Winlock's strong first half, PAT's the difference in 22-19 win over Ilwaco
WINLOCK - Mount St. Helens High School of Winlock erupted for three touchdowns in the first half and outlasted Ilwaco 22-19 Friday. The Cardinals were successful on two conversion kicks and ran another in while Ilwaco only made one PAT (point after touchdown) kick to spell the difference in the SWW 1A contest.
The game was a tale of two tailbacks. Winlock's Abe Lawrence rambled for 140 yards on 25 carries and added more than 100 yards on kickoff and punt returns. Ilwaco's Eddie Knick packed the pigskin a bruising 33 times and gained 184 yards from scrimmage for his finest performance to date.
The Cardinals ran nearly twice as many plays as the Fishermen in the first quarter and with 58 seconds to play Lawrence burst over the right side for a 9-yard touch down plunge. The kick was good by Kevin Hauschild.
After rushing for two first downs and exchanging punts the Fishermen took over on Winlock's 38. Knick toted the ball six times for 41 yards, overcoming an illegal-motion penalty, and set up a Mooch Smith dive over right guard for a touchdown with 3:48 remaining in the half. When Ubaldo Sebastian's kick split the uprights to tie the game, it appeared Ilwaco was in business.
Lawrence stunned Ilwaco as he scooped up the ensuing kickoff and dashed 86 yards down the right sideline untouched by any Fishermen defender and Hauschild's kick put the home team up 14-7 just 14 seconds later. Ilwaco was three-and-out on the next possession and a 15-yard interference call on the punt return man gave the Cardinals the ball on Ilwaco's 34.
Lawrence rambled for 18-, 14-, and 2 yards on successive plays for his third touchdown of the half, then tacked on an important 2-point conversion to up Winlock's lead to 22-7 as the teams headed to the locker room during the lengthy homecoming celebration.
Cardinal Coach Eric Low pointed out, "We haven't lost in 12 years when it was our Homecoming."
The Fishermen came roaring out the second half to make Low's boast idle chatter. After Smith and Bobby Crislip stuffed three running plays for losses, Winlock was forced to punt. Ilwaco immediately went on an 81-yard drive highlighted by Markus Peterson's 38-yard pass to wide receiver Jarod Schaak.
Knick carried the ball 11 times in the drive, with a 23-yard run being his longest and a seven-yard sweep to pay dirt being the most productive. Down nine points, coach Ned Bittner elected to kick the PAT. The ball sailed through the uprights, but Winlock was called for encroachment. Following the "half-the-distance" penalty Ilwaco needed only gain a yard and a half for two points, however the Fishermen again opted to kick and this time the football was deflected and hit the left upright before falling harmlessly away.
On the first play of the fourth period Schaak leaped high to intercept a Cardinal pass at the Winlock 33 yard line. Needing two scores to win and in excellent field position, the Fishermen lost 12 yards on a broken play and Smith's dive also lost yardage, forcing a punt.
The Cardinals ran for three first downs that ate up eight minutes of the final quarter. They were finally stopped on Ilwaco's 11 yard line with 2:27 remaining in the game. Quarterback Nick Leonard connected with Schaak for a 33-yard gain, Knick ran for nine and 19-yards, and after a defensive holding penalty, Leonard found Schaak in the end zone for a 19 yard touch down strike. With 58 seconds left to play the PAT pass failed, leaving the score 22-19 in favor of Winlock.
Smith's on-side kick was a whisker away from being recovered by the Fishermen and Winlock ran out the clock to preserve their first win of the year.
Coach Bittner was disappointed after the loss, telling his squad, "You can't just walk on the field and expect to win. We needed an effort the first half like the (excellent) one you gave the second half." He reminded his troops that Napavine is next and there will be a short week of practice.
The Tigers will play at Ilwaco Thursday night due to teacher in-service day Friday. Napavine destroyed Kalama, who had been ranked as high as 4th in the state, by a score of 50-0 as their quarterback Loren Bluhm threw five touchdown passes and ran for another.
The loss drops Ilwaco into a four-way tie with Toledo, White Pass, and Winlock at 1-3 in the league's cellar. Napavine and Onalaska are the only two teams in the SWW still undefeated.
Smith said, "We seemed to be just going through the motions in the first half. We are a better team than the way we played." Schaak agreed, "They beat us in the first half. I was happy I scored a TD - it's been a long time coming - but I'm disappointed we did not win."
WHS-:58 Lawrence 9 run (Hauschild kick)
IHS-3:48 Smith 2 run (Sebastian kick)
WHS-3:34 Lawrence 86 KO return (Hauschild kick)
IHS-2:03 Knick 7 run (kick failed)
IHS--:58 Leonard 19 pass to Schaak (pass failed)