Issaquah freshman Jack Gellatly doesn’t mind when people say that he reminds them of his older brother.
Considering his brother Grant, now playing at Cornell, is one of the most-regarded running backs in Issaquah football history, the younger Gellatly gladly accepts the comparison.
“I like that compliment, a lot,” he said. “My brother is one of my heroes, I really look up to him. It’s fun to strive to compete like him.”
Gellatly rolled up a career-high 114 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries, helping to ease the Eagles’ pain of losing their starting quarterback, as No.10 Issaquah beat Newport 35-14.
Nursing a 14-7 lead, Issaquah starting quarterback Ethan Kalin threw his second interception of the night and was hurt trying to tackle Newport’s James Dupar during the return. Kalin, a junior, dislocated the elbow on his throwing arm and will likely miss the rest of the season.
Enter Braden Bouwman. The senior backup entered the game on the Eagles’ next drive and hit wide receiver Evan Peterson on his first pass of the game for a 9-yard touchdown. That score gave the Eagles (6-2) a 21-7 edge that they took into the half.
Bouwman would remain effective the remainder of the game, finishing 9 of 18 for 91 yards.
“When the starter goes down, you always get that feeling like ‘OK, I’m the guy and it’s time to go,'” Bouwman said. “The team has always supported me and they helped me get it done tonight.”
It was the second time Bouwman has had to take over the starting reins for Issaquah. Kalin suffered a concussion in the Eagles loss to Skyline four weeks ago. Bouwman played the second half of that game and started the next against Kamiak, a 38-6 win.
“When you lose your starter, you’ve got to scale things back a little bit, but there are things he does well and we stick with that,” said Issaquah coach Chris Bennett. “He did a nice job coming in…he’s done a good job getting in there. Now he’s going to get an opportunity to lead the way.”
The Eagles couldn’t have asked for a better start in this final regular season game. Reed Peterson returned the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown, giving Issaquah a 7-0 lead 12 seconds into the game.
“All of us were ecstatic,” Bouwman said. “There’s nothing like an opening play to the house.”
After a Newport (4-4) three-and-out, Kalin led the Eagles downfield and Gellatly scored his first touchdown of the night on a 1-yard run.
The Knights finally answered with an Isaac Dotson 5-yard touchdown run to cut the score to 14-7 before Bouwman’s touchdown toss to Evan Peterson just minutes later.
With Dotson also missing the second half due to injury, the teams traded rushing touchdowns: first, Gellatly scored on a 10-yard run, then Newport’s Louie Jachim pushed into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown to make the score 28-14 with 5:59 remaining in the game.
Gellatly scored the final touchdown of the game on Issaquah’s next possession. The freshman ran in from four yards out to complete his highlight night.
“He’s been chomping at the bit for playing time,” said Bennett, who coached Grant Gellatly as well. “He’s got that vision and you could see that tonight. He’s pretty special.”
Newport couldn’t get much going offensively, turning the ball over on downs five times and punting three times. Eric Rodan led all rushers with 115 yards on 19 carries. Dupar rushed for 78 yards on seven carries and had two receptions for 39 yards in the loss.
Because of the loss, the Knights are the No.4 team from the Crest Division for the KingCo 4A crossover playoffs. Newport will host Inglemoor.
Issaquah clinched the No.3 spot in the Crest Division with the win and will play Woodinville. Both games are loser-out. Winners move on to the state qualifying round.
“We feel good,” said Bennett, noting the Eagles are without 3-4 players who will miss the remainder of the season with injuries. “We tell our kids each week that they’re just one play away and they have to prepare each week like they are the guy. We have high expectations.”