To say the Washougal High School football players and coaches were shell shocked would be an understatement.
Three weeks after sophomore Brevan Bea broke his leg during a game at Ridgefield, the Panthers looked on helplessly after sophomore Jakob Davis dislocated his shoulder four minutes into Friday’s game at Woodland. Junior Mason Armstrong has also been out of action with an injured hand.
“He’s got a lot of talent and he’s got a lot of heart,” senior linebacker Grant Lewis said about Davis. “To see him in agony and in pain, and being a (teammate), you don’t want to see that. I wish I could take the pain away. I prayed for him and I hope for the best. I know he’ll be OK. He’s a fighter.”
Play was suspended for 47 minutes waiting for an ambulance to pick Davis up and take him to a hospital. Kade Coons gave Davis a hug while he was on a stretcher, then went back on the field and broke free for a 20-yard run to set up a first-and-goal for Washougal. Quarterback Ryan Stevens dashed into the end zone behind his bulldozing offensive linemen. He also kicked in the extra point to give the Panthers a 7-6 lead.
The lead didn’t last long for Washougal, and the Panthers never got back into the end zone. Woodland, on the other hand, put together a methodical passing and running game to defeat the Panthers 20-7.
“They did a good job of controlling the ball. We couldn’t stop them and we couldn’t drive the ball very well,” said Washougal head coach Dave Hajek. “It’s a bad feeling righ now because it’s a game that we could have won, and I’m sure the kids feel the same way.”
Washougal showed signs of life in the fourth quarter, following an interception by Grant Lewis. Coons ran for four first downs and Nathan Tofell caught a first down pass. A touchdown would get the Panthers back within seven points, but they fumbled the ball and it rolled out of the end zone. The officials ruled it a touchback, and Woodland got the ball without giving up any points.
The Beavers ran the clock down to under two minutes. Washougal earned one more possession, but it ended with an interception.
After-back-to-back losses, the Panthers are facing a must-win game against R.A. Long Friday, at Longview Memorial Stadium.
“We just got to go back to the grind and keep working hard,” Hajek said.
Lewis found words to inspire his teammates in the huddle after the game.
“What I was trying to get across is, we’re not done. We got a lot of talent, we got a lot of potential and we have reached our full potential yet,” he said.
“Whether we get a home playoff game or not, I know our community is going to support us. I really think we can move somewhere in the playoffs, but we need to keep on improving and get to our potential,” Lewis said.