Football: Gladstone stings Scappoose in overtime
Gladstone stops a two-point conversion in overtime, inching past Scappoose and making the state final
Coming into halftime, the odds were stacked firmly against the Indians. They trailed No. 1 Gladstone 20-0, were without a pair of key seniors in lineman Colton Wheeler and receiver Jake Ford, and lost their top running back Braden Clark midway through the first half.
And when it was determined that senior quarterback Joey Krupsky couldn't go in the second half after a concussion, all was just about lost.
Except, the Indians didn't seem to get the message. Backup quarterback Robert Lohman completed all 10 of his passing attempts in the second half, leading Scappoose to tie things up at 20 with a few minutes remaining in regulation.
Scappoose blocked the Gladstone field goal as the buzzer sounded, and though they answered the Gladiator touchdown with a score of their own in overtime, fell short on the two-point conversion and conceded to Gladstone a spot in the state championship game, falling 27-26 on the final play of the contest.
After the game, Lohman, who threw for 172 yards in the loss, admitted to having never run the play in a game before. Scappoose has a handful of plays they use for two point conversions, this one being designed to give David Krupsky the ball in a one-on-one situation with the Gladstone corner.
Head Coach Sean McNabb pulled Lohman aside late in the fourth quarter and explained the play just in case, and gave the second lesson as time ticked off the play clock and the remainder of the offense waited to run the two-point conversion. The lesson went long, and Scappoose was backed up five yards. The whistle blew, and Scappoose kept backing up until Lohman, who never got a chance to throw the ball, was sacked.
Meanwhile Tribe junior Eleanor Jones, whose feet have been good for 64 of 72 point after try attempts this season, stood on the sideline and watched.
We didn't have a lot of time to talk about it, but I felt confident in us going for two and then after we scored I looked at the players and they're putting their hands up. They wanted to go for it too, McNabb said. We wanted to win the game. We put a lot of time and a lot of effort, made a lot of sacrifices and you get in that situation and I feel confident in our guys.
The mistake that was made was me trying to take too long to articulate the two-point play to Robert, he said. That's totally my fault. We took the penalty, it backed us up five and it put us in a bad spot.
Lohman, speaking quietly outside the team's locker room, said all they needed was a little more time.
Time a precious commodity in football had worked in the Indians' favor at the end of regulation, but to fully appreciate the miracle rally, we'll have to step back to the beginning of the first half.
Scappoose ran back out onto the field, but Joey Krupsky, their star and leader, was covered in a huge black rain coat. In his place stood Lohman, who had completed 17 passes all year long.
Junior Jarret White carried Scappoose through their first possession before Lohman lobbed to Jacob Wendelschafer for a 31-yard touchdown strike early in the third quarter. But when Scappoose attempted an onside kick, they got burned. The ball seemingly bounced backward after landing little more than ten yards from where it was kicked, but it was Gladstone's ball at the Indians 39 yard line.
The Indians got a stop, forcing the Gladiators to give up on downs, but fumbled on the second play of the drive at their own 30 yard line.
Once again, the defense stepped up. Eric Prom, who scored twice in the first half, was tackled behind the line of scrimmage, and Gladstone turned it over on the next play.
Try number two: Scappoose rumbled downfield to the edge of the redzone, only to fall inches short on fourth and one and ask their defense for yet another stop. Luckily for the Indians, the third try was a charm. A minute into the fourth quarter, Scappoose scored on another big passing play from Lohman to Wendelschefer, and it was a game once more.
Gladstone picked up a single first down on their next drive, but couldn't muster their way any further. Wendeschafer called for a fair catch on the Indian 19 yard line, setting Scappoose up for what would need to be their longest drive of the day.
White and Johnny Tardif alternated their way down the field, mixed with a huge reception by Ben Gadbois and a heart-stopping grab by David Krupsky at the goal line. Tardif powered through the defense and Jones nailed the extra point with 4:08 remaining.
But the crowd couldn't let out their breath quite yet. Scappoose stopped Gladstone at the Indian 36 yard line, but fumbled two plays later and gave Gladstone peachy field position with just over a minute left. Tardif and Taylor Heaton came flying through the pile and blocked the field goal attempt and gave the Indians one last chance.
Handsome Smith, Gladstone's lightning-quick running back, was the difference in overtime. After the Scappoose defense had pushed Gladstone back to fourth-and-13, Smith caught a pass and dove into the pylon to give the 'Glads an edge in the extra period.
Scappoose got a huge reception from David Krupsky on fourth-and-23 and scored on an 11-yard run by Tardif, but came seconds away from completing their comeback miracle as the Gladstone players rushed the field.
As a coach you second guess yourself, but it is over with. It's done. You can't go back and change it, McNabb said.
We didn't have time to get off is what it came down to, too, McNabb continued. Could he have completed it? Maybe. Robert's got ice in his veins. He's going to be a great quarterback. He doesn't get rattled very easy. He steps up and makes some big throws. He does it to us all the time when he's running the show offense. I'm not going to second guess it. If we had to go back and run it again, we'd do the same St. Louis strong, try to get it to David.
McNabb praised the team for refusing to panic at halftime and battling their way back, regardless of the final score. It put their character on display, he said, and proved their successfulness both on and off the field.
White, making his return after several weeks sidelined with an injury, led the team with 83 yards on 14 carries. Tardif carried the ball 13 times for 60 yards and two touchdowns, as well as four and a half tackles for loss and one and a half sacks.
Through the air, it was Wendelschafer, who caught six passes for 102 yards and two scores.
For Gladstone, though he didn't score until overtime, Smith played savior. He caught four passes for 104 yards and ran 22 times for 119 yards
Anyone standing outside the Scappoose locker room as the players made their exit witnessed a mixture of blank stares, intermittent tears and a hint of anger in the Indians' eyes, but that should fade with time.
Our kids are tough physically and tough mentally, McNabb said. They enjoy being around each other and it's sad the ride's over because it's been a great run, but these guys are going to walk off and it's going to sting for a few days but the memories and the season, the great things, will be there with them the rest of their lives.
OSAA 4A Semifinals
Gladstone 27, Scappoose 26
SCAP 0 0 7 13 6 26
GLAD 14 6 0 0 7 27
GLAD Quentin Carl 15 pass from Sean Williams (Josiah Wachlin kick), 6:12
GLAD Eric Prom 22 run (J. Wachlin kick), 2:01
GLAD E. Prom 26 run (J. Wachlin kick missed), 1:08
SCAP Jacob Wendelschafer 31 pass from Robert Lohman (Eleanor Jones kick), 10:10
SCAP J. Wendelschafer 18 pass from R. Lohman (Robby Backus rush failed), 11:00
SCAP Johnny Tardif 1 run (E. Jones kick), 4:08
GLAD Handsome Smith 17 pass from S. Williams (J. Wachlin kick)
SCAP J. Tardif 11 run (R. Lohmna rush failed)Add a comment