There haven’t been many football games to remember for the Aberdeen Bobcats in recent history. They’re sure to remember this one.
In what could be a turning-point for the Bobcats program, Aberdeen outlasted the Elma Eagles 32-26 in a thrilling double-overtime victory on Friday at Stewart Field.
“Well I ain’t gonna lie, I’m pleasantly surprised at our kids’ resiliency,” Aberdeen head coach Todd Bridge said. “They stepped up and refused to lose and we are proud of them.”
Aberdeen (1-2) held a 20-6 lead in the first half after running back Connar Sherman broke loose for a 38-yard touchdown run with seven minutes left in the second quarter.
But Elma (2-1) climbed back into the game on its next possession, driving downfield and scoring on Brady Shriver’s 8-yard TD run to pull to within one score at 20-12 with 5:19 left in the first half.
Both defenses took over in the second half, including the Bobcats recovering a fumble on an Eagles 4th-and-goal play from the Aberdeen 1-yard line with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The game remained deadlocked until early in the fourth quarter when Shriver and the Eagles offense drove downfield to tie the game. Elma embarked on 59-yard drive that culminated in a Shriver 2-yard scoring run to bring the Eagles within two at 20-18. Elma quarterback Cody Vollan completed a pass to receiver Noah Huttula for the 2-point conversion, tying the game at 20-20.
Aberdeen threatened late in the fourth quarter. Aberdeen’s Patrick Hunt returned an interception to the Elma 46-yard line and, after a long Ethan Morrill run, the Bobcats had the ball on the Eagles’ 28-yard line with approximately two minutes left in the game. But the Aberdeen drive stalled there as the Bobcats turned the ball over on downs and the game went to overtime.
In the first overtime period, Aberdeen drove to the Elma 1-yard line and scored when Kaiden Schubert ran the ball in on a 4th-down play. But the Bobcats’ 2-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the door open for the Eagles.
After avoiding disaster by recovering an offensive fumble and converting on two 4th-down plays, the Eagles scored on a Shriver 1-yard run to tie the game, with the extra point upcoming.
But Elma left the door slightly open as kicker Rodrigo Luna’s PAT attempt was no good, forcing a second overtime.
On the Eagles first possession of the second OT period, Aberdeen recovered a fumble, giving the Bobcats the chance to win the game by putting points on the board.
Aberdeen drove to the 13-yard line, where running back Ethan Morrill set off an eruption in the Bobcats stands when he broke through the right side of the Elma defense and scurried into the end zone, giving the Bobcats the upset 32-26 victory.
“You had faith. You haven’t walked away and you had faith what we were telling you is true,” Bridge told his team after the game. “And this is your reward. You get the big W.”
Aberdeen outgained Elma on the ground, 352-193, and was led by a pair of running backs that gained over 100 yards apiece. Morrill ran for 202 yards and two TDs on 39 carries while Connar Sherman ran for 103 yards, including a 53-yard TD run to open the scoring in the first quarter, and a pair of scores.
Shriver led Elma with 121 yards on the ground.
Vollan went 11-for-21 for 118 yards and an interception and had just 20 yards rushing on 10 carries, which was part of Aberdeen’s defensive gameplan.
“We had to make sure Cody Vollan beat us with his arm and not his feet, that was a big deal for us defensively,” Bridge said. “We had enough sporadic stops to get them off the field, offensively.”
The first-year Aberdeen coach, who was previously the Elma athletic director for two years, said it felt ironic that his first win as the skipper of the Bobcats would be against players and coaches he respects and knows so well.
“I’m a players coach and I’ve built lifelong relationships with those (Elma) kids,” he said. “My heart goes out to them, but I’ve already developed a deep relationship with these Bobcat boys and my hat;s off to them. … It was a heck of a program win and the kids showed resiliency and have been respectful all along.”
When asked if this is the type of victory that can change the course of the Aberdeen program, Bridge responded: “It’s a big blue and gold storm coming.”
Montesano 54, Columbia-White Salmon 14
The Montesano Bulldogs had its third-straight complete, dominant performance on Friday, routing Columbia-White Salmon 54-14 at Columbia High School.
Down 7-6 after the Bruins (2-1) scored on an 80-yard scoop-and-score fumble recovery by defensive back Austin Charters, Montesano (3-0) responded by scoring 61 seconds later on a 7-yard run by running back Aydan Darst.
“I really like how our kids responded after (the turnover),” Monte head coach Terry Jensen said. “They faced some adversity on the road and did a great job of coming back and staying focused.”
It was all Bulldogs from there on out as Monte would score three touchdowns before the half on TD passes by quarterback Trace Ridgway to Sam Winter and Braden Dohrmann followed by a 2-yard scoring run from Brent Hollatz, giving Monte a 33-7 lead at the break.
Monte scored twice more in the third quarter, once on a 22-yard pick-6 by Sam Winter and later on a 7-yard run from Darst.
Hunter Schnoor scored on a 27-yard run at 11:41 of the fourth quarter to round out the Bulldogs scoring.
Ridgway finished with 13 completions on 15 attempts for 196 yards and three touchdowns to one interception. He ran for 95 yards on 11 carries.
The Bulldogs ran for 237 yards as a team, with Darst leading the way with 97 yards on seven carries.
Montesano’s defense shut down CWS, holding the Bruins to just 113 total yards of offense (59 pass, 54 rush).
After a four-hour bus ride, Jensen was impressed by his team’s consistent effort shown in the game.
“We kind of kept the pedal down on the gas,” he said. “We had great play all the way around in all three phases of the game and it was probably the most physical we played all year.”
La Center 48, Hoquiam 14
Hoquiam surrendered 21 straight points in the second quarter as La Center pulled away for a 48-14 victory in Vancouver on Friday.
The Grizzlies (2-1) were down 13-0 in the first quarter and responded with a 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dane McMillan to receiver Kyle Larsen with 2:34 left in the game’s opening frame.
Hoquiam’s deficit quickly ballooned in the second quarter, however, as the Grizzlies found themselves down 35-7 at the half after the Wildcats scored three straight times in the frame.
Hoquiam head coach Jeremy McMillan said an inability to wrap up ball carriers plagued the Grizzlies most of the night.
“(La Center) controlled the line of scrimmage and executed pretty well. We just didn’t tackle real well today,” he said. “They did some good things up front against us. Shut down the run game all night and we were playing catch up and it’s tough to catch up down 35-7.”
Dane McMillan finished 14-for-18 for 148 yards and a touchdown.
Cameron Bumstead caught eight passes for 64 yards and Ben Estes had 51 yards on three catches for Hoquiam, which managed just one ruhsing yard as a team on 18 carries against a stout La Center defense.
The Grizzlies will be looking to bounce back from its first loss of the season with another non-league matchup against Columbia White-Salmon at home on Friday at 7 p.m.
— Hasani Grayson, Grays Harbor News Group
Crescent 56, South Bend 28
South Bend surrendered 32 unanswered points in the second half en route to a 56-28 loss to Crescent on Friday at Crescent High School.
Down 18-6 after the first quarter, South Bend (0-2) outscored the Loggers (1-2) by 12 points in the second quarter to take a 28-24 lead into the half.
But Crescent scored 16 points in both the third and fourth quarters to earn the victory.
The Indians were led by quarterback Chase Flynn, who accounted for 330 yards of total offense. Flynn was 6-for-9 for 179 yards passing and four touchdowns while rushing for 151 yards on 21 attempts.
South Bend receiver Mayson Estle caught three passes for 105 yards and scored two touchdowns, including a 52-yard pass-and-catch from Flynn.
Hunter Clements caught two passes for the Indians for 70 yards and also had two touchdowns.
Crescent quarterback Eric Emery went 9-for-14 for 206 yards and three touchdowns while Loggers running back Wyatt Lee had 26 carries for 183 yards and three touchdowns in the high-scoring affair.
Ocosta 33, Oroville 7
Cole Hatton passed for over 300 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Ocosta Wildcats to a 33-7 victory over the Oroville Hornets on Saturday at a neutral site in Leavenworth.
Facing a Hornets defense that constantly blitzed and rushed the running lanes, Hatton completed 12-of-29 passes, picking apart Oroville for 324 yards.
Ocosta running back Dakota Davis caught three passes for 91 yards and two TDs, including an 8-yard scoring catch on the Wildcats’ opening drive two plays after hooking up with Hatton on a 50-yard pass play to the Hornets’ 10-yard line.
Tied 7-7 in the second quarter, Hatton found Harley Figueroa on a 27-yard TD connection to give Ocosta (3-0) a 14-7 lead.
On their next possession, the red-hot Hatton found Davis again, this time deep downfield for a 43-yard touchdown.
It was all Ocosta from there on out, as Hatton pitched TD passes to receivers Jose Sevilla and Dylan Medford in the second half.
“Cole had another great game, escaping the blitz and picking apart their secondary” Ocosta head coach Chris Raffelson said. “
Ocosta’s defense, which was shorthanded due to injuries and a recent relocation of starting safety Cesar Martinez, held Oroville in check after the early first-quarter touchdown. The Wildcats had six sacks (three by Hatton) and forced two turnovers — a 64-yard fumble recovery by Davis and an interception by defensive back Christian Taylor.
Linebacker Isaac O’Hagan led Ocosta with seven tackles (six solo) and a forced fumble.
“Our defense refocused and didn’t allow Oroville to put together anymore long drives (after the TD),” Raffelson said. “Even short-handed, our defense continued to play fast and physical as they did in our first two games.”
Mossyrock 58, North Beach 0
WA School for the Deaf 54, Lake Quinault 2 (Thursday)