Time not on the side of Washougal

Washougal defensive lineman Caleb Economides blind sides R.A. Long quarterback Ryan Peerboom in the end zone to give the Panthers two points on a safety. The Lumberjacks escaped Fishback Stadium with a 34-31 victory.

The Washougal High School football team left too much time on the clock Friday, at Fishback Stadium.

The Panthers saw their 17-point advantage evaporate in the fourth quarter on three touchdown runs by Jacob Yordy. Washougal still had the will to take the football down the field and score a touchdown for their hometown, but they couldn’t keep Yordy from scoring his fourth touchdown in the final quarter. The Lumberjacks escaped the clutches of the Panthers with a 34-31 victory.

“The kids wanted to win the game for their town and their school. They left their hearts on that field,” said head coach Bob Jacobs. “When we retook the lead on that last drive, that was a great character check for our kids. The place was electrified at that point. We just couldn’t make that last stop.”

Washougal gained a 23-6 lead through the first three quarters. It started on sack on the end zone by Caleb Economides for two points. Bobby Jacobs added a 12-yard touchdown run, Marcus Cannon caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Guy LaRue and Austin Tofell carried the ball across the goal line for a touchdown.

Yordy broke loose for touchdown runs of 4, 17 and 27 yards. His third trip into the end zone gave the Lumberjacks a 27-23 lead. Jacobs then scored his second touchdown, and the Panthers jumped right back in front 31-27 with three minutes to spare. It proved to be too much time, as Yordy was able to cross the goal line again.

“Our guys played great for 42 minutes, but then the little details such as blown coverages and occasional holding penalties came back to haunt us,” coach Jacobs said. “I didn’t want to leave three minutes on the clock when we scored that last touchdown to retake the lead, but we didn’t have much choice. You either score and try to hold them, or you try to take more time of the clock and run the risk of not scoring at all.”

Yordy finished with 176 yards rushing for R.A. Long. Washougal countered with 154 rushing yards by Jacobs, 90 rushing yards for Randy Gubser and 74 rushing yards by Tofell.

This is not the start to league that Washougal wanted, but the Panthers still have four more games to make amends. They must regroup on the road to Ridgefield and Aberdeen the next two weeks before returning to play Mark Morris at Fishback Stadium, on Friday, Oct. 19.

“We were playing to our potential during that first half, but we have to be able to hold that and be consistent for a full 48 minutes,” Jacobs said. “You can never let up in this game. You got to knuckle up and keep going hard until the final whistle. If we can do that, I think good things will happen for us.”