Friday, December 26, 1997
The talented center for the University of Washington ended his career with the Huskies on the same stadium floor he concluded his glory days at St. Louis School.
Perhaps not coincidentally, he exited the stage in 1994 with a Prep Bowl win over rival Kahuku High and yesterday left stage right with a 51-23 Washington victory over Michigan State in the Aloha Bowl.
"This is why you play the game," Kreutz said minutes after the Huskies secured the win. "Look around and see all the happy faces. You wish times like these could go on forever."
Kreutz will spend the holidays in Hawaii, then return to the mainland to prepare himself for the rigors of the National Football League. Recently, the junior decided to forgo his final year.
"I'm really happy for Olin," Washington head coach Jim Lambright said. "He has really grown and matured at Washington. I have no doubts he'll be playing on Sundays for years to come. Hopefully, one day he can come back to Hawaii and play in the Pro Bowl."
THE RIGHT REED: Just when Michigan State had closed the gap to 21 points midway through the third quarter and forced the Huskies into a punting situation, Washington called for the fake.
The ball was snapped to up-back Mike Reed, who raced down the middle of the field 64 yards for the back-breaking touchdown.
"Those sort of plays are so emotional for a football team," Lambright said.
The play stunned Michigan State head coach Nick Saban, who even alluded that the play might have been rubbing it in a little bit.
"It was unusual to run on that down and distance," Saban said. "They caught us off-guard."
Talented outside linebacker Ike Reece agreed.
"If there was ever any doubt who was going to win, it ended on that play," Reece said.
MVP WINNERS: Washington running back Rashaan Shehee and Michigan State receiver Gari Scott were named the outstanding players for their respective teams.
Shehee finished with a record-setting 193 yards and two touchdowns, including a 33-yarder on Washington's second offensive play of the game.
"I always knew I could have a game like this if I could just get healthy," said Shehee, who missed the last three games of the regular season with a sprained knee.
Scott downplayed his award, saying it was tough to be happy after losing by four touchdowns.
"But I thank God for giving me the opportunity to come up big," said Scott, who had five catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
RECORDS TIED, FALL: Shehee's rushing mark wasn't the only Aloha Bowl record to have an alteration after yesterday's game.
The 28-point margin of victory tied the 1990 record set by Syracuse in its 28-0 blanking of Arizona. Washington's 51 points also tied the most points scored in a game. Kansas first set it in its 1995 victory over UCLA.
Michigan State quarterback Todd Schultz fired three interceptions and that tied the record held by former University of Hawaii quarterback Garrett Gabriel. He threw three picks in the 1989 loss to Michigan State.
Although the two interception returns for touchdowns of 56 and 66 yards by Washington's Tony Parrish and Lester Towns, respectively, didn't break the 72-yard return by Houston's Alton Montgomery, they were the first interception returns for touchdowns in Aloha Bowl history.