Wildcats going back to state football semifinals after 41-35 victory over Cascade Christian
In a finish for the ages, the La Center Wildcats outlasted Cascade Christian in three ovetimes and will return to the Class 1A state football semifinals.
Hayden Williamson scored on a 5-yard touchdown run in the third OT possession late Saturday night, and the La Center defense stopped the Cougars on the 1-yard line for a 41-35 victory at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
A defensive battle turned into the offenses playing a game of “top this” in the final quarter and three overtime periods. It was 7-7 after three quarters, and then the teams combined to score 62 points.
La Center will be on the road again next week in the semifinals, taking on Meridian of Bellingham. (Time, date, and place to be determined.)
For tonight, for Sunday, too, the Wildcats will allow themselves to just celebrate this epic victory.
La Center was shut out in the first half, then tied it in the third quarter on the first of three touchdown runs from Wyatt Dodson.
Dodson found the end zone again for a 14-7 lead late in the fourth quarter, but, it turned out, in plenty of time for a lot more offense.
Cascade Christian scored on a long pass but missed the 2-point try, allowing La Center to maintain a 14-13 advantage.
La Center responded with a touchdown pass from Williamson to Jackson Leslie with about 3 minutes to play, giving the Wildcats an eight-point lead.
Less than a minute later, the Cougars scored and got the 2-pointer to tie the game at 21.
Both teams had the ball in the final two minutes, in scoring position, too. Instead, the game headed to overtime.
First play of the first OT, Dodson scored on a 25-yard run. Plus La Center got the 2-pointer for an eight point lead.
Seen this before, though, right?
Once again, the Cougars scored, got the two, and tied the game at 29.
The Cougars got the ball first in the second overtime, scored, but missed the conversion.
La Center responded, converting a fourth down on its drive, and scoring on a Williamson pass to Evan Honore. But Cascade Christian blocked the extra point, keeping the score 35-35.
The Wildcats got the first try in the third OT. Williamson capped the scoring drive with a 5-yard TD run.
Then the La Center defense stopped the Cougars just short of the goal line to secure the victory.
The Wildcats improved to 10-2 and are on a 10-game win streak. This will be the program’s second consecutive trip to the state semifinals and third overall. La Center has never made it to the championship game.
After Saturday’s game, though, this team believes it can achieve anything.