Day After Report: Week 7

I know I can always speak for myself. But allow me this opportunity to assume to speak for a few other people today.

First, I personally would like to thank the 2A Greater St. Helens League.

On behalf of Bryan and the guys at, I’d like to thank the 2A GSHL

And on behalf of the rest of the reporters and freelancers for The Columbian, I would like to thank the 2A GSHL.

The 2A GSHL has given those of us who have the privilege of working at high school football games a reason to go to the games. (You know, other than the fact that it’s our job.)

Well, maybe that’s a bit harsh. I love going to all the games. Football is football. But let’s face it, the 4A GSHL and the 3A GSHL have not seen a lot of dramatic games. Sure, a few here and there. But unfortunately, there have been a lot of terrible matchups.

These were the scores the past week among the 4A and 3A GSHL teams: 

Oh the humanity.
In Week 6, the 2A GSHL gave us Hockinson rallying from two touchdowns down in the fourth quarter to beat defending league champion Mark Morris.

This week, Woodland came back from two touchdowns down in the fourth quarter to beat previously unbeaten Washougal in double overtime.

The 3A GSHL title has been pretty much over for weeks.

The 4A GSHL title will be determined in Week 9, and we all knew that was going to be the case long before the season started.

But the 2A, there’s some real drama there. 

It is possible there will be a three-way tie for first place, if Hockinson can beat Woodland this week and then Washougal beats Hockinson in Week 9. Or, Woodland can wrap up the league title with a win this week.

No matter, it’s been a lot of fun to watch.

Thanks again, 2A GSHL.

Game of the week:
The Beavers shut out the Panthers in the second half and in both overtimes, rallying for a win to improve to 3-0 in the 2A GSHL.

On deadline: With a lot of penalties, and then two overtimes, this kind of game puts pressure on the newspaper deadline. There was no way to list every single development in this game. Instead, I went with the basics: How the game was won. The boxscore below the story in the paper showed all the numbers. I began writing the Day After Report a few years ago in order to get more information out there than what was in the paper. This is exactly the kind of game I was thinking about. Honestly, we don’t need a bunch of notes from a 76-0 game. We do want to know more about a double-overtime game, though.

Here’s to Washougal: Again, with a tight deadline, we choose to focus mostly on the winning team in the newspaper story. Woodland got the win, got the headline. So I wanted to list Washougal’s accomplishments high in this report.
Sam O’Hara and Caleb Howard each went over the century mark. O’Hara finished with 131 yards on 21 carries, including a touchdown. Howard had 115 yards on 13 carries with a score. In all, the Panthers rushed for 308 yards. 
This was the first time I’d seen Washougal this year. Was impressed with how many different players got touches for the Panthers. Heck, just in the first possession, five Panthers were credited with carries during a nine-play touchdown drive.
Quarterback Colton Sullivan ran for a touchdown and threw a TD pass. He finished with 127 yards passing.

Team stats: Judging from the stats, the Panthers probably are ticked at themselves for not having a bigger lead at halftime. They outgained Woodland 250-75 in that first half. Washougal scored 28, while the Beavers got 14, including seven on a defensive touchdown. Woodland had the edge in the second half and the overtimes, with 258 yards to Washougal’s 185.

Defensive lineman’s dream: Woodland defensive end Zach Lacey scooped up the fumble at his own 36-yard line, then beat the Panthers down the field for a 64-yard touchdown return.
At the time, Washougal was up 20-7 and had driven to Woodland’s 18-yard line. Although Washougal would respond with another touchdown, this turned out to be the turning point. Imagine, without this fumble, Washougal might have scored another touchdown on this drive or perhaps a field goal.
While it was a great play for the Beavers, Woodland coach Mark Greenleaf isn’t so sure he wanted Lacey to score the touchdown.
“Now he wants to run the ball on offense,” Greenleaf said with a smile.
Lacey is listed as 6-2, 240 pounds. Looks like a fullback to me.

Yellow flags: Not including flags for kickoffs that went out of bounds, I had a total of 23 accepted penalties in this game, 13 against Washougal and 10 for Woodland.
Yep, that’s a lot. But from my vantage point, there were several more illegal shifts or illegal motions that could have been called. And as far as the major penalties, I did not see any that were called that were horrendous. Judgment calls? Yes. Close calls? Yes. But to the people who do not care who wins, it was clear to see why those calls were made.
Washougal was hit for five 15-yard penalties, as well as another pass interference that turned into an 8-yard penalty because of where the ball was on the field. In all, the Panthers had 138 yards of penalties.
Many of the Washougal coaches were frustrated with the calls.
Of course, Woodland wasn’t getting away with much of anything. The Beavers were penalized 94 yards. In fact, Woodland had a chance to win the game in regulation when it had a first down on Washougal’s 25-yard line with 2 minutes to play. The next three snaps resulted in Woodland penalties, which made it first-and-42 from its own 43-yard line.
Another complaint heard from the masses is a penalty being called behind a play. Washougal’s Sam O’Hara intercepted a pass and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown. However, there were two flags for separate infractions, both for blocking in the back, on the return. The accepted penalty nullified the TD. Both infractions happened well behind O’Hara.
One mistake some fans make is to think that if the infraction did not actually help the runner advance, then the penalty should not have been called.
We should remember, though, that the rules are in place not just to make certain a team does not gain an unfair advantage, but also for the safety of the players. Just because someone is 10, 15 yards behind the ball does not allow for a player to block an opponent in the back.
In fact, I’ve seen officials call unnecessary roughness penalties in similar situations. After all, is it really necessary to blow up someone 20 yards behind the ball?

So close: Sam O’Hara might feel bad about missing on two field goals in the final four minutes of regulation. For me, I walked away thinking O’Hara is going to make the very next long field goal he attempts.
Trust me, 42- and 43-yard field goals are no gimmes in high school. He missed the first by a foot or two left. He missed the second one, on the final play of regulation, by inches left.
I would not hesitate to use him in the same situation in the future. 

Touchdown, Fuller: Steven Lane, a Columbian photographer, caught Fuller catching the game-winning touchdown.
Fuller also scored the touchdown that would tie the game in the fourth quarter. In all, he had five catches for 86 yards and two scores.

That was quick: Woodland quarterback Adam Shoup scored on a 22-yard run with 9:37 left in the fourth quarter to cut the Washougal lead to eight at 28-20. Woodland then tried the pooch onside kick. A great bounce for Woodland sent the ball away from the Panthers and into the arms of Woodland’s Troy Flanagan. Two plays later, and 46 seconds after Shoup’s touchdown, Shoup found Fuller open over the middle for a 37-yard touchdown. Cy Whitmire got into the end zone for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 28.

More century marks: Just like Washougal, Woodland had two players rush for more than 100 yards. Shoup led the Beavers with 115 yards on 14 carries. Whitmire ended up with 106 on 17 carries.

One great play deserves another: Washougal set up a fantastic looking screen pass away from the action on the first drive of the third quarter. Colton Sullivan found Caleb Howard, who advanced the ball 34 yards.
Later, on the final play of the second overtime, Washougal appeared to run the same play. The Panthers were facing a fourth down, trailing by seven. This time, Woodland linebacker Zach Falk saw the play coming. He avoided the two blockers and made an open-field tackle at the 4-yard line to end the game.
“The coaches were screaming, ‘Watch the screen!’ the whole time. I just dropped back in pass coverage,” Falk said. “I saw the play, and I went for it and wrapped him up. It felt awesome.”

Another defensive gem: Washougal had driven to the 3-yard line in that second overtime, trying to at least tie the game. On third down, Woodland linebacker Mason Knight got in the backfield and tackled the ball carrier for a loss of two.
“I just read it perfectly,” Knight said. “I was in focus mode.”

Great turnarounds: As noted in my story in Friday’s paper, this has been quite the turnaround for the 2A GSHL. Washougal did go 5-4 last year, but was 2-16 in the previous two seasons. Then the Panthers opened this season 6-0 prior to Friday’s loss. Woodland was 0-9 last year and now sits at 3-0 in league play. Then there’s Hockinson, with one win last year. The Hawks are 5-2, 2-0 in league. 

Now, a quick look at some of the other games in Week 7.

The Hawks gained 560 yards of offense in the rout, setting up a Week 8 showdown with league unbeaten Woodland. Jess Krahn threw for 236 yards for the Hawks. Josiah Niemela rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown. Jacob Reagan scored three touchdowns — a rush, a reception, and an interception return.

Colin Seitz returned to the lineup after two weeks and threw for 436 yards and seven touchdown passes — in one half. (It appears we might have had some wrong roster numbers in relation to some of the receiving yards. But the bottom line is four players — Jesse Zalk, David Taylor, Ansel Cecil, and Tyler Vea — combined for 436 yards.)

The Papermakers scored five touchdowns in the second quarter and rolled to another victory. Zack Marshall had 105 yards rushing on seven ca
rries in the first half. … Skyview “rallied” for the win after trailing 2-0. Reiley Henderson scored three touchdowns.
Camas and Skyview also played in doubleheaders last week, but at Kiggins Bowl. In those games, the Papermakers and Storm combined for 134 points. This week at McKenzie Stadium, they put up 120. Yikes!

The Titans scored the first 42 points to make it a running clock. … “We seemed to take another step forward,” Union coach Cale Piland said. “Each week, we’re building and getting better.” … Battle Ground had been able to run the ball against opponents much of the season. Against Union, the Tigers were held to 26 yards rushing in the first half. “Our defense was able to step up tonight,” Piland said.

The Thunder scored 42 points in the first half, then cruised with the running clock in the second half. Michael Rivers scored three touchdowns.

Columbia River held Fort Vancouver to 19 yards of offense. The defense also got touchdowns on interception returns from Kevin Sandison and Micah Figueroa.

Alex Meza made the most of his six carries
, gaining 126 yards and scoring two touchdowns to lead the La Center attack. La Center also found itself trailing by the rare score of 2-0.

Really? 11-3? That’s what it says. Michael Knox scored on a 15-yard run, followed by a two-point conversion. Later in the first quarter, Dalton Ries nailed a 32-yard field goal. The Ridgefield defense did the rest. … Castle Rock got a field goal with 1:45 to play but the Rockets did not recover the onside kick. … Country music radio station 99.5 The Wolf had its mascot, Howler, bring out the game ball. The ball was signed by Kenny Chesney. (We certainly hope the teams did not actually use that ball. It is probably worth dozens of dollars.)

That’s it for Week 7. Looking forward to Week 8 and Hockinson vs. Woodland. Yes, 2A GSHL fever. I’ve got it. Thanks again!

Kate Zot contributed to this report.

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