Mount Si football preps for playoffs with shutout of Liberty

The Mount Si High School football team had several objectives they were seeking to fulfill in last night’s Senior Night home game against Liberty. First of all, winning, of course, but also making sure they got lots of players playing time, worked on things they need to improve on in advance of their playoff opener next week, and most importantly, not get any key players injured.

With three Liberty defenders and Mount Si senior teammate Parker Dumas following along, Wildcat senior RB Cory Cotto (right) races towards the end zone for a touchdown, his only one of the game, in the first half of last night's 21-0 Wildcat football shutout of Liberty at Mount Si High School. (Photo courtesy Calder Productions)

With three Liberty defenders and Mount Si senior teammate Parker Dumas (all left) following along, Wildcat senior RB Cory Cotto (right) races towards the end zone for a touchdown, his only one of the game, in the first half of last night’s 21-0 Wildcat football shutout of the Patriots at Mount Si High School. (Photo courtesy Calder Productions)

Mount Si accomplished all of those objectives as they demonstrated a workman-like quality in their overall performance posting a 21-0 shutout of the ex-Kingco 3A rival Liberty Patriots at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie. Parker Dumas caught a pair of touchdown passes and Cory Cotto added another score as the Wildcats finished the regular season 6-3 and with the third seed into next week’s 4A state opening round from Kingco, a seed they earned thanks to Skyline’s win over Eastlake.

“It was great,” said Mount Si coach Charlie Kinnune. “It was really important that we got all our seniors in and play significant time and we did.”

Things started out quickly for the Wildcats. On their first offensive play of the contest, after the Mount Si defense set the tempo for the game forcing Liberty into a “three-and-out” (three downs and resulting punt) on their opening drive, Cotto broke through the Patriot defense and ran 47 yards to paydirt to open the scoring. With his family watching, the senior’s TD headlined an over 100-yard rushing effort leading the Wildcats on the ground.

With the score still 7-0 late in the first half, Mount Si’s Dumas caught an 11-yard pass from quarterback Jesiah Irish for a touchdown helping to extend the lead. Irish has battled injuries for much of the season, but looked real good last night in some very quality action by the sophomore. Look for Irish to be a big factor in next week’s playoff game.

The senior connection of QB Harrison Danna and Dumas hooked up for the receiver’s second score of the game, a 72-yard scamper to the end zone early in the second half. From there, Mount Si was able to get plenty of players who normally don’t make headlines an opportunity to contribute, and several made solid contributions, such as senior RB/LB Jeff Hanley, sophomore RB/LB Tyler Peery, junior receiver/DB Alex Rendon and freshman lineman Slater Macko.

Liberty did have one opportunity to score late in the third quarter. A bad snap on a punt attempt by the Wildcats gave the Patriots excellent field position, but they were unable to capitalize. Kicker Tyler Wray missed a field goal attempt wide left, and the shutout stayed intact the rest of the way, as Mount Si handed Liberty its fifth loss in six games to close out their regular season.

Senior lineman Riley Peerboom appreciated the team’s overall effort. “I think we all just played hard. We worked hard for this moment,” he said. Peerboom is the last of three siblings from his family to graduate from Mount Si, and all played sports; older sisters Shelby (basketball) and Mackenzie (volleyball) both were also key pieces for their programs while members of those teams several years ago.

Peerboom will miss the team bonding. “Just the camraderie I think, just being out there with my brothers,” he said.

Kinnune will remember the class of 2016 fondly. “I’m going to remember what great kids they are more than anything. They’re outstanding people,” the longtime coach said. “I’ve known many of them since they were five, six, seven years old, so I really, really (will) miss them a lot.”

Receiver Colton Swain, another senior whose impact on this season is well-known, felt the team needed to approach the contest in the right way. “We wanted to come in here with some meaning and still approach every game like we’re going to win it,” he said.

Playoffs approach
Mount Si now gets set for its first-ever trip to the 4A playoffs, with an opening-round battle either next Friday or Saturday night against Jefferson of Federal Way, who won the South Puget Sound League’s North division second seed after beating Kentlake last night. The game will be at Federal Way Stadium, and see the Wildcats play a Raiders team that is 7-2 and held SPSL standard-bearer Graham-Kapowsin, ranked in the top five in the state at 4A, to a season-low 20 points earlier this season.

“We’re going to do what we do,” Kinnune said. “We’re going to minimize our mistakes and play good, tough, hard football and play for each other.”

Mount Si, during their time as a 3A school, was a perfect 8-0 in these opening-round games, so the Wildcats will be looking to maintain that unbeaten record and advance to the state round of 16 in two weeks, where a possible date with the vaunted G-K team awaits; the Pierce County school beat Skyline earlier this season.

When we hear about date and time confirmation, we’ll let you know. That should be out no later than Monday of next week.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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