Wildcats dominate Scappoose in battle of league's top football teams
Wilsonville thought Scappoose would provide its toughest test in league play, and last Thursday the Wildcats aced it.
After a slow start, Wilsonville scored 34 points in the second quarter to blow out the Indians 50-14 in its final home game of the regular season.
"The week of preparation we had was unbelievable," said Wilsonville quarterback Jayce Knapp, who passed for 352 yards and six touchdowns. "I've got to thank the coaches for probably one of the best game plans I've ever seen. We had a great offensive scheme and obviously our defense did really well."
Knapp, who had 32 pass attempts, said the goal was 40.
"They're a great team. They have big kids. They're huge and we couldn't run on them," Wilsonville coach Adam Guenther said. "We'll game plan for what we think will be successful and we've got a good quarterback and we've got a line that can block and give us time. We've got great receivers and we thought that's where we had an advantage."
After failing to score in the first quarter and facing a fourth-and-14, Knapp rolled to his right and found fullback Chad Overholt in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown with 11 minutes, 2 seconds remaining in the first half.
Knapp and Payton Dart then combined for a 45-yard touchdown with 8:18 to go.
The junior duo connected again with 3:11 remaining as Dart drug his feet in-bounds for a 14-yard touchdown catch.
Dart caught seven passes for 160 yards.
Coming in relief of starting quarterback Jakobi Kessi, Luke McNabb found Drake Kramer, who outran the Wilsonville defense for an 80-yard touchdown.
But the Wildcats immediately answered with a 71-yard touchdown from Knapp to Jack Kimball with 2:31 remaining in the first half.
Overholt caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Knapp with 25 seconds remaining, and Wilsonville lineman Jake Moore then sacked McNabb to end a dominating first half.
"We didn't play well," Scappoose coach Sean McNabb said. "We didn't run the ball well. We didn't pass protect well. We dropped balls. We missed opportunities. We overthrew wide open receivers. Defensively, we couldn't get off the field. We'd be about a step behind every time at that quarterback (Knapp) made us look pretty silly at times. He's a good player and we didn't put a lot of pressure on him, and when we did, we didn't cover well. We made a lot of mistakes. You can't win games if you're going to play that way."
Both Wilsonville and Scappoose entered the game 4-1. The Wildcats, who graduated 35 seniors off of last year's
Class 5A state runner-up, had won four in a row after falling to Crater to open the season.
"There's a lot of tradition here," coach McNabb said of Wilsonville. "They've been winners for a long time. Guenther's done a great job here. I don't ever look at them as rebuilding. They always seem to reload. They lost a lot of good players, but they have a lot of good guys out there, and we didn't win one-on-one matchups."
Overholt, who had nine receptions for 103 yards, caught his third touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter.
"We trusted each other and trusted our coaches and kept working," Overholt said. "We started out slow, but pushed through. Guys did their job. This is the best that we've played. They were tough. We brought our best."
Wilsonville senior Jacob Haussermann added a 33-yard field goal with 7:26 remaining in the game.
Luke McNabb then connected with Blake Morkert for a 19-yard touchdown against Wilsonville's second team defense.
But Lucas Graves returned the following kickoff 83 yards to complete the scoring.
McNabb and Kessi split time at quarterback. McNabb threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns. Kessi passed for 108 yards. Both quarterbacks threw an interception.
"Our sophomore kid throws the ball down field pretty well," coach McNabb said of his son. "And Jakobi does, too. Jakoby plays a ton of snaps on defense and never comes off the field and takes a lot of hits. He's always in the mix on tackles and it's nice to get him off the field a little bit, too, and Luke can spark us a little bit with his ability to stretch the field."
Wilsonville had 422 yards of total offense.
Overholt and Mathew Labunsky each had six tackles to lead Wilsonville's defense. The Wildcats had nine tackles for loss, and forced two interceptions and two fumbles.
"The defense played great," Guenther said. "We're not the biggest defense, but we're fast and they put themselves in the right spots to make plays. We're getting better every week. This is a young group. Our seniors are doing what they're supposed to be doing and helping the young guys and the young guys are playing football and they're just having a ball. We keep improving every week. It's crazy and this group just keeps getting better. This was a great game against a good opponent. We needed it. The kids played well."
Scappoose hosts Wilson (0-6) this Friday.
"It's a matter of us sticking together and getting better next week," coach McNabb said. "That's what we've got to focus on. We've got to take this and learn from it. This is no fun sitting in the end zone at a rival school feeling this way, so we don't want to be in that situation again."
The Wildcats moved up to No. 5 in the OSAA's 5A rankings and play at St. Helens (2-4) this Friday.
"The team confidence, I've never seen it higher than this," Knapp said. "Just talking to some of the guys on the sideline, we know we can make a deep (playoff) run, especially after playing a team like Scappoose, which is a good team for sure. Coming out and putting that (50-14) on the board is a huge confidence booster for our team."
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