Washougal got out to its second 5-0 start in 22 years with a 34-14 win at Ridgefield on Friday.
But players quickly turned from celebration to support for a teammate.
Brevan Bea suffered a season-ending compound fracture to his left tibia and fibula when he was brought down on a 57-yard gain in the second quarter.
Bea, a sophomore linebacker/tight end, was a defensive leader for the Panthers.
The game stopped for more than five minutes as Bea, who earned second team all 2A Greater St. Helens League honors as a freshman, was tended to.
He left the field on crutches and was taken to a hospital where he underwent surgery late Friday night to get a titanium rod inserted.
Brevan and his family have received an outpouring of support family and friends over the past, according to Brevan’s father Brian Bea. Still, he said Brevan is “crushed to have to miss a year of sports.”
Last year, La Center reached the state semifinals for the first time in 13 years with a junior-dominated roster. The Wildcats entered this season with high hopes, but they were dampened a bit by injuries and other issues that kept several key players on the sidelines.
La Center was without the Dreyer brothers, Tanner and Thomas, who form the team’s starting cornerback tandem, for games against the region’s top two quarterbacks — Canon Racanelli of Hockinson and Wyatt Harsh of Woodland, who combined for 605 passing and seven touchdowns in sending the Wildcats to an 0-2 start.
Thomas returned in a Week 4 win over Hoquiam, and Tanner made his debut in Friday’s 56-14 win at King’s Way Christian.
“We’ve been missing a lot of guys, but they’re finally all back,” said coach John Lambert.
With everyone back in the lineup, the Wildcats made quick work of the struggling Knights, scoring on seven of eight first-half possessions in building a 49-6 lead. While it wasn’t much of a test, the message the Wildcats delivered was mostly for their eyes only.
“It was more for us to say, ‘OK, this is where we’re at now,’ ” Lambert said. “We have everybody now, and this is where we want to be. This is the team we need to have to go forward.”
‘Big things will happen’ with Teague
Quadrese Teague is adjusting to football nicely.
Teague, a senior baseball and basketball standout for Hudson’s Bay, turned out for football for the first time. And perhaps his greatest impact this season was felt in Friday’s 38-25 loss to Mountain View when he ran two kickoff returns back for touchdowns of 88 and 87 yards.
His 88-yarder tied the game 25-25 in the closing seconds of the third quarter following the successful 2-point conversion by Toa Kaumatule. It was one of three kickoff returns for touchdowns in the game, and Teague’s was the second on back-to-back possessions.
Teague’s impact for the Eagles has come to little surprise to first-year Bay coach Ray Lions.
“Quady has been that guy — give him the ball and we know big things can happen,” Lions said.
— Camas’ 35-0 victory over Battle Ground on Friday marked the 100th victory at Camas for coach Jon Eagle.
— Mountain View’s 38-25 win over Hudson’s Bay gave coach Adam Mathieson his 60th win with the Thunder.