Wilsonville football knocked out by No. 1 Thurston in quarterfinals
Forcing three straight punts to open the game, Wilsonville took away No. 1 Thurston's first option.
"It was a great first quarter," Wildcats coach Adam Guenther said. "They ran their base stuff, the stuff they've ran all year and we had a good defensive game plan and our defense played good and stopped it. We took away what they wanted to do and made them do something different."
But plan B worked just fine for the Colts, who relied on their size advantage and ground game to defeat Wilsonville 48-9 Friday in the Class 5A quarterfinals.
"They brought in two more offensive linemen and went big on us," Guenther said. "They just ran heavy on us, and when you have six kids over 300 pounds that are all athletic, you can push people around. They just bullied us. They're very good and very big and very strong. We weren't quite ready for that. Give credit where credit is due. They're really, really good, and they're going to be tough to stop down the road."
The Wildcats led 3-0 after the first quarter, thanks to a 30-yard field goal by Jacob Haussermann after a Thurston fumble.
But the Colts responded with four unanswered touchdowns, all on runs by Wes Kommer to take a 27-3 lead.
On the final play of the first half, Jayce Knapp and Josh McKenzie connected for a 14-yard touchdown, but the Wildcats' two-point try failed, and Wilsonville trailed 27-9 at halftime.
Thurston quarterback Cade Crist added two touchdown runs in the second half and Kommer broke free for another long score.
"They just stayed consistent with the run and off they went," Guenther said.
Wilsonville's offense was held to only 78 yards.
"It was a wet field and their defense played good, and they were fast and they put the heat on us, and we weren't able to do what we wanted to do," Guenther said. "We missed a couple of opportunities early, but the kids kept going. With a wet ball and a wet area, it was just a tough night. It didn't go our way, but the kids never quit."
The Wildcats were plenty familiar with Thurston after falling to the Colts in last season's state championship game.
"They're just as good as they were last year, if not better," Guenther said. "They basically return their entire team from last year, with the exception of two or three kids. They played well. They're going to be tough to stop. I couldn't be more happy with these guys. I think if we were on any other corner of the bracket, we'd be playing next week."
Returning just two starters from last year's team, Wilsonville finished the season 8-3.
"I don't think I've ever coached a team that's grown more from start to finish, from a spring game to now," Guenther said. "It was fun to watch and fun to coach. It was awesome. Our town was awesome. Our school was awesome. It was a fun year. I'm upset about losing, everybody is, but at some point in time the game has to come to a close and the season is going to end. I'm more upset that I don't get to hang out with those guys next week. Our guys just have to hit the weight room, play other sports, make sure classes go well, and good things are going to happen for us next year."
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