Washougal scored the game-tying touchdown on a play that saw confusion reign because of what seemed to be an inadvertent whistle and beat Clarkston on Saturday at Adams Field in the opening round of the Washington Class 2A state tournament, 14-13.
The Panthers’ Peter Boylan kicked the go-ahead point-after with 56 seconds left. That followed a 2-yard rushing touchdown by running back Brevan Bea, who had paused for a few seconds on his way to the end zone — along with every other player on the field — after a whistle blew mid-play.
“The whistle? I’m sure their coach is probably fired up about it,” Washougal coach Dave Hajek said. “Our kids, their kids, everyone stood up and looked around.”
So Hajek yelled at Bea to run, which he did, colliding with several Bantams as he dove into the end zone. Officials conferred before confirming the score. Clarkston coach Brycen Bye said he thought the down should have been “replayed.”
“They blow the whistle, both teams stop. I don’t know why they didn’t do anything about it,” Bye said. “Both teams stopped, looked around at each other for three or four seconds.
“Even though the rules are what they are, if both teams stop, there’s something obvious happening there.”
Washougal’s Theodosy Berry grabbed an interception around midfield with 21 seconds left to seal the game for the Panthers, who had rallied from a 13-0 halftime deficit.
Clarkston’s final drive saw the Bantams almost complete a pass to advance inside the Washougal 20-yard line with about 40 seconds left.
“We had opportunities,” Bye said.
Three big ones: The Bantams threw an interception at the Panthers’ 8 on their first possession. Clarkston also missed a 26-yard field goal and an extra point.
Boylan’s go-ahead kick wasn’t something his team took for granted.
“That’s something we struggled at this year,” Hajek said. “Early on, we couldn’t hit extra points. So if you look at our stats, we’re lucky to go 50 percent.
“Last week, we hit all three and today we hit both — and if you saw, right before our extra point, two of our players went over to the kicker and said, ‘Hey, you can do it, you can do it.’”
Boylan said he felt his heart thumping.
“As soon as they hiked the ball, everything felt like slow motion,” Boylan said. “As soon as I kicked it, I knew it was in.”
Washougal will play Lynden in the quarterfinal round. Clarkston finished 9-2 after getting bounced in the opening round for the ninth time in as many trips. Clarkston’s last win at State came in 1989.
“I told (our players) not to let this diminish their season,” Bye said. “It’s been five years since we’ve been to State.
“We had a chance to win this one and we’re not moving on, but a week from now, you take it as a whole, they’ve got a lot of things to be proud of.”
Washougal 0 0 7 7—14
Clarkston 0 13 0 0—13
Clarkston — Eddie Berglund 1 run (Steve Baiye kick)
Clarkston — Will Sliger 2 run (kick failed)
Washougal — Brevan Bea 13 pass from Dalton Payne (Peter Boylan kick)
Washougal — Bea 2 run (Boylan kick)
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