Reporter Paul Valencia gives us his observations from Prairie’s big win over Evergreen
The Prairie Falcons still have hope of making it to the postseason.
Oh, they will need to win next week and get some help, but it is still possible to finish in a three-way tie for second place in the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League. That would set up some sort of tiebreaker contest to determine which team would go to the playoffs.
Yes, hope is alive at Prairie.
But no matter what happens next week, and no matter what happens if there is a tiebreaker, the Prairie Falcons will always be able to say they gave one of the most impressive defensive performances in recent memory on Friday night.
I’ve been covering high school sports in Clark County since the 2001 season. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like this:
The Evergreen Plainsmen reached the red zone on their first four possessions on Friday night.
The Plainsmen reached the red zone two more times the rest of the game.
Three times — once after a fumble recovery and twice after long punt returns — the Plainsmen opened drives in the red zone.
Evergreen’s lone score on Friday was a fantastic kickoff return from Mr. Everything Jonathan Landry.
The rest of the game belonged to the Prairie defense.
“We knew this was our season,” linebacker Pierson Lameh said. “This was all we had if we wanted even a chance to make the playoffs. We went out there with heart and just played as hard as we could.”
One of Evergreen’s red-zone drives ended with back-to-back sacks. Lameh and Noah Green teamed up for the third-down sack, then Lameh ran untouched into the backfield and brought down the Evergreen quarterback on the fourth-down play.
“Didn’t care how big the dude across from us was,” Lameh said. “We just hit him every single play with no regard. We were playing with an unstoppable force.”
The Falcons, like all teams in the region, did not get to practice outdoors much, or at all, this week because of smoky conditions.
“We’ve been wanting to hit so bad,” Green said. “Our coach hyped us up. We were ready.”
The first red-zone stop was relatively easy. Evergreen fumbled the ball.
The next three stops were from Prairie’s defense making play after play.
“After a couple of stops, we were so confident,” Green said. “We knew they could not get by us.”
The last Prairie stop did not happen in the red zone. But it was crunch time. Evergreen, trailing by seven and hoping to win to secure a playoff spot, had the ball at midfield in the closing minutes. Green rushed the quarterback, got to him as he was throwing the ball. The pass was misdirected by that hit, and Bryce Phillips got the interception.
A couple first downs by the Prairie offense, and it was time for Victory Formation.
3A GSHL update
Prairie’s win sets up the potential for chaos.
If Prairie beats Heritage next week, and Kelso beats Evergreen, there will be a three-way tie for second place between Prairie, Evergreen, and Mountain View. Only one can go to the playoffs.
However, Evergreen, even with Friday’s loss, could still tie for a league title and earn the No. 1 seed from the league with a win next week against Kelso. If Evergreen beats Kelso, Prairie and Mountain View will be eliminated.
4A GSHL update
Camas has secured another league title, cruising past Union on Friday night to improve to 2-0 in a four-team league. Win or lose next week against Battle Ground, Camas is the No. 1 seed. Union and Skyview will square off in Week 9, with the winner earning a playoff berth.
2A GSHL update
Washougal held off a comeback attempt by Columbia River on Friday night to claim at least a share of the 2A Greater St. Helens League. The Panthers secured the No. 1 seed, as well. This is Washougal’s first league title since 1999.
Trico League update
La Center and Castle Rock will play each other next week for the league title. Seton Catholic and King’s Way Christian will play each other for third place. All four teams are going to the Week 10 district cross-over playoffs.
- State arm wrestling championships ready to flex Saturday in VancouverArmSports Entertainment, founded and owned by a Clark County arm wrestler, is hosting more than 300 competitors for the Washington State Arm Wrestling Championships at Kiggins Theater on Saturday.
- Vancouver Lightning to host match Saturday night in indoor soccer leagueVancouver Lightning, a new semi-professional arena soccer team, is playing in the Western Indoor Soccer League.
- Girls basketball: Titan great Tee Anderson returns to Union as Columbia River’s head coachTuileisu “Tee” Anderson still holds several program records from her time playing at Union High School, but on Wednesday she went to Union as a visitor, as the new head coach at Columbia River High School.
- Washougal 5th grade runners compete at Junior Olympics Regional XC meetAnava and Joela Grundy, 5th grade students at Columbia River Gorge Elementary, competed at the USATF Junior Olympics Regional XC Meet in Athol, Idaho, on Nov. 18.
- Opinion: Seton Catholic’s loss in state semifinals reminiscent of Hockinson’s rise to gloryHigh school football: Seton Catholic lost in the Class 1A state semifinals on Saturday in a game that reminded an old coach, and old journalist, of a game in 2014 that would eventually catapult Hockinson to back-to-back state championships.