Oh so close
Wilson comes up just short against Tigard in the second round of the state playoffs
Thirty minutes after their season ended, most of the Wilson Trojans still didn't want to take their uniforms off.
'I can't believe it's over,' senior defensive lineman Joe Bozikovich said after Friday's heartbreaking 34-31 overtime loss to Tigard in the second round of the state football playoffs. 'It almost makes it harder that it was a great game.
'We played our hearts out.'
The Wilson players, led by Bozikovich, came out of their locker room long after most of the crowd of 3,000 had left. They gathered near midfield, close to a 'PIL and Proud' sign that first-year coach Dane Iverson had painted on the grass below the team's logo before the game.
'We all feel good about the game, about our effort,' senior quarterback Sean Setzer said. 'But the playoffs are all about winning. That's how you get respect from other leagues.'
Setzer had an outstanding performance, completing 17 of 41 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns. He also played defense, punted and became the new place-kicker in the days before the game. He kicked a 27-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter to give the Trojans a 17-10 lead. It was the team's first field goal of the season.
Wilson, the Portland Interscholastic League champion for the second straight year, rallied from deficits of 10-0 and 31-17 to send the game into overtime. But the Trojans' overtime possession ended with a fumble, and the Tigers celebrated the win and a berth in the quarterfinals.
The Trojans, who haven't lost a regular-season game in more than two years, finished the year 10-1. They also lost in the first round of the playoffs in overtime last year.
Tigard (10-1) moves on to play at Lake Oswego on Friday.
The Tigers, who overcame four turnovers, scored 21 points in the third quarter on the passing of quarterback Scott Bonnono and the running of Joey Nobriga.
Wilson tied the game early in the fourth quarter when senior Lucas Torwal intercepted a pass and returned it 10 yards for a score that ultimately led to the OT. That was just 36 seconds after Setzer had hit senior Ryan Bowen with a 34-yard TD pass.
Tigard kicker Michael Davis, who had missed two earlier field-goal attempts, provided the winning points on a 38-yarder. Wilson's hopes ended when senior Kacy Fairfax caught a short pass and fumbled while being tackled Ñ the same ending to Wilson's possession in overtime last season.
'We're all worried about Kacy,' Setzer said. 'But you can't blame him for what happened. There's so many other points of the game that could have been different, and we might never have been in overtime.'
Iverson said the seniors, many of whom began playing together in the fifth grade, would live on at the school because of their efforts in building the program.
'We lose a lot of great players, but they've set a standard, and we're going to try to get the next group to live up to that,' Iverson said. 'That's in their work ethic, their passion, how they performed. That was a special group, and we hope every team will gel like that.'
Jesuit keeps winning
For the second straight week, a Metro League team flushed the idea that it could lose to a PIL team in the playoffs as Jesuit ran past Grant 40-14 at Lincoln's Mike Walsh Field.
Senior Mike Jones ran for 194 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Crusaders, who broke free from a 0-0 tie with 27 points in the second quarter and moved into the quarterfinals.
Jesuit (9-2) will play host to Clackamas (8-3) on Friday night. Jesuit's only losses this season were to Beaverton and North Medford Ñ teams that also are in the quarterfinals.
Jesuit hasn't lost to a PIL school since 1986, when it fell to Madison in the first round of the state playoffs. A PIL school last beat a Metro school in 1999, when Franklin beat Southridge and Jefferson edged Aloha.