Eastmont Is a Dark Horse Contender
There is only one team that will represent the Big Nine in the state tournament. Eastmont is making the case it should be them.
Powered by their lead running back Carson Talley and a stout defense, the talent is absolutely there to make it happen.
Caelen Massey, one of Eastmont’s many offensive weapons, believes his group is ready to make a playoff run.
“We have great work ethic in practice,” Massey said. “We’ve worked hard all off-season as well; this is just the beginning of a long journey.”
Right now Eastmont is the only undefeated team left in the Big Nine at 6-0. The biggest reason for their success this season has been their lights out defense.
Out of 65 teams at the 4A level, Eastmont ranks 4th in total defense.
Stand out linebacker Jaron Schneider believes the new players that have stepped up have been the difference-maker.
“Christian Tonga has been great for us on the D-line,” Schneider said. “Also our defensive backs continue to force teams to run the ball."
The defense may be the hottest topic on this team right now, but their offense has absolutely done their share as well.
It’s a triple option attack led by 6 foot 6 190 pound junior QB Carson Everhart.
It’s not too often you see a 6-6 QB operating a ground and pound offense, but Everhart runs the unit as well as any fleet footed six footer could.
His job has been made easier by a trio of work horse backs behind him. Carson Talley, Victor Welton, and Caelen Massey have combined for an astounding 1,475 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground so far this season.
When Everhart does need to drop back and throw it, Massey has proven to be an invaluable deep option. He’s averaging a league leading 27.6 yards per catch.
Being able to control the time of possession is what’s allowed them to give their defense rest, and limit their opponent's scoring opportunities.
It’s worth noting this is an incredibly young roster. Only six senior starters fill out the roster, making Eastmont a program to look out for at least as couple more seasons.
“These young guys have been committed,” Schneider said. “People are showing up to every practice, every game, and every weight training session.”
The road to the state playoffs for Eastmont will most likely start week ten against Wenatchee (5-3).
Assuming both teams don’t lose this Friday, a win over Wenatchee would give them the Big Nine crown; thus earning them a state playoffs berth.
Massey believes the key to winning that game is going to be in the preparation. Anytime you’re the most focused team during the days leading up, you’re going to be in the best position to win.
Their cross-town rival Wenatchee is also in the middle of a ‘dream’ season.
Previously a fixture near the bottom of the standings, they’re now in a resurgence having won four of their past five.
A match up worth looking out for is Wenatchee’s duo of QB Camden Sirmon and receiver Darius Carlson against Eastmont’s top tier secondary.
Expect a playoff atmosphere come November 2nd at Lee Bofto Field.
Right now the general vibe going around the state is the Big Nine won’t make serious noise come playoff time. These Wildcats are convinced they can change people’s minds.
“We’re definitely going to make a run,” Massey said. “Other teams are going to see once we get there.”