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Wildcats' offense struggles early, doesn't reach end zone until late third quarter

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Wilsonville linebacker Jack Kimball slams Parkrose running back Taydrian Jackson to the turf Friday night.

Wilsonville coach Adam Guenther, receiver Payton Dart and linebacker Jack Kimball all had the same explanation after Friday's 28-19 loss to Parkrose.

The Wildcats simply did not execute.

"When you face good teams, you've got to be at the top of your game," Guenther said. "They came in ready to play and (Parkrose coach) Keanon's (Lowe) got those guys doing great things. They're on a roll right now and they're flying high. If anybody sees them in the playoffs, it's going to be tough for them."

The Broncos entered the Special District 1 crossover matchup on a five-game winning streak, and never trailed at Wilsonville, which had won seven straight.

Quarterback Tre Singleton reached the end zone on a 41-yard touchdown run to give Parkrose a 7-0 lead with 2:44 remaining in the first quarter.

Singleton also completed a 31-yard pass to Dale Scott on the eight-play scoring drive that started on the Broncos own 3-yard line.

The Wildcats then fumbled the following kickoff, giving Parkrose the ball on Wilsonville's 32-yard line.

The Broncos drove to the Wildcats' 6-yard line, but Kellen Hartford then intercepted Singleton to keep Wilsonville from falling into an even bigger hole.

Quarterback Jayce Knapp connected with Dart for a 26-yard gain to get the Wildcats into Parkrose territory.

Jacob Haussermann then kicked a 29-yard field goal to get Wilsonville within 7-3 with 8:12 remaining in the first half.

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Wilsonville quarterback Jayce Knapp carries the ball against Parkrose Friday.

But the Broncos answered with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Singleton to Lebron Roeback on fourth down to take a 14-3 into halftime.

"Our main thing is 'Do your job,' and I think we were getting a little bit selfish and not following our assignments," Kimball said.

Wilsonville's defense forced a punt to open the second half. The offense then marched inside the Parkrose 15-yard line, but after a fumbled snap and delay of game penalty, the Wildcats had to settle for a 26-yard field goal by Haussermann.

After Singleton connected with Taydrain Jackson to extend the Broncos' lead to 21-6, Wilsonville finally got into the end zone with 1:16 remaining in the third quarter when Josh McKenzie caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Knapp.

With 10:50 remaining in the game, Knapp then found Dart in the corner of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown.

Mason Dean set up the score with a punt return to Parkrose 27-yard line. Knapp also added a 23-yard run on the scoring drive.

But Wilsonville could not convert the two-point try and trailed 21-19.

The Wildcats defense then stopped Parkrose on fourth-and-1 at the Broncos 29-yard line, giving Wilsonville's offense another short field.

But this time the Wildcats could not take advantage as Knapp threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-long.

Parkrose took over with 8:45 remaining and on seven straight running plays drove to the Wilsonville 40-yard line.

On third-and-10, Jay Jay Hudson then threw a halfback pass to Scott for a 40-yard touchdown with 3:33 to go.

"A few of ours guys got a little too overly excited and forgot to do their jobs," Guenther said. "There were times when we looked like a deep run playoff team and there were times when we had mental collapses and you can't do that against good teams, and after tonight that's all that's left."

Wilsonville, which had its lowest scoring game of the season since getting shut out in week one against Crater, had 254 total yards (64 rushing and 190 passing).

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Josh McKenzie caught a touchdown pass Friday night against Parkrose.

"Across the board we were just not executing well," Dart said. "We missed opportunities. We were just not in the right mindset tonight."

The Wildcats were also not at full strength.

Running back Zach Geilmann was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury on Wilsonville's first drive.

Knapp was battling an illness and Kimball played through cramps after limping off the field late in the third quarter.

"Jack is an animal," Guenther said. "He's the definition of a football player. He was just cramping up and he was out there nonstop and it caught up to him a little bit."

Linebacker and fullback Chad Overholt also missed his second straight game with a lower body injury suffered at St. Helens on Oct. 18.

Overholt is expected to return next Friday for the first round of the state playoffs.

"That's the goal," Guenther said. "He's a difference maker. We need to get healthy. If we're healthy we can play with anybody. We've got to get all our guys back. We've got to heal up after tonight and ice the wombs a little bit. We've got about eight guys that are out right now. Without them we can't prepare the way we prepare."

No. 8 Wilsonville will host No. 9 North Bend next Friday in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.

"I feel like this will give us more motivation," Dart said. "Having a rough loss like this doesn't feel good, so I think that will give us an edge going into the playoffs."

Derek Wiley
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