Redmond High’s fourth loss of the football season featured a record-breaking performance by Cameron Sandquist and a heart-breaking injury for John Martino.
Sandquist, a senior wideout, hauled in 15 passes for 244 yards — both school records — and scored three touchdowns against Eastlake Friday night. Senior quarterback David Gilbertson posted his second 300-yard passing game, completing 24 of 31 for 323 yards.
But Redmond’s awesome aerial assault wasn’t enough as the Wolves fended off the Mustangs, 55-37, in a 4A Kingco Crest Division opener Friday night at Eastlake. Redmond fell to 0-4 on the season, while Eastlake improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in division play.
To make matters worse, the Mustangs lost Martino, a do-it-all senior, for the season to a knee injury.
“Cameron had a huge game,” Redmond coach Mike Pluschke said. “Now with John out, he will have to become an even bigger part of our passing game.”
Martino tore the ACL ligament in his knee when he came down awkwardly after making a fabulous, leaping catch over the middle with 11:51 left in the game. Martino, 6-foot, 170 pounds, was helped off the field by Redmond assistant coaches. Martino, who scored on an 81-yard kickoff return in the second quarter, was on crutches after the game.
“It was one of the ugliest ways a receiver could come down when he goes up for a ball like that,” Pluschke said.
After the game, Pluschke admitted the injury was “really bad,” and an MRI on Saturday revealed the worse possible news: a ligament tear, which will require season-ending surgery.
A second-year starter, Martino started on both sides of the ball and he returned kicks for the Mustangs.
“We lost a real valuable member of our football team,” Pluschke said. ”He is a big loss, as a leader, as a player and as a guy we look to.”
But the Mustangs still have Sandquist, who set new single-game school records in both receptions and yardage. The reception record was 12 by Jacob Anderson against Woodinville in 1996. The single-game yardage mark was 214, set by Aaron Brown against Eastlake in 1998.
Sandquist hauled in touchdowns of 60, 10 and 42 yards – all in the second half, when the Mustangs tried to mount a comeback. Sandquist’s second touchdown catch cut Eastlake’s lead to 41-24 late in third quarter, but that was the closest the Mustangs got.
“David and Cameron Sandquist hooked up and got on the same link,” Pluschke said. “That kind of spurred the comeback. It’s just too bad we couldn’t get a couple stops in the second half to help that comeback out.”
Eastlake coach Gene Dales was impressed with Redmond’s air attack.
“They threw the ball well,” Dales said. “They really focus on throwing it. Our job is to stop them and we struggled with that.”
While Redmond’s passing game was clicking – especially in the second half – its ground game sputtered, managing just 10 total yards. Redmond’s defense was also punchless, giving up 472 yards of offense. Junior defensive lineman Tyler Black collected two sacks for the Mustangs and Tyler Coffman picked off a pass, but the Redmond defense struggled to slow the Wolves.
Stephen Nasca and Cameron Hunt each scored three touchdowns for the Wovles, who take on undefeated Issaquah on Friday.
As for the winless Mustangs, things don’t get any easier. Redmond takes on a tough Newport Friday night at home without one of its best playmakers.
Pluschke recognized the urgency for Redmond to crack into the win column and said players and coaches are working extra hard.
“We painted ourselves into a corner,” Pluschke said. “Now we have to play our way out of it.”
Bill Christianson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (425) 867-0353, ext. 5050.