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Seton Catholic treats first-year coach to overtime victory against Columbia-White Salmon

Cougars draw up winning play on sideline during overtime

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published: February 20, 2021, 6:28pm

On the final play of regulation, Seton Catholic’s CJ Hamblin took an end-around sweep then threw a deep pass that went through his receiver’s hands, nearly providing a thrilling end to the Cougars’ season opener against Columbia-White Salmon.

As he headed for overtime, Hamblin glanced to the sideline and said: “That would have been juicy if we had pulled that off.”

After Columbia had taken a six-point lead on Austin Charters’ 15-yard touchdown catch on fourth-and-10, Hamblin again took the handoff on Seton’s first offensive play in overtime.

As the Bruin defense collapsed on Hamblin, the junior lofted the ball to a wide-open Lance Stuck for a touchdown.

Then Elijah Volk took a short pass and powered into the end zone on the conversion, giving the Cougars a 28-26 win in Dennis Herling’s first game as Seton’s head coach.

“That was a play we have never even run in practiced,” Herling said. “We drew it up on the sideline. … After that last pass in regulation, we thought ‘hey CJ can really sling that ball.’ So we called it again, and it worked perfectly.”

It capped an unlikely finish for an unlikely victor.

Last season, Seton had lost 42-0 to Columbia. Now the Cougars had a new head coach, who hasn’t been able to work much with his players because of COVID restrictions. And Seton only suited up 19 players on Saturday.

“I was just so proud of our guys,” Herling said. “I was fighting back the emotions talking to them after the game. They have had to overcome to much to get to this point.”

Behind the running of Volk, who finished with 109 yards, and a feisty defense, Seton Catholic led 20-7 in the third quarter after Volk’s 1-yard touchdown run.

But Columbia quickly rallied back as Charters break free on a 79-yard touchdown run.

Charters added 28-yard touchdown run with 8:06 left in regulation that tied the game at 20-20.

Charters finished with 249 yards rushing. Rushing and receiving, Charters accounted for 269 of the Bruins’ 271 net yards of offense. He also had an interception on defense.

“That No. 11 was an absolute stud,” Herling said. “He definitely had momentum on their side in the second half.”

Seton had a hard time stopping Charters in the second half. But the Cougars got a huge stop of the Bruins senior on fourth-and-1 at the Seton 6 with about a minute left in regulation, forcing overtime.

Charters struck again in overtime, but this time the Cougars had the final answer.

Volk made sure of that by pushing through on the winning two-point conversion.

“It was only two yards,” Volk said. “And I don’t think there’s anyone in the state that can stop me from getting two yards. At least, that’s my mentality. Plus I got some big blocks from my boys No. 2 (Hamblin) and No. 18 (Stuck).”

And then the celebration started.

“Oh man, if all of these games are going to be like this, I don’t know if my heart can take it,” Herling said. “My first game as a coach and we win in overtime. That’s pretty special.”

And juicy.


CWS       7              0              0              0              6—26

Seton    6              0              0              0              8—28

First quarter

SC—Lance Stuck 13 pass from Noah Carlos (pass failed)

CWS—Austin Charters 33 run (88 kick)

Second quarter

SC—Carlos 10 run (9 run)

Third quarter

SC—Elijah Volk 1 run (run failed)

CWS—Charters 79 run (88 kick)

Fourth quarter

CWS—Charters 28 run (kick failed)


CWS—Charters 15 passes from Garrett Hogberg (kick failed)

SC—Stuck 25 pass from CJ Hamblin (Volk pass from Carlos)


RUSHING – Columbia-White Salmon: Charters 22-249, Juan Martinez 2-(-3), Hogberg 1-(-2), team 1-(-4). Seton Catholic: Volk 18-109, Carlos 10-32, Jack Callerame 4-45, Ryan Stuck 1-18, Struck 1-0, Hamblin 2-4.

PASSING – Columbia-White Salmon: Hogberg 4-10-3-35, Charters 1-1-0-(-4). Seton Catholic: Carlos 10-16-0-71; Callerame 4-6-1-24, Hamblin 1-2-0-25.

RECEIVING – Columbia-White Salmon: Charters 2-20, Angel Sanchez 2-5, Elijah Nielson 1-6. Seton Catholic: Stuck 4-42, Volk 3-21, Sean Emberlin 1-24, Hamblin 4-17, 8 3-7.