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So Very Close

Sherwood, trying to win its second straight state title, is edged 14-13 by Mountain View in the Class 5A final
by: JAIME VALDEZ RUN TO GLORY — Sherwood senior Travis Dyer, with teammate Dylan Flannery behind him, heads to the end zone to complete a 32-yard touchdown run.

HILLSBORO - Not much separated the Sherwood High School football team from another perfect season.

Not much separated the Bowmen from winning their second straight state title.

One point.

That was it.

Well, one point and a determined, talented Mountain View squad.

Previously unbeaten Sherwood saw its bid to repeat as state champion fall just barely short as it was edged 14-13 by the Cougars from Bend in the Class 5A state championship game played Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium.

'It was a good game,' Sherwood senior cornerback Brandon Blackshear said after the contest. 'Both teams played hard and both teams really wanted it. A couple of things went their way and a couple of things didn't go our way. It wasn't our night.'

'We knew it would be intense,' Sherwood senior halfback/linebacker Connor Munro said. 'Both teams played physical. They wanted it bad and we wanted it bad.'

Mountain View, playing in its first state championship game, finished its season with a final overall record of 12-1. The Cougars' only loss on the season was a 41-18 setback to Sherwood in a non-league game played Sept. 16 at Sherwood High School.

'It's hard to beat a team twice,' Munro said. 'And Mountain View is a great team.'

Defending Class 5A state champion Sherwood, which brought a 26-game winning streak into Saturday's state title game, finished its season with a final overall record of 13-1.

'It sucks to lose in the finals, but we can all hold our heads high,' Sherwood senior halfback Paul Dodson said. 'It was a great season. It was so memorable as a senior. Looking back, we'll all know we did the best we could do.'

'It was a fun ride,' Sherwood senior fullback/linebacker Cody Setere said. 'We worked hard all season, and overall, it was a great season.'

Sherwood, taking advantage of a big plays made by its special teams and defense, struck first in Saturday's championship contest.

The Bowmen, in their first offensive possession of the game, were forced to punt from the Mountain View 44-yard line. Sherwood senior Taylor Bonawitz then placed a punt deep into Cougar territory, with Blackshear downing the ball inside the 1-yard line.

On the very next play, Sherwood senior linebacker Dylan Flannery, with a hard hit, forced Mountain View senior running back Dimitri Dillard to fumble. Bowmen senior cornerback Chase Krieger fell on the loose ball at the 1-yard line.

From there, Setere powered his way into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown run that gave the Bowmen a 7-0 lead with 6 minutes and 8 seconds left in the first quarter.

'It was great,' Setere said of scoring the game's first touchdown. 'I got to go head-to-head with one of the Hollister brothers. It was a big highlight for me.'

Mountain View answered back with a seven-play, 65-yard drive, which was capped off by a 7-yard touchdown run by senior Joel Skotte, tying the game at 7-7 with 2:42 left in the opening period.

The Cougars also threatened to score the next time they had the ball, as they marched all the way down to the Sherwood 5-yard line. But Munro ended the drive by recovering a fumble by Skotte at the 7-yard line.

Another Mountain View turnover of sorts set up Sherwood's second touchdown of the game.

The Cougars, facing a fourth-and-4 situation on the Sherwood 38-yard line, tried a fake punt with senior Jacob Hollister running to the right side. But Sherwood junior Jacob Brooks and senior A.J. Spencer forced Hollister out of bounds for no gain on the play.

From there, an 11-yard run by senior fullback Travis Dyer and a 10-yard run by Dodson helped move the ball to the Mountain View 32-yard line.

On the next play, Dyer burst through a large hole opened in the middle opened by the Bowmen offensive line. Dyer then sprinted untouched to the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown run. The extra-point attempt sailed just wide, leaving the Bowmen with a 13-7 lead with 2:17 remaining in the second quarter.

Mountain View had one more scoring opportunity before the half ended, as a 31-yard pass from Jacob Hollister to senior receiver Cody Hollister gave the Cougars the ball at the Sherwood 23-yard line.

But, facing fourth-and-10 from the 23 with 16 seconds left in the half, Jacob Hollister's pass to the end zone fell incomplete, with Blackshear keeping close coverage on intended receiver Cody Hollister.

With that clutch defensive play, the Bowmen took their six-point advantage to halftime and they carried it throughout the third quarter - thanks to another key stand on defense.

Mountain View, following a high snap on a Sherwood punt, took over at the Bowmen 36-yard line with 8:51 left in the period.

The Cougars moved the ball to the Bowmen 5-yard line, where they had first-and-goal. But two incomplete passes, a holding penalty and a false start left Mountain View facing fourth-and-goal from the 19-yard-line. Jacob Hollister's' fourth-down pass to junior John Carroll in the end zone fell incomplete, with Spencer providing the coverage.

But, in the fourth quarter, Mountain View was able to break through and take the lead.

Cougar senior fullback Josh Smith capped off an eight-play, 76-yard drive with a 43-yard touchdown run up the middle. Junior kicker Bryce Tipton added the extra-point kick to give Mountain View a 14-13 lead with 8:56 left in the game.

Sherwood, getting the ball back on its own 14-yard line with 5:24 left to play following a Mountain View punt, was looking to put together a game-winning drive. And the Bowmen looked to be on their way.

Setere had runs of seven and 30 yards and Dodson added a 10-yard scamper to put the ball on the Cougar 39-yard line.

From there, the Bowmen faced a fourth-and-7 situation at the Cougar 36-yard line. Sherwood then tried a halfback pass with Munro throwing the ball to Blackshear down the right sideline. The pass fell incomplete, but Cody Hollister was flagged for pass interference on the play, giving Sherwood a first down at the Mountain View 21-yards line.

But, on the next play, the Bowmen had a fumbled exchange and Skotte recovered the loose ball on the 22-yard line, giving possession to the Cougars with 2:10 remaining in the contest.

A holding penalty on the next play moved the ball to the Mountain View 13-yard line. But, on the following play, Dillard broke off a 60-yard run down the left sideline, giving the Cougars a first down at the 27-yard line.

Sherwood, which had only one timeout remaining at that point, had to then watch Mountain View kill off the remaining time on the clock to wrap up its state championship.

'You never want to lose the big one, but that was a great game,' Sherwood coach Greg Lawrence said. 'Someone had to lose. We had our opportunities, but things happened. I'm extremely proud of our guys and congratulations to Mountain View.'

'It was unfortunate that we came up a point short, but we left it all out there on the field,' Spencer said. 'We expected to make it here and do well. We put it all on the line.'

'This was a fun game,' Sherwood senior lineman John Powers said. 'We all did what we could do. We played great as a team. We all played our hardest.'

'It was a physical game,' Setere said. 'Heads were smashed. It was one of those games where two teams were smashing head. They just happened to come out on top.'

'It's a bummer, but we can't point fingers,' Dodson said. 'Congratulations to Mountain View. They played a great game.'

'This is tough, but at the same time, I know all of these guys will be my friends for life,' Blackshear said. 'We all take pride in what we call the Bowmen Family.'

Dodson was Sherwood's leading rusher in the contest with 84 yards on 16 carries. Setere added 56 yards on eight carries and Dyer had 55 yards on nine carries.

Sherwood senior quarterback Dusty Crabtree completed two of seven pass attempts for 10 yards.

For the Sherwood defense, Krieger and Munro each had a fumble recovery, Flannery had a forced fumble and senior lineman Zane Groves had a tackle for a loss.

For Mountain View, senior quarterback Jacob Hollister completed 16 of 25 pass attempts for 166 yards.

Cody Hollister had 12 receptions for 146 yards.

Dillard led Mountain View in rushing with 116 yards on 18 carries. Smith had 49 yards on three carries and Skotte added 43 yards on 12 carries.