After starting the year 0-4, it would have been easy for Sherwood High football to pack up and coast through the rest of the season.
Instead, the Bowmen won all five Pacific Conference games to win the league title and earn the No. 21 seed in the Class 6A playoffs.
Two upsets over Sandy and West Salem later, Sherwood was in the quarterfinals riding a seven-game win streak against No. 4 and defending champions Central Catholic.
However, the winning stopped there Friday night, Nov. 19, at Hillsboro Stadium as the Rams offense couldn't be stopped in a 63-21 rout of the Bowmen.
"I'm just proud of how they competed, no matter what the score was … we wanted to compete and play hard every snap," Bowmen coach Kevin Hastin said. "We just kept battling and I'm proud of the heart of the kids."
The halftime numbers were eye-popping — something you'd normally see from a full 48 minutes.
Rams QB Cru Newman was 14 for 18 passing for 241 yards and two TDs in the first half, which ended up being his final numbers as well.
Running back Ellis Bynum picked up where he left off from last week against Mountainside and had 109 yards rushing on 12 carries with three TDs.
Wide receiver Jordan King caught seven passes for 109 yards and one score and added an interception on defense in the first half.
Plus it never hurts to have Timmy Mitchell return the opening kickoff for a touchdown and get another kickoff return from Central Catholic x-factor to make it 35-14 early in the second quarter.
"Our team just came out explosive, we wanted explosive plays from the start and that's what we did," Newman said. "We're just taking what they give us, not doing too much, just reading the defenses and having fun with it. The chemistry is there right now so we're just going to keep on going."
The Bowmen certainly kept things interesting, though, after falling behind 21-0 quickly.
Sherwood quarterback Bjorn Bergstorm hung tough despite throwing two early interceptions and hit Cody Hall for a 68-yard touchdown to make it 21-7.
The Bergstorm-Hall connection only grew from there as they hooked up for an 18-yard score that made it 28-14 Rams. Later, on a fourth and goal from the Rams' 8-yard line, Bergstorm hit Hall between three Ram defenders to make the game 35-21.
Hall had 11 catches for 193 yards and three TDs at the break, while Bergstorm was 15 for 23 for 230 yards with three TDs and four interceptions.
While the Bowmen offense kept the Rams honest, in the end they were on the receiving end of too much firepower from Central Catholic.
Despite the season ending in the quarterfinals, just getting there with a younger group was a feat in itself for the first-year coach Hastin.
"It shows the character of the team and mainly our seniors," Hastin said. "Hats off to our seniors for leading us through some tough times and focusing on getting better every week … To be able to win a league championship, get to the quarterfinals and play a defending champion like Central Catholic, it's been a great experience for our young guys."
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