WASHOUGAL -- The Washougal Panthers earned a thrilling comeback victory, recovering from nine points down in the fourth quarter to defeat the Aberdeen Bobcats 28-21 on Friday.
The Panthers comeback was sparked by their defense and it was touched off by tough running from Bobby Jacobs who finished with 169 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.
"That was a tough-fought game," coach Bob Jacobs said. "And I'm proud of every one of my lineman and anyone else that's on my team. I had a heck of a time and I'd love to carry this momentum into next week."
The Panthers (5-2, 2-1 2A Greater St. Helens League) forced four turnovers, recovering three fumbles and intercepting one pass in the second half alone. In addition to the turnovers, the Panthers defense capitalized on a bad Aberdeen snap with 11:16 left in the game when Luke Hiersche got a safety to bring the Panther within seven.
Their defense was able to stand tall in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter.
The Panthers were able to stay with Aberdeen in the first half through the air, with quarterback Chase Duey throwing two touchdowns. They won the game on the ground, as Jacobs put in a workhorse-like effort, wearing down the Aberdeen defense in the late stages of the game.
Jacobs reeled off a 20-yard run to bring the Panthers within one with 7:51 left in the game, a drive which started after the defense recovered a fumble, but he brought his best for the game's biggest play.
The Panthers faced a decisive fourth down and one on the Aberdeen 42 with 3:29 left in the ball game and need to convert to have a chance to stay in the game. Jacobs did them one, or in this case six, better. On his 22nd carry of the night Jacobs reeled off his biggest run of the evening with a 42-yard touchdown to put the Panthers up 26-21. Adam Thomas ran in for the conversion on a reverse.
Aberdeen had a chance to make one more drive, but the Panthers defense was up to the task again with an interception and the offense was able to run out the clock.
WASHOUGAL 28, ABERDEEN 21
Aberdeen 7 7 7 0--21
Washougal 0 12 0 16--28
A -- Joel Dublanko 2 run (Housden kick)
A -- Austin Floch 26 pass from Dublanko (Housden kick)
W -- Luke Hiersche 39 pass from Chase Duey (pass failed)
W -- Tristan Roseff 11 pass from Duey (pass failed)
A -- Drew Stocker 66 run (Housden kick good)
W -- Safety, Hiersche tackled runner in end zone
W -- Bobby Jacobs 20 run (run failed)
W -- Jacobs 42 run (Adam Thomas run)
RUSHING -- Jacobs 24-169, Duey 12-9, Brandon Casteel 4-(minus 2), Roseff 1-(minus 1).
PASSING -- Duey 7-16-2-157, Jacobs 0-1-0.
RECEIVING -- Hiersche 2-60, Doneald Holbert Jr. 1-48, Casteel 1-13, Roseff 2-25, Jacobs 1-8.