WASHOUGAL — With most programs, the top storyline Friday night may have been the 37 penalties, the three-hour plus game time, or a third-quarter scuffle that led to two player ejections.
But when the subject is the Washougal football team, and it is undefeated halfway through the regular season, that’s the topic that earns top billing.
“I’m surprised to a degree, but I know we had this in us. It’s just a matter of bringing it out,” said Washougal coach Bob Jacobs, who took over the program two years ago after the Panthers went winless in 2009. “And the thing is, we’re still not playing to our potential.”
Washougal won its 2A Greater St. Helens’ League opener Friday by beating R.A. Long 42-14. Panthers quarterback Colton Sullivan completed 12 of 20 passes for 339 yards — 155 of which came off of Karsen Short receptions.
Washougal (5-0) opened the game with a nine-minute, 97-yard scoring drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Sam O’Hara. Its first defensive possession, meanwhile, resulted in Caleb Howard intercepting a 2-yard pass by R.A. Long quarterback Ryan Peerboom in the end zone.
But perhaps the Panthers’ most significant defensive play came when they led 21-7 late in the second quarter, and managed to stuff the Lumberjacks on fourth and goal from the 1.
As Jacobs said, “It was nuts.”
But not just because of goal-line stances.
In a game that began at 7 p.m. and ended at 10:15, 37 penalties were called.
Some for holding, others for illegal procedure, a few more for pass interference — even one for Jacobs being on the field during a live play.
But the biggest delay came early in the third quarter, when a fight broke out after Sullivan hooked up with Austin Toffell on a 47-yard pass.
A multitude of Panthers left the bench to join the brouhaha, and two players — Washougal’s Zach Boland and R.A. Long’s Lucas Getman — were ejected for throwing punches, according to an official.
If the ejection stands (Washougal will appeal the decision), Boland would be disqualified for next week’s game.
Despite the tussle, the Panthers scored on a 16-yard run by Sullivan two plays later to go up 28-7. They then watched Bob Jacobs sprint to the end zone on a 53-yard scamper with 2:11 left in the third to take a 28-point lead.
The Lumberjacks (1-3) never again threatened.
Washougal’s success so far this season may have surprised its coach. Its quarterback? Not so much.
“We’ve put a lot of work in,” Sullivan said. “This is a long time coming.”
WASHOUGAL 42, R.A. LONG 14
R.A. Long 0 7 0 7—14
Washougal 14 7 14 7—42
W — Sam O’Hara 1 run (O’Hara kick)
W — O’Hara 4 run (O’Hara kick)
RAL — Eric Rosellini 25 pass from Ryan Peerboom (Juan Vasquez kick)
W — Karsten Short 75 pass from Colton Sullivan (O’Hara kick)
W — Sullivan 16 run (O’Hara kick)
W — Bobby Jacobs 53 run (O’Hara kick)
RAL — Jacob Yordy 9 pass from Peerboom (Vasquez kick)
W — Stephen Camden 7 run (O’Hara kick)
Rushing — R.A. Long — Jacob Yordy 8-61, James Rountree 1-34, Richard Clark 2-5; Washougal — Stephen Camden 10-74, Caleb Howard 7-64, Sam O’Hara 13-62, Bobby Jacobs 1-53, Colton Sullivan 3-32 Austin Tofell 2-7.
Passing — R.A. Long — Ryan Peerboom — 12-26-3-261. Washougal — Colton Sullivan 12-20-1-339
Receiving — R.A. Long — Jacob Yord 6-119, Trey Solon 4-104, Eric Rosellini 1-25, Dylan Royce 1-17. Washougal — Karsten Short 4-155, Zach Boland 2-46, Caleb Howard 3-42, Austin Tofell 1-43, Wyatt King 1-31,