This one had everything.
Two of the state's top Class 5A football teams, an unbelievable beginning, a massive momentum shift, a ton of big plays and almost a hundred points.
By the time the dust had settled, top-ranked Wilsonville — which led by four touchdowns at the end of the opening quarter — had posted a momentous 52-41 win over No. 10 Scappoose at Scappoose High School on Friday, Sept. 24.
"This is by far the best team we've played yet — it was a real test for us," said Wilsonville senior quarterback Chase Hix, who completed 14 of 27 passes — including completions to 11 different receivers — for 225 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, and also rushed nine times or 87 yards and another TD. "It really shows that they're a top team in our conference. They played their butts off and it gave us a good look at what it's going to be like down the road in the playoffs."
"After (our 28-0) first quarter, it was just kind of like we thought we had it," said Wilsonville freshman defensive back Nick Crowley. "But you've got to keep going. We didn't do that in the first half, but we just kept going (in the second half) and finished the game."
With the win — Wilsonville's fourth straight — the Wildcats improved to 2-0 in Northwest Oregon Conference play and 4-0 overall. The Indians, meanwhile, fell for the second time in three games and dropped to 1-1 in NWOC play and 2-2 overall.
"We fought as hard as we could," said Scappoose senior quarterback Luke McNabb, who completed 15 of 26 passes for three TDs and 327 yards, while also adding 70 yards and another three TDs on 16 rushes. "If we would have started off a little bit hotter, I feel like it would have been a different game, but I think other than that, after those early touchdowns, I thought we did pretty well."
"I mean, we just hung in there," said Scappoose junior defensive back Jonathan Clothier, who picked off a Wilsonville pass for one of four turnovers the Indians forced in the game. "We kept our heads up, we just kept fighting. We weren't going to just let them march all over us on our own field."
The Wildcats were as hot as could be at the start of Friday's contest, scoring four touchdowns in just 15 plays to take a 28-0 lead in less than 10 minutes.
After a quick three-and-out forced by the Wilsonville defense and a short Scappoose punt, the Cats needed just three plays to score, the capper a 1-yard TD run by junior Dylan Nance. Senior Joey Friedman then added the first of his seven extra points — he also hit a 40-yard field goal in the third quarter — to give his team a 7-0 lead just over two minutes into the game.
But that was just the beginning of the Cats' amazing beginning.
After another three-and-out and another short Scappoose punt, the Wildcats needed just one play to score on their next short-field opportunity. This time, senior Rochne Beecham took a dive play up the middle, broke a couple tackles and scored at the end of a 26-yard run to make it 14-0 just over three minutes into the contest.
Things got worse for Scappoose before they got better, too. Next up, the Indians turned the ball over on downs, and on the Wildcats' ensuing first down, Wilsonville junior Cooper Hiday hauled in a Hix pass over the left side and turned it into a 42-yard score and 21-0 lead.
Five minutes later, after another stop by the Wildcats' "D," Wilsonville drove 68 yards in 10 plays to score again, getting an 18-yard completion from Hix to senior Jack Johnson, and six plays later, an 18-yard TD throw from Hix to junior tight end Tristan Davis for that expansive 28-0 lead.
"We came out in the first quarter firing — everything was clicking offensively," Hix said. "We were feeling good."
To Scappoose's everlasting credit, however, the Indians didn't fold. They didn't get down, they didn't stop playing and they began — slowly at first and more quickly later — to come back.
To start, the Indians drove 80 yards in just eight plays to score their first TD, a 39-yard throw from McNabb to senior Colin Stoddard to make it 28-7.
Then, after a stop by the Indians' "D," Scappoose needed just two plays to score again, with McNabb hitting junior Trey Dieringer for a 33-yard pickup, and then finding junior Ben Rintoul over the middle for a 37-yard TD that brought their team within 28-14 with more than eight minutes left in the half.
At this point, it appeared that whichever team had the ball last at the end of the game would be the one most likely to win, but Wilsonville did its best to try and put the game out of reach over the next 12 minutes.
After a trade of possessions that gave Wilsonville the ball at the Scappoose 32-yard line, Wildcat senior Rochne Beecham took a quick-hitter up the middle for a 19-yard score and a 35-14 lead. But Scappoose answered with a tackle-breaking 17-yard score by McNabb that kept the Indians within 35-21 at halftime.
Wilsonville then scored 10 straight points to open the second half, getting that 40-yard field goal from Friedman and, at the end of a 65-yard scoring drive, a 23-yard Hix scoring run that pushed the Cats' lead to 45-21 late in the third.
On their side of the field, however, the Indians just kept coming. McNabb scored from seven yards out near the end of the third quarter, and after Wilsonville junior Brennan Martin ran off tackle to score for his team, NcNabb went to the air and connected with Stoddard for a 70-yard TD that brought Scappoose within 52-35.
From there, however, the Indians just ran out of time. They got a 5-yard TD run from McNabb to close within 52-41 before the Wildcats ran out the clock to win.
"it was definitely a little gut wrenching," Hix said of the Indians' comeback. "The defense kept playing their butts off, and on offense, we just stuck to the ground game (in the second half) and let our running backs do the work. And our line, they really took control of that game the second half."
"We felt like the whole game could have been different (if we'd been closer in the first quarter)," McNabb said. "But I like how we played — we played our hearts out — it just didn't go our way."
For the game, Beecham carried 14 times for 133 yards and two scores before leaving with leg cramps, Martin had 97 yards on 16 carries and sophomore Jay Rummel-West added 63 yards on nine carries.
For Scappoose, Stoddard finished with seven catches for 206 yards and two touchdowns.
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