Casteel fuels Washougal comeback

Senior rushes for 397 yards and scores four TDs

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Brandon Casteel rushed for 397 yards and scored four touchdowns to help the Panthers beat Fort Vancouver 41-28 Friday.

Fort Vancouver scored two touchdowns off Washougal turnovers, but the Panthers still had a Casteel up their sleeve.

The Washougal High School senior racked up 397 rushing yards, four touchdowns and two 2-point conversions to help the Panthers beat the Trappers 41-28 Friday, at Fishback Stadium.

“I’ve never seen such an dominant performance by and induividual player and an offensive line,” said Washougal head coach Dave Hajek. “Brandon is a very humble, very hard working kid. He’s just a piece of that great senior group we have out there.”

The victory gives Washougal (4-4) a shot at a winning season this Friday. The Panthers host Mark Morris at 7 p.m.

“It would be great to be able to send these seniors off with a victory,” Hajek said. “For most them, this could be the last time they play football. Let’s make it memorable for all of us.”

Washougal fell into a 14-0 hole against Fort. Casteel took the next three carries for 54 yards and a touchdown.

The Trappers responded with their third touchdown before the end of the first quarter. Casteel came through with four runs for 40 yards. Zack Neketuk snagged a 31-yard touchdown pass by Kyron Carlson.

Washougal got within one point of Fort before halftime. Daniel Davis caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Monte Georgianna.

“The kids realized, and they told me, that they took Fort too lightly,” Hajek said. “They woke up in the second half

The Panthers outscored the Trappers 21-7 the rest of the game. Fort gained a fourth touchdown, following an 82-yard punt return. Casteel delivered a 47-yard touchdown run and a 2-point conversion to force a 28-28 tie.

Casteel then gave the Panthers their first lead on a 7-yard touchdown run. Washougal got the ball right back on an interception by Tyler Bowlin.

Georgianna gained a first down on fourth down to continue the drive. Casteel reached the end zone for the fourth time to give the Panthers a 13-point lead.

“I am very thankful for the fan support, and the hard work and dedication of these kids,” Hajek said.