Late rally falls short for Sunset
Apollos can't quite force Tualatin into OT in 17-14 playoff loss
TUALATIN - The Sunset football team had its shot.
More than one of them, to be accurate.
The Apollos, playing at Tualatin in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs on Friday, trailed by three points late in the game but had advanced deep into Timberwolf territory. There, facing a first-and-goal at the Tualatin 5-yard line with less than a minute to play, Sunset quarterback Dane Poorman took two shots at the end zone and the winning touchdown only to come up empty.
The Apollos then sent out senior kicker Michael Metter - also a standout starter on both the offensive and defensive lines - for a 22-yard game-tying chance. But Metter's kick went awry, Sunset's hopes of an overtime victory evaporated and the Timberwolves escaped with a 17-14 win.
'We controlled the second half and I thought we had the momentum,' said Sunset coach Faustin Riley. 'I think we all figured we'd go into overtime.'
Sunset, which finished third in the Metro League, ended its year at 6-4. Tualatin, the Pacific Conference runner-up, improved to 8-2 and advanced to face Jesuit in Friday's second round.
Neither team mounted much offense in the first half of Friday's game, with Tualatin notching the only score on a 1-yard Zach Salton run in the second quarter to lead 7-0 at the break.
Timberwolf kicker Nathan Suyematsu added a 41-yard field goal in the third quarter, but Sunset answered later with an 11-yard Poorman-to-Ryan Hendry touchdown pass and a Metter kick to close within 10-7.
Sunset then took its first lead in the fourth quarter when Poorman found Cole Abdie on a 46-yard TD pass to push ahead 14-10. But Tualatin responded late in the game with a 5-yard Andrew Schlottmann rushing touchdown to make it 17-14 and set up Sunset's last-gasp shot at victory.
Despite the loss, Sunset was proud of its efforts and its successes in 2011 - winning a second straight state playoff berth, winning an automatic berth to the playoffs and increasing their competitiveness and consistency.
'We had 10 games and there was only one where we didn't come to play,' Riley said. 'We were more physical this year and we were more mentally tough.'
Bruce Jones led Sunset runners with eight carries for 41 yards, Poorman went 12-for-28 passing for 195 yards, with Abdie making four catches for 64 yards, Sam Moshofsky catching four for 60 and Hendry three for 52.