WASHOUGAL — Mason Knight was overcome with emotion.
He believed he and the rest of the Woodland Beavers could do it, could rally from 14 points down in the fourth quarter, but when it was actually over, when the Beavers had actually won the game, well, it was just too much for him.
“I couldn’t help myself. It was the best feeling in the world. When we won, I just wanted to fall down and cry,” Knight said.
The Woodland Beavers, 0-9 a year ago, rallied with two touchdowns in a 46-second span of the fourth quarter, then stunned Washougal in overtime Friday night for a 35-28 victory at Fishback Stadium in a key Class 2A Greater St. Helens League football game.
Nick Fuller outjumped the defender in the back of the end zone to haul in an 11-yard touchdown pass from Adam Shoup in the second overtime possession to give the Beavers their first lead of the game. Then Knight and Zach Falk had back-to-back defensive gems on Washougal’s possession to preserve the win.
Woodland (4-3, 3-0 GSHL) handed Washougal (6-1, 1-1) its first loss of the season. The Beavers take on Hockinson, 2-0 in league, next week for what could be for the 2A GSHL championship.
“It just shows how much we’ve overcome since last season,” Falk said. “Being down 14, we knew we were still in this. We knew we could battle back.”
Both defenses held in the first overtime, setting up Fuller’s game-winning grab.
“So many thoughts were going through my mind,” Fuller said. “If I catch this, we win. But nothing could have been done without our linemen. Our whole team came closer together after halftime.”
Shoup knew he had the 6-foot-4 Fuller as a target if he got in trouble. Just like much of the game, Shoup was running from Washougal pressure when he threw the ball toward the end zone.
“Nick’s tall. I just got to get it up, get it there, and get it high,” Shoup said. “Hopefully, he will jump up and get it.”
That was just half the second-overtime battle for Woodland. Washougal had a chance, too. The Panthers drove to the 3-yard line but on a third-down play, Knight, a linebacker, blew through the offensive line and got a tackle-for-loss. On the next play, Falk stayed true to defend a screen pass and made an open-field tackle at the 4-yard line to end the game.
Shoup’s 22-yard touchdown run made it 28-20 with nine minutes left in the game. The Beavers would then recover a pooch onside kick. Two plays later, Shoup hit Fuller on a 37-yard strike. Cy Whitmire tied it with a two-point run.
The Panthers just missed on two long field goal attempts in the fourth quarter.
Washougal jumped out to a 14-0 lead on a touchdown run from Sam O’Hara and a 74-yard TD pass from Colton Sullivan to Zach Boland.
After a Whitmire TD for Woodland, Caleb Howard broke free for a 34-yard touchdown to make it 20-7 Washougal in the first quarter.
Woodland defensive end Zach Lacey returned a fumble 64 yards to cut the margin to six points, but Sullivan responded with a 10-yard run to make it 28-14 Washougal at the half.
The Panthers would not score again.
“We didn’t look too good in the first half,” Shoup said. “We came into halftime and everybody realized that we had to put it in gear to play to our full potential. Our defense was in lockdown in the second half.”
Woodland coach Mark Greenleaf called it a “heart-and-fist” win.
“Play together, like a fist, and we have to play with heart,” he said.
His Beavers did that in the second half, and left Washougal with a victory and a classic comeback.
WOODLAND 35, WASHOUGAL 28
Woodland 7 7 0 14 0 7—35
Washougal 20 8 0 0 0 0—28
Was — Sam O’Hara 18 run (O’Hara kick)
Was — Zach Boland 74 pass from Colton Sullivan (O’Hara kick)
Woo — Cy Whitmire 4 run (Malthe Barrett kick)
Was — Caleb Howard 34 run (pass failed)
Woo — Zach Lacey 64 fumble return (Barrett kick)
Was — Sullivan 10 run (O’Hara pass from Sullivan)
Woo — Adam Shoup 22 run (kick failed)
Woo — Nick Fuller 37 pass from Shoup (Whitmire run)
Woo — Fuller 11 pass from Shoup (Barrett kick)
Rushing — Woodland — Shoup 14-115, Whitmire 17-106, Zach Falk 1-0, Hunter Huddleston 2-(-1). Washougal — O’Hara 22-131, Howard 13-115, Stephen Camden 8-39, Austin Tofell 8-38, Sullivan 6-3, Karsten Short 1-(-18).
Passing — Woodland — Shoup 8-22-1-113. Washougal — Sullivan 6-12-0-127.
Receiving — Woodland — Fuller 5-86, Huddleston 1-12, Logan Piper 1-8, Falk 1-7. Washougal — Boland 2-87, Howard 3-37, Tofell 1-3.