From start to finish
WILSONVILLE VS. CRATER I
Wilsonville got its season started with a showdown against Crater August 31. Wilsonville entered the season after suffering a semifinals loss to eventual state champion Hermiston the previous season, while the Comets had suffered a first round loss to South Albany.
The Wildcats got off to a strong start in what would be indicative of their regular season run, blowing out the opponent in the first half and hanging on to the lead in the second 24 minutes. Quarterback Nathan Overholt had a big night in what would ultimately be a record breaking season for him, throwing six touchdowns for 436 yards. Defensively, Wilsonville had a takeaway thanks to a Cade Edmondson interception, and was led in tackles by defensive lineman Caleb Baker with six.
WILSONVILLE VS. CHURCHILL
In what was the most back and forth game of the Wildcats season, Wilsonville squared off with 2017 runner-ups Churchill Sept. 7 in an early matchup between heavy hitters. Churchill jumped out to an early lead, and managed to hang on through the end of the first half 35-28. However, the Wildcats were able to come up big defensively in the second half, limiting the Lancers offense to just 15 points. Wilsonville's offense was able to generate 29 points of its own during that time, and got the win 57-50.
Overholt once again had six passing touchdowns for 454 yards, and managed a rushing touchdown as well. The wide receivers who scored were many, with senior Sam Westing (3), Jonah Gomez (1), Zach Rivers (1), and Isaiah Haqq (1) chipping in to the scoring. Wilsonville was now 2-0 on the season.
WILSONVILLE VS. CLEVELAND
Wilsonville's role of welcoming committee to the 5A scene began Sept. 14 when the Wildcats squared off with former 6A squad Cleveland (0-2 at the time). After being tested by Churchill the week prior, the Wildcats came out and looked dominant in a 49-7 victory over the Warriors.
The offense put up an unanswered 49 points through the first three quarters, and the defense was stalwart until ceding a touchdown in the waning minutes of the game. Senior running back Trevor Antonson had two touchdowns on the night, and had five carries for 69 yards. Overholt was 9-for-10 and threw a trio of touchdowns. Backup sophomore quarterback Jayce Knapp was 4-for-4 for 33 yards and one touchdown.
WILSONVILLE VS. HILLSBORO
In the team's most complete victory of the season, Wilsonville shut out league foe Hillsboro 54-0 Sept. 21 to move to 4-0 on the season, and 2-0 in league play. Overholt had five touchdowns through the air, and Knapp had one as well.
On the ground, senior running back Cooper Mootz (in his second game back from injury) ran the ball 14 times for 92 yards and one touchdown. Junior Zach Geilmann also had a rushing touchdown and 35 yards on the night.
Baker led the defense in tackles with eight. Edmondson, Antonson and senior defensive back Kevin Burke each had a pick against the Hillsboro offense. Junior kicker Jacob Haussermann was 6-for-8 on PATs.
WILSONVILLE VS. FOREST GROVE
On Sept. 28 Wilsonville squared off with another former 6A school, this time Forest Grove. The 3-1 Vikings had scored at least four touchdowns in each of their previous games, but were unable to replicate that feat against the Wilsonville defense.
For 47 minutes of play, the Wildcats kept Forest Grove off of the scoreboard. To add to the defensive dominance, Burke had a pick six and Wilsonville got a safety in the third quarter. All told, Wilsonville had six interceptions in the game.
Overholt had four touchdown passes on the occasion, three to Gomez and one to Haqq. Cooper Mootz had a rushing touchdown, as did Gomez. Wilsonville won 53-6.
WILSONVILLE VS. SCAPPOOSE
On Friday, Oct. 5 the Wildcats met with former 4A standout Scappoose on enemy territory in a cold, dark rainstorm and won 41-20. The first quarter was fairly even with the Wildcats scoring 14 points, and Scappoose scoring 13. After that though, Wilsonville's offense came to life in the second and third quarters, outscoring Scappoose 27-0 in that time.
The receiving corps racked up 172 yards and four touchdowns in just 16 receptions. The ground game, led by Mootz, recorded 109 yards and a touchdown at the end of the night. Defensively, Kauhi had 18 tackles on the night, and Antonson had two interceptions on the night.
After that, Scappoose would go on to win four straight games.
WILSONVILLE VS. ST. HELENS
Against old foe St. Helens, Wilsonville set its season high scoring record when the horn sounded on a 67-14 drubbing Oct. 11. In yet another dominant first half, Wilsonville outscored the Lions 57-7. Overholt had four touchdown passes and 264 yards, and a rushing touchdown as well. Senior Zach Rivers had four catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Mootz and senior Brenden Ertle also each a passing touchdown.
The Wilsonville rushing game was strong too, with Mootz having a banner game of 176 yards on just 10 carries, and three touchdowns as well. Sophomore Lucas Graves also had a touchdown. Haussermann scored a field goal, and was 8-for-8 on PATs.
WILSONVILLE VS. WILSON
In a battle of "Wilsons," the Wildcats hosted a former 6A school, the Wilson Trojans, Oct. 19. In the final regular league game of the season, Wilsonville won 57-20. Once again, a big first half paved the way for victory, with all 57 points happening in the first 24 minutes. The offense needed just 33 plays, picking up 17 first downs and six touchdowns.
The defense was led by sophomore Chad Overholt who had 10 tackles, followed by senior Kody Gray with 9 tackles. Ertle and Baker each had a pair of sacks, and Antonson and Frank Cooper each had two interceptions. The defensive unit five takeaways overall, and team moved to 8-0.
WILSONVILLE VS. PENDLETON
In a battle of unbeaten Special District 1 teams, Wilsonville squared off with the Pendleton Buckeroos (8-0) to decide who would be the league champion Oct. 26. In what was expected to the sternest test to date, Wilsonville exceeded all expectations with flying colors, dominating the visiting team 53-7 by the game's end.
Once again the offense's explosiveness showed through, needing only 29 plays to secure the lopsided victory. Overholt was 10-for-16 for 6 touchdowns and 423 yards, and scrambling for one as well.
The wide receiving corps was also strong, with five different wide receivers scoring touchdowns and seven making catches. The defense recorded eight sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery to help keep the Pendleton offense to just seven points on the night. Wilsonville was now the Special District 1 Champion, and 9-0 heading into the playoffs.
WILSONVILLE VS. RIDGEVIEW
Wilsonville faced its first playoff opponent, the 4-5 Ridgeview Ravens, Nov. 2, and immediately the difficulty level was up. Though the Ravens were coming into the contest seeded 16th in the playoff bracket and on a two-game losing skid, they were able to go toe-to-toe with the Wilsonville squad early. After the first quarter the two teams were tied up 7-7.
However, the Wildcats were able to get things going in the second and third quarters, outscoring the visiting team 47-0. Ridgeview got garbage points towards the end of the game, scoring 13 points in the final quarter, but Wilsonville had done it: they were now quarterfinalists.
WILSONVILLE VS. CRATER II
In the second meeting between these two teams, Wilsonville once again walked away victorious, this time with a preposterous score of 78-45. Crater may have gotten 45 points against Wilsonville, but the game played out the same as many of the Wildcats' wins had previously. Wilsonville managed to jump out to a 42-6 by the end of the half.
Overholt was 28-42 for 438 yards and six touchdowns at the end of the scoring escapade. On the ground, the star quarterback had 28 yards and a touchdown. Mootz also had a big game, running the ball 14 times for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Antonson also had a touchdown on the night.
WILSONVILLE VS. WEST ALBANY
Heading into the semifinal matchup with West Albany, Wilsonville was wearing the wounds of the season visibly. Running back Cooper Mootz was out; senior wide receiver Sam Westing was out; senior lineman David Fukofuka was out; lineman Christian Ramirez was out. Others wore their lumps.
With those key players out, Wilsonville had its work cut out for it, and performed admirably. Scoring a touchdown each quarter, and limiting the Bulldogs to a single score in the third quarter, Wilsonville ended up with the victory 28-7. Overholt tied the 5A state record for touchdown passes set by Beaverton's Taylor Barton in 1997.
While he attempted to break the record at the game's end, it was not meant to be. He threw for two touchdowns, and ran for two more. Zach Rivers and Chad Overholt were Overholt's two touchdown recipients. On the ground, Nathan Overholt and Antonson both ran for 108 yards.
Edmondson led the defense with 11 tackles and one sack, the latter leading to a fumble recovered by linebacker Kalei Kauhi.
WILSONVILLE VS. THURSTON
In the finals, Wilsonville ran into the one team it could not surpass: Thurston. With dogged persistence, the Colts ran the ball against an increasingly exhausted Wilsonville defensive front, and switched to the pass to make big gains when necessary. The Wildcats gave up 144 yards on the ground, and 234 through the air.
It wasn't all bad though. Wilsonville's Baker, Gray, and Kauhi all recorded double digit tackles, and the defense tallied four sacks in game.
Offensively, Overholt found the record he had been striving for. Surpassing the old record by three passing touchdowns, the quarterback also threw 22-for-37 and 356 yards, and ran for a touchdown as well. Senior Grant Irby had two touchdowns for 92 yards, and Zach Rivers had a long touchdown pass of 74 yards. Wide receiver Jonah Gomez led the group in receiving yards with 139. It was not enough though, as the game ended with a trio of unsuccessful field goal attempts and a 30-27 score in favor of Thurston.