(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
Waving their flag and bursting through a banner, the West Seattle High School Wildcats roared onto the Nino Cantu SW Athletic Complex field tonight for the first time this football season. Two-plus hours later, they left the field victorious over Columbia River High School (Vancouver, WA), but only after some literally last-minute drama.
But first – new head coach Anthony Stordahl‘s team got off to a strong start, taking the ball on an interception just half a minute in. They needed a while to break through the Rapids’ defense but with 4:28 to go in the first quarter, #1, senior Leland Gayles III, got the first TD.
The Wildcats got another one in the final minute of the first quarter, with #45, junior Cole Edwards, recovering a Columbia River fumble in the end zone.
The Wildcats capitalized on another of their opponents’ mistakes in the first :15 of the second quarter, when #7, junior Alex Jorge, followed an interception with a run most of the way down the field. That eventually set up a field goal by #34, sophomore kicker Scott Bremen, that boosted the WSHS lead to 17-0 with 10:27 to go in the first half.
The Rapids finally got on the scoreboard with a touchdown at 7:16 left in the half, and that was the end of scoring before halftime, when everyone left the field with WSHS up 17-7.
In the second half, more big runs – including two by #2, junior Sam Turner – paved the way for a touchdown pass at 7:26 caught by #5, senior Gibson Aguilar.
With the point-after kick, WSHS was up to a 24-7 lead. A few minutes later, a spot of trouble – a short-lived physical altercation at midfield, broken up quickly by coaches and refs, saw WSHS #24, junior Airric Lewis, ejected. The next significant action in the game didn’t come until the final minute, when Columbia River scored two touchdowns, resulting in a final score of 24-19. Close call, but reason for WSHS fans to join the expanded Cheer Team in celebrating.
NEXT WEEK: WSHS has an early home game, 4:30 pm, next Friday (September 8th) at NCSWAC, against Franklin.
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