Four different Panthers found the end zone to help the Washougal High School football team defeat Tenino 28-7 Friday, at Fishback Stadium.
“This is one of those games where we knew we had to fight,” said senior lineman Christian Edmonson. “It feels great to be able to defend our new turf. This is the stuff we prepared for in camp.”
Edmonson dedicated the victory to his father Rick, who is in the hospital with liver failure. He saw the word “DAD” written on his taped wrists every time he got down to block at the line of scrimmage.
“I get to go back to the hospital and tell my dad we won,” Edmonson said. “We just put our heart out on the field. I think it helped the whole team to have something to fight for.
“My dad loves everyone out here. They call him ‘Papa Bear,’” Edmonson added. “I consider every one on this team my brother, and they think of him as their dad too.”
The Panthers ran the ball for 53 yards on six plays during the game’s opening drive. Bobby Jacobs broke away for a 31-yard dash on his first carry of the season. Brandon Casteel slithered over the defender and stretched his arms across the goal line for a touchdown.
The extra point failed, so Washougal had to hold firm to a 6-0 lead. Tenino blocked a punt and recovered the ball in scoring range, but a field goal try by the Beavers came up short. Patrick Jones grabbed a fumble for the Panthers, but Tenino got the ball right back on an interception.
An interception by Adam Thomas gave Washougal an opportunity to add more points before halftime. Jacobs completed a 19-yard halfback pass to Monte Georgianna to set up a first-and-goal. Jacobs ran the ball into the end zone to put the Panthers up 12-0 at halftime.
“That was a game changer,” Jacobs said. “We had a few great plays that caused momentum changes, and we just took hold of the ball game.”
Jacobs rushed for a total of 134 yards and a touchdown. He did not play in the first game of the season because of a strained neck.
“I was dusting off the cobwebs,” Jacobs said. “Overall, I felt it was a great team effort. I’m really proud of how everybody played.”
Tenino cut the lead to six points in the third quarter, and got the ball right back. Garrett Duey gained a huge fumble for Washougal. Chase Duey scrambled around the defense and completed a 27-yard pass to Dakota Payne. Grayden Economdies crossed the goal line for a touchdown.
“The team picked me up after that one,” Garrett Duey said. “The ball sprang free and I was at the right place at the right time.”
The Panthers made a stop on fourth down. Garrett Duey caught a fourth-down pass from his brother Chase and took it to the house for a 33-yard touchdown.
“It’s cool to say that touchdown was between two brothers, but it really was a complete team effort,” Chase Duey said. “The linemen blocked for us the whole game, and that’s how that touchdown happened.”
Washougal got the ball back one more time when Payne recovered a fumble. The Panthers then ran out the clock.
Tenino beat Washougal by 27 points in 2012. On Friday, the Panthers got payback in their hometown.
“When you look up in the stands, you see the crowd having fun and everyone’s cheering,” Chase Duey said. “Washougal is a special place.”
After two wins at home, Washougal faces Fort Vancouver Friday, at Kiggins Bowl, in downtown Vancouver. Kick off is at 7 p.m.
The Panthers also travel to Rainier, Ore., and Longview before their next home game.
“Play every down like it’s your last,” Edmonson said. “It doesn’t matter whose house you’re in.”