Wilsonville once again bests Crater in shootout
When Wilsonville and Crater High School met in the first game of the season, it was as decisive a victory as one would imagine. Wilsonville dominated the home team 53-20, and went on to win a league championship and the No. 1 rank entering the playoffs. Crater meanwhile went on a 7-2 run from there, losing only to quarterfinalist Churchill and semifinalist Thurston in that stretch.
The two teams threw down once again Friday, Nov. 9, and though Wilsonville once again won by 33 points the complexion of the game was different. Wilsonville defeated the Comets 78-45 to advance to the state semifinals.
The game started out like most other Wilsonville football games have this season. Though the Wildcats were challenged early, the explosive offense once again took over. In the first half, the No. 1 team outscored Crater 42-6 and the game seemed basically sealed at halftime.
In the second half though, Crater's offense came to life. In the final 24 minutes, the Comets scored 39 points against the typically stalwart Wilsonville defense. Conversely though, the Wildcats answered in kind, scoring 36 points of its own in the second half.
Senior Wildcat quarterback Nathan Overholt was 28-of-42 passes on the night for a .667 completion percentage. While lower than his regular season average, the veteran passer gave the offense 438 yards and six touchdowns. Overholt was able to spread the yardage to his senior receiver corps evenly. Grant Irby led with seven catches for 99 yards, followed closely by Jonah Gomez with five catches for 96 yards. Ironically, the two receivers who led in yardage were the only two without an offensive touchdown.
Cade Edmondson had two receptions for 56 yards and two touchdowns, and Cooper Mootz had five receptions for 69-yards and two touchdowns of his own. Senior Zach Rivers and Trevor Antonson each had a touchdown of their own for a combined 65 yards.
On the ground Wilsonville's familiar faces shined. Mootz led the charge with 14 carries and 139 yards and two touchdowns, including a long run of 50 yards. Overholt also found himself on the run, having five carries for 28 yards and touchdown of his own. Antonson had the other touchdown rushing, a 3-yard rush at 3:44 of the third quarter.
Antonson proved himself a triple threat, also scoring a touchdown on a special teams play. The final touchdown of the game came when he ran the ball back 94 yards at 5:25 of the final quarter.
On defense, Wilsonville forced five turnovers. Senior Kevin Burke led that category with two interceptions, followed by Antonson and sophomore Chad Overholt. Senior Luke Benedick caused a fumble which senior Ayden Lounsbury was able to recover.
With the win, Wilsonville (11-0) advanced into the semifinals of the playoff bracket to face off with the No. 5 ranked West Albany Bulldogs (10-1). In the quarterfinals, West Albany avenged its earlier loss to Silverton with a 20-16 win. The semifinal showdown will take place at Hillsboro Stadium Saturday, Nov. 17.
On the other side of the bracket, Thurston (8-3) throws down with Pendleton (10-1). Thurston advanced to the semifinals after defeating Churchill in a razor thin 49-48 shootout rematch. Pendleton rebounded from a 53-7 loss to Wilsonville with back to back wins over Crescent Valley and Scappoose.