Wildcats to face Eagle Point in Class 5A play-in round

by: GREG ARTMAN - Harry England (17) made a field goal with less than 10 seconds left to give the Wilsonville football team a 17-14 win over Sandy in its league finale Oct. 25 at Randall Stadium. Above, England executes a kick against Putnam.Harry England doesn’t often kick field goals. But when he does, good things seem to happen for the Wilsonville football team.

With just seconds left in the Oct. 23 league finale, the senior booted the ball through the uprights from 18 yards out to seal the Wildcats’ comeback 17-14 triumph over Sandy at Randall Stadium.

And what a pivotal victory it was.

It afforded Wilsonville (5-4, 4-3 in the Northwest Oregon Conference) a winning league season, boosting the team’s spirits in the wake of the news that its win over Milwaukie last month had been vacated due to an OSAA violation.

Adam Guenther’s team ended up in a four-way tie for second place in the conference standings with Parkrose, Sandy and Liberty. Top-ranked Sherwood won the NWOC crown.

The recent win over Sandy also helped the No. 11 Wildcats in the Class 5A rankings as they gear up for the state postseason, which begins at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 with a play-in game at home against No. 21 Eagle Point.

It will be Wilsonville’s first-ever gridiron meeting with the Eagles (5-4 overall, 2-3 in Special District 3), whose four-game winning streak was snapped in a 33-17 loss to Ashland last week.

The Wildcats enter the postseason on the heels of a stirring second-half effort against Sandy (6-3, 4-3 in the NWOC), which led 14-0 at halftime.

Wilsonvile scored its first points of the game midway through the third quarter, when senior running back Derek Sunkle darted 24 yards for a touchdown run. He finished with season highs in carries (37) and rushing yards (266) and surpassed the 1,500-yard benchmark for the year.

The Wildcats tied the game early in the fourth quarter when England nailed his second extra-point attempt to follow a 27-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Elijah Benedick to receiver Brandon Chao.

Wilsonville marched into the red zone late in the final period, setting up England’s third field-goal attempt of the season. He improved to 3-for-3 this year.

England also made both of his extra-point attempts, improving to 27-for-29 (.931) on the season.

The Wildcats’ defense rallied after halftime, holding Sandy scoreless in the second half. Cole Wilson logged a team high with 11 total tackles, Tyler Carskadon added 10 and Cooper Whittaker contributed nine to go along with a sack and a fumble recovery. Brandon Busch had a team high in solo tackles with six.



Wilsonville 17, Sandy 14

Oct. 25 at Randall Stadium

Sandy 7 7 0 0 — 14

Wilsonville 0 0 7 10 — 17

First quarter

S — (9:39) No. 24 1 run (PAT good)

Second quarter

S — (1:43) No. 14 20 run (PAT good)

Third quarter

W — (7:36) Derek Sunkle 24 run (Harry England kick)

Fourth quarter

W — (11:42) Brandon Chao 27 pass from Elijah Benedick (England kick)

W — (0:03) England 18 field goal

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