ian Buie forced a loose ball when he sacked Garfield quarterback Jack Schwaegler on the first play of the fourth quarter and Jackson Reavis was there to pick it out of the air and scamper 20 yards untouched into the end zone.
The scoring play shifted the momentum and gave Roosevelt the breathing room it needed to hold off Garfield for a 17-7 win at Memorial Stadium late Friday night.
The victory ensures Roosevelt (5-1, 3-0 Metro) the Metro League Sound Division title.
“I think it kind of turned the game around,” said Reavis of his touchdown.
“I think a lot of our spirits were kind of low and we were nervous about this game. It was a close game in the first half, for sure. We came out, I think kind of helped turn it around.”
The defensive touchdown came three plays after Grant McLaughlin rumbled in from six yards to give Roosevelt a 10-7 lead.
McLaughlin, normally a lineman, was only carrying the ball because the two main running backs were injured, including Friday’s starter Max Mackenzie. Mackenzie left early in the second half after suffering a blow to the head.
Roosevelt still ran for 270 yards as a team, with Mackenzie leading the way with 112 yards on 20 carries.
Ryan Gleeson added 61 yards on 10 rushes and McLaughlin had 52 and the touchdown — all in the second half.
Despite moving the ball well on the ground, the Roughriders’ offense continually stalled.
The result was a 7-3 Garfield (4-2, 2-1) lead at halftime, with Antoine Patton scoring what would become the lone touchdown for the Bulldogs.
“We got to clean stuff up, we can’t make mistakes,” Roosevelt coach Matt Nelsen said.
“The way we want to play football, we can’t make mistakes. We really felt in the first half that we moved the ball well, we held them on defense — we gave up a couple big plays at the end — and we told them that at halftime.”
Roosevelt didn’t quite fix all the mistakes after halftime, but did just enough to come away with the win. Oh, and also that division title.
“We haven’t lost to a city team in a long time, a long time,” Reavis said. “We just have to keep that up.”
Roosevelt and Garfield play at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 17. Garfield faces Mount Rainier at 5 p.m. and Roosevelt plays Cleveland at 7:45.
Joshua Liebeskind: 206-464-2098 or email@example.com.